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Kim Irvine - LA Times Interview

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  • News Kim Irvine - LA Times Interview

    Hey everyone,

    an article came out which I personally think is fantastic! Candid, great history. Lots of tidbits and hints of a possible addition to try and make it up to the fans regarding the loss of the Court of Angels.


    She appears relieved, for instance, when casually mentioning that requests over the decades to make Sleeping Beauty Castle larger were deemed impossible without irrevocably damaging its structure. And when asked whether there’s anything she’s touched that hasn’t been mentioned, instead of singling out a project or highlighting a fellow Imagineer, she stops to offer an apology.




    In 2014, Irvine was tasked with expanding and remodeling the costly members-only Club 33; as part of that change, a quiet, serene and elegantly designed alcove in New Orleans Square, the Court of Angels, was closed off to regular guests. It was a move viewed by regulars as Disney catering to big spenders, forgetting that ordinary parkgoers need a place to sit and relax — or even propose — away from nosy, cheering crowds.




    “There’s always been a part of me that felt badly about taking anything away,” Irvine says. “Taking away that Angels courtyard from our guests was really hard. It was a decision that was made, and I just had to try and make the best of it with the design of the doors and everything. That is something we try to never, ever do — to take a place that was theirs and turn it into something that they can no longer go to.”




    Irvine is still working on a compromise. Though not ready to discuss it yet, she says, “we’re working on something right now.”




    It’s a further sign that her goal of making sure Disney never loses sight of where it’s been won’t be finished when the tarps come off the castle.




    “If I'm at the table,” Irvine says of business decisions that don’t feel right to her, she believes she can find a middle ground by reasoning. “‘I understand what you're trying to get, but that that doesn't fit in our story.’ We have to stay within the original intent. That was always [Hench’s] mantra. You can change things, update things, make them more relevant, but always with the original intent.




    “Don't forget those stories. Those are all laid out for you. It's so simple, really.”


    https://www.latimes.com/entertainmen...516-story.html






    ~ Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday tomorrow and fantasy
    ~

  • #2
    That was depressing.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
      That was depressing.

      Why is that the conclusion you drew? I found it inspiring.






      ~ Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday tomorrow and fantasy
      ~

      Comment


      • #4
        Everything in the article is something quite bad that she was trying to spin. The Disney organization is full of so many politicians because they are usually the only people who survive in that environment.

        Comment


        • #5
          Only depressing in the sense that it paint fans, particularly those that think they know better than WDI, in a rather bad light.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by MrLiver View Post
            Only depressing in the sense that it paint fans, particularly those that think they know better than WDI, in a rather bad light.
            But I thought it was WDI's job to give fans what they wanted. You've always said so yourself.

            Comment


            • #7
              I saw nothing wrong with what was said. It is always a balancing act, that is what real life is all about. She seems to be very aware of that.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
                Everything in the article is something quite bad that she was trying to spin. The Disney organization is full of so many politicians because they are usually the only people who survive in that environment.
                I got a hint of that as well. Reading between the lines, it sounds like the "meetings" are somewhat confrontational.

                Some other things bother me;

                "… she also wants the tops of its towers to match the cobalt blue currently seen in the animated intro that precedes all Disney films."

                So that's what Sleeping Beauty Castle needs to mimic? Why not change Disney films to represent the original Castle?

                It started out [that] the castle was very, very tan and beige,” says Irvine. “John Hench often walked by it and he would say, ‘We've got to fix that color scheme. An architect did that color scheme.’ It should be so much more, you know, colorful and bright.

                No offense to John Hench (if the story is true) but I don't have a problem with Herb Ryman's version of the Castle. Her explanation sounds like a little CYA to justify the change.

                "… while trees have been moved, none have been removed, Irvine stresses, wanting to assuage any concerns that there will be less shade in the park."

                So what? Just because you moved a tree to another location it's still the same as if you removed it. It's no longer serving its purpose at the original location. Another CYA.

                "Irvine is still working on a compromise [for the Court of Angels]. Though not ready to discuss it yet, she says, 'we’re working on something right now.'"

                This sounds promising However, reading between the lines, it sounds like there is some internal BS (i.e. Cheap$kate Chapek?) going on.
                Last edited by stovk; 05-16-2019, 01:39 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
                  Everything in the article is something quite bad that she was trying to spin. The Disney organization is full of so many politicians because they are usually the only people who survive in that environment.
                  Tony tried the appeasement routine for years. History shows where that got him.
                  "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
                  it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
                  together with every variety of recreation and fun,
                  designed to appeal to everyone."

                  - Walt Disney

                  "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                  - Michael Eisner

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MrLiver View Post
                    Only depressing in the sense that it paint fans, particularly those that think they know better than WDI, in a rather bad light.
                    I think you're right. WDI opens themselves up to criticism by the nature of their jobs, and artistic critique should always be welcome. Often I feel many online voices (on Twitter especially) ignore the very real effect it might have on the human faces at WDI. I try to take a balanced view, but participating in discourse that is artistically critical and constructive rather than personal is definitely a good path forward.

                    Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post

                    Tony tried the appeasement routine for years. History shows where that got him.
                    Are you talking about appeasing the fans or management? I think he's still fairly beloved by the fans (as is Joe Rohde and Kim Irvine for now). That's not to say we don't disagree with some of their decisions (screens on GotG and pixie dust on the Castle), but for the time being I trust them as the best WDI has to offer.

                    If we're talking management, I'm sure Kim is constantly fighting with the Bobs to preserve the parks. The anecdote that Walt's original Castle physically can't be built out like Hong Kong's is probably indicative of the terrible pressure they put on WDI--not that it's anything new or anything we already didn't know about, though. Here's hoping she outlasts both of them.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by WaltDisney'sAlec View Post
                      Are you talking about appeasing the fans or management?
                      Management. Surviving at WDI has been a tightrope walk since Eisner's arrival, as the exit of so much of WDI's talent in the past 30 years shows.
                      "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
                      it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
                      together with every variety of recreation and fun,
                      designed to appeal to everyone."

                      - Walt Disney

                      "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                      - Michael Eisner

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Great interview! Never heard of her until today but she sounds passionate about her work!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by WaltDisney'sAlec View Post

                          I think you're right. WDI opens themselves up to criticism by the nature of their jobs, and artistic critique should always be welcome. Often I feel many online voices (on Twitter especially) ignore the very real effect it might have on the human faces at WDI. I try to take a balanced view, but participating in discourse that is artistically critical and constructive rather than personal is definitely a good path forward.
                          Agreed. I would rather they try something new and different than never change something. Even if I don't like the look of the castle (and so far I do), I would still appreciate the effort. Otherwise Disneyland would need to employ curators rather than artists.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post

                            Management. Surviving at WDI has been a tightrope walk since Eisner's arrival, as the exit of so much of WDI's talent in the past 30 years shows.
                            Imagineering Research Development, Inc. ,
                            has not been the same since
                            Eisner !
                            and agree were

                            Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post

                            Tony tried the appeasement routine for years. History shows where that got him.
                            Soaring like an EAGLE !

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Not a bad interview. I think she has a very difficult job, especially in light of the Chapek's and Pressler's of the world bearing down on her, to say nothing of keeping millions of fans happy.

                              I know she has an enormous passion for Disneyland and quite a legendary history with the parks. I am glad for her zeal and her desire to try and preserve the parks, mistakes and all.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Golden Zephyr View Post
                                Not a bad interview. I think she has a very difficult job, especially in light of the Chapek's and Pressler's of the world bearing down on her, to say nothing of keeping millions of fans happy.
                                I not saying
                                interview ,was good ,nor I going say it was bad............
                                But ,I would hate having the two BOB"S
                                looking over my shoulder, while giving a
                                interview ......that would be ,difficult to do!
                                IMO
                                Soaring like an EAGLE !

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I still don't know why they can't open the Court of Angels from 8am until 11:00 for everyone. I'm pretty sure Club 33 doesn't open that early. They could put a small coffee cart in there and make some money too. It would be a great place for coffee or tea in the morning.
                                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpFqwvRZ8bc&t=22s

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I found it hopeful when she talked about the possibility of opening the court of angels again.

                                    If it's something that they're considering then this is when all of us that want it back should write to Disney and tell them so.

                                    Comment

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