PBS American Experience goes 'Walt' in 2015

radiohost

Well-Known Member
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That was perfect!! Hoorah!

Finally finally finally....

A perfect documentary hitting every detail in amazing video and pictures never seen before...

I bet 90% of the pictures and videos have never been shown before...Audio recording of Elias Disney? Walts infamous speech before his staff (can't believe they got that from the archives) prior to the strike? Incredible!

⭐⭐⭐⭐
 

216bruce

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Is there a transcript of that strike speech, somewhere? That was remarkable to hear.

Great show, so far. Looking forward to tonight!
Yeah, I'd never heard it before. For me, that was the most enlightening and surprising 'find' during the entire program. I'm not aware of a transcript. I assume that the recording was in the Disney Company Archives and after hearing it I can understand why the company never released it before, or if they did it was very low key about it. Wow!
 

ForeverAnna

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I'd never heard it before. For me, that was the most enlightening and surprising 'find' during the entire program. I'm not aware of a transcript. I assume that the recording was in the Disney Company Archives and after hearing it I can understand why the company never released it before, or if they did it was very low key about it. Wow!
The filmmaker was on a local NPR show here the other day and what they played is only a snippet of that speech. The whole thing is over an hour.
 

Atomicmickey

Well-Known Member
I just read that he gave the speech twice, and that each session was 3 hours . . . again, would love a transcript.

Neal Gabler's book has some excerpts, and I just ordered An Animated Man: A Life of Walt Disney, which has even more, as I saw in an excerpt online. Hopefully I can start piecing together the whole thing, and finding their sources on this. Very interesting stuff, from a business perspective.
 

JohnByers

Well-Known Member
Finally watched the special this past weekend and was absolutely blown away. The new snippets of information I had never heard really did a great job of painting the picture of who Walt was and what drove him. This will be a DVD purchase of mine when it is released for sure.
 

216bruce

Well-Known Member
Original Poster

Phil12

Well-Known Member
Well, I respect that opinion, but I don't think Thomas' book painted Walt as a deity. That wasn't Bob Thomas' style. He was known for pulling no punches with his biographies, and had a reputation for honesty. As for Diane's bias....she was a grown person when she protested Gabler's book. I imagine that time and maturity might have sharpened her insight about her father. But anyway, I still think that people who actually lived with/talked with the man know better than an outsider who tries to take a particular slant in his writings. But to each his/her own.

BTW, I'm not saying that Gabler's book is all bad. It's not the facetious atrocities that "Dark Prince" or "Disney Version" were. But I still prefer Thomas'. FWIW.
You might be interested to know that Bob Thomas was hand picked by Ron Miller (then Disney Studio head and husband of Diane) to write a "biography" of Walt. In fact it was a puff piece. The book was first published in 1976 by Simon & Schuster and the copyright belongs to The Walt Disney Company and not the author Bob Thomas. The book is now published directly by Disney.

The book was written at the time when the Disney studio was at a very low point creatively speaking. The hope was it might help revive some of the old magic. It was nothing more than a public relations ploy.
 

Magenta Panther

Well-Known Member
You might be interested to know that Bob Thomas was hand picked by Ron Miller (then Disney Studio head and husband of Diane) to write a "biography" of Walt. In fact it was a puff piece. The book was first published in 1976 by Simon & Schuster and the copyright belongs to The Walt Disney Company and not the author Bob Thomas. The book is now published directly by Disney.

The book was written at the time when the Disney studio was at a very low point creatively speaking. The hope was it might help revive some of the old magic. It was nothing more than a public relations ploy.
If Ron wanted a "puff piece", he would hardly have chosen Bob Thomas to write it. Thomas was a hard-hitting biographer known for his honesty. He didn't pull punches. Thomas wrote in the forward to his Disney book that he was given access to Disney archives but was not influenced or dictated to by the Disney family in any way. He also penned brutally truthful biographies about Harry Cohn and Abbott and Costello that were anything but "puff pieces". You might try reading them to get a clear concept of what kind of writer Thomas was. Now, stop your silly baiting. If you think you can faze me with hard truths about Walt Disney, you're wasting your time. What few true things you actually say about him are old news to me.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/hollywood-journalist-bob-thomas-dead-688642
 

Phil12

Well-Known Member
If Ron wanted a "puff piece", he would hardly have chosen Bob Thomas to write it. Thomas was a hard-hitting biographer known for his honesty. He didn't pull punches. Thomas wrote in the forward to his Disney book that he was given access to Disney archives but was not influenced or dictated to by the Disney family in any way. He also penned brutally truthful biographies about Harry Cohn and Abbott and Costello that were anything but "puff pieces". You might try reading them to get a clear concept of what kind of writer Thomas was. Now, stop your silly baiting. If you think you can faze me with hard truths about Walt Disney, you're wasting your time. What few true things you actually say about him are old news to me.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/hollywood-journalist-bob-thomas-dead-688642
This might help you on your road toward objectivity: http://www.originalmmc.com/original.html
 
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Magenta Panther

Well-Known Member
This might help you on your road toward objectivity: http://www.originalmmc.com/original.html
So you point me to an analysis written by someone with punctuation issues and consider that a rebuttal?

Interestingly, there's a debate going on right now about Walt's character on CartoonBrew.com, thanks to yet another Family Guy "gag" (or rather, character assassination substituting for humor) that appeared on Seth McFarlane's crappy show the other night.

http://www.cartoonbrew.com/ideas-commentary/did-family-guy-take-it-too-far-with-this-walt-disney-joke-122710.html

And there's this exchange in the comments below the article between some nitwit and the site-runner, Amid Amidi:


  • Alex
    Cory Grossa day ago
    So he had Jewish friends. Ben Sharpsteen wouldn't hire Jewish animators, would fire the existing ones, belittle them, insult them, just make the workplace there a toxic place for Jews. This isn't gossip, this was in THE biography on him. All those guys you mentioned were just employees. This was Disney's right hand man. While he was off dreaming about trains running through his house or building a city this was the person he wanted to run everything.

    Disney said anti semmetic things casually, treated the Sherman Brothers like garbage if we want to bring them up (but then again he treated everyone like garbage, ruling through fear and whatnot) and clips like the one from The Three Little Pigs really speak for themselves.. I don't get why this website jumps to defend a dude who-- for all intents and purposes was anti semmetic-- just not as anti semmetic as he COULD HAVE BEEN. That's a deeply disrespectful stance to take. But again-- no is racist in 2015 unless they're literally Adolf Hitler, and even then.

  • AmidAmidi
    Mod Alexa day ago
    You can keep claiming that Disney was anti-Semitic and racist and all that nonsense, but there is not one shred of evidence that supports your claim. In all my research on the man, I've not run across a single instance of Walt Disney hiring, firing, or otherwise making a personnel decision on the basis of race or creed. (As a sidenote, you're overstating Sharpsteen's influence within the studio and not clearly understanding his job.)

    There were systemic inequalities in America back then just as there are today that prevented people from rising up the ranks, but Walt himself was as fair and ethical in his treatment of employees as could be reasonably expected of any corporate boss in the first half of the 20th century.
Elsewhere, author Michael Barrier's book about Walt is mentioned. Here's what Barrier found about Walt - and Roy:

Roy Disney was born in 1893, a few years after my grandparents; his younger brother Walt was born in 1901, about fifteen years before my parents were born. All of those people grew up in the middle of the country, a few hundred miles apart, when bigotry of many kinds was the air everyone breathed and racial slurs were a normal part of conversation. My parents and many other members of their generation eventually purged their speech and, I'm sure, their thoughts of most such prejudice, but I don't think my grandparents ever did.

So, when in research for my own books I found an occasional trace of prejudice in letters and interviews by Roy Disney, and interviews about him, I wasn't surprised or offended—it would have been absolutely amazing if none were there. More important, I found plenty of evidence that Roy enjoyed warm and mutually respectful relations with Jewish motion-picture executives, in particular. He simply wasn't a bigot, in any meaningful sense of the term.

Where Walt is concerned, what was truly amazing was that even the traces of prejudice were absent. In reading thousands of pages of documents at the Disney Archives, I can recall only one instance in which someone—not Walt—spoke disparagingly about a race or ethnic group in the notes from a story meeting, and the notes do not show Walt responding favorably, or at all. As I quote Roy Disney saying in The Animated Man, "For an artist that had delivered, Walt didn't care how he combed his hair, or how he lived his life, or what color he was or anything. A good artist to Walt was just a good artist and invaluable."



—Michael Barrier, "The Approved Narrative"

So give it up, dude. Maybe your idea of fun is to go to a Disney fan board and chortle "Boy, am I ever going to stick it to these pixie-dusters!" But the evidence is against you. You have no credibility in light of what far more knowledgable people have said about Walt. As for Thomas, yes, he was asked by the Disney family to write the biography. But you want to know the (likely) real reason they asked him? Because they knew that if they hired a writer to pen a puff piece about Walt, it wouldn't be taken seriously. So they chose Thomas, and why? Well, maybe because they knew that THEY HAD NOTHING TO FEAR FROM THE TRUTH.

Happy Thanksgiving. :D
 

Phil12

Well-Known Member
So give it up, dude. Maybe your idea of fun is to go to a Disney fan board and chortle "Boy, am I ever going to stick it to these pixie-dusters!" But the evidence is against you. You have no credibility in light of what far more knowledgable people have said about Walt. As for Thomas, yes, he was asked by the Disney family to write the biography. But you want to know the (likely) real reason they asked him? Because they knew that if they hired a writer to pen a puff piece about Walt, it wouldn't be taken seriously. So they chose Thomas, and why? Well, maybe because they knew that THEY HAD NOTHING TO FEAR FROM THE TRUTH.

Happy Thanksgiving. :D
It's interesting the way in which you characterize the Bob Thomas book about Walt and how and why it was written. You assert that Bob Thomas was chosen as the author because the Disney family had nothing to fear from the truth. You seem to overlook the basic facts that Bob Thomas was paid by the Disney Studio to write the book and that the studio had total editorial control of the contents. As an example, when the book was first published, there was no mention that Sharon Disney was adopted.

I have no desire to change your mind about Walt Disney. It's clear that you've fully bought into the public relations spin that the studio and the Walt Disney Family Foundation have scrupulously maintained during the last 85 years. It's a belief system for you and those darn facts that contradict or prove Walt to be reprobate are not going to be accepted by you. I get that.

However, constantly singing the praises of Walt Disney is fine in a fantasy world. In the real world he was a deeply flawed human being and even though the studio spent many years and dollars covering up his deficiencies, enough information has survived so that we can get a clearer picture of who Walt Disney really was. It's your prerogative to ignore any and all information that doesn't support your notions about Walt.

For me this relates to Consumer Reports. Before I buy a car or make any other significant purchase, I like to check Consumer Reports to make sure the product is not at the bottom of the ratings. If the product I'm looking for is at the bottom of the ratings, I re-evaluate my choices.

I can understand why you feel I have unfairly demonized Walt. Everything you've read has told you he was a great guy. Any criticism goes contrary to your information base. But to defend the Bob Thomas book about Walt as an objective biography is not a defensible position. That book was bought and paid for by the studio for the sole purpose of making Walt Disney and the studio look good. As I mentioned to you before, look who owns the copyright and who is the publisher of that book.
 
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