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Walt Disney Studios: The tail that wags the dog


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  • Walt Disney Studios: The tail that wags the dog

    I'm surprised after what has happened to Pirates of the Carribbean once the stuidos got their hands on it. It's no surprise that Disneyland has been the red-headed stepchild at Disney since the 1990's (despite being a major and stable cash cow), but until recently I had no idea how much power Walt Disney Studios wielded over Disneyland. In the 2003 Pirates premiere, Cynthia Harriss (although well-meaning) seemed kind of spineless and never would've stood up to the studios. Now that Matt Ouimet has kind of protested the no soft openings policy and failed it's kind of obvious who is the gem in the Disney crown nowadays. It's like Ouimet doesn't even have any control over his own park when the studios take over.

    What happened to the synergy at Disney? It used to be that the studios worked hand-in-hand with the parks. I mean, the parks were created by the studio guys! Nowadays it seems the studios trump any and all other divisions whether it's convenient or not. I can understand why they'd be protective of their premiere, but it's like they haven't been directly involved in the day-to-day operations of the park and then suddenly they barge in and tell the experienced operators what they are going to do and how they are going to do it, no matter if it will work or not.

    It just sounds to me like there is a trump division in the company and that can't be good for the teamwork and synergy that has made Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios a powerful team throughout the company's history.

  • #2
    Re: Walt Disney Studios: The tail that wags the dog

    This division is hardly new. A relatively small amount of personnel from TDA and the studios work with each other on a regular basis, mostly quite well. There was a ridiculous chasm between the studio and Miramax Films (in it's former glory days), I personally introduced the two field reps from both camps at a party, no one at either company had made any effort prior to that which seemed wasteful and counter-productive.

    As with most premiere locations, it's a backdrop for the event. As are the personnel working backline and support, studios don't typically invite the guys that deliver the lighting, carpets, etc. This POTC film event is different in that the DLR is a character in the proceedings but not the story. The film is story, the message for the media to project and help sell this product. And just as importantly, set up the 3rd film as well.
    While Anaheim is not Hollywood, Bel Air, Brentwood or even Burbank it is in the virtual backyard of the film business, and most importantly Disney's business.
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


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