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  • Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

    In a major shift for the Mouse House, Disney Channels Worldwide prexy Rich Ross has been named chairman of Walt Disney Studios.


    Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios - Entertainment News, Film News, Media - Variety

    Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

    Disney Channels Worldwide topper to replace Cook
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

  • #2
    Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

    Let us hope that Mr. Ross guides the Studios to consistently successful, high-quality, family-entertaining, storytelling.
    Best interview answer: My biggest weakness is my honesty...I can never remember my lies!

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    • #3
      Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

      But no more hamsters or singing chihuahuas!
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      • #4
        Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

        Why did they announce DL's president is leaving the same day as DS's decided on a new head? That was confusing.

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        • #5
          Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

          So the guy behind the High School Musical gravy train is the head of Walt Disney Studios. Just what are his credentials, exactly? Aside from the fact that the HSMs have been very lucrative - which is fine - but how does that make the guy a good replacement for Cook?

          This choice does not inspire confidence. It looks too much like a reward for good work rather than a reasonable promotion based on actual qualifications.

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          • #6
            Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

            Originally posted by Magenta Panther View Post
            So the guy behind the High School Musical gravy train is the head of Walt Disney Studios. Just what are his credentials, exactly? Aside from the fact that the HSMs have been very lucrative - which is fine - but how does that make the guy a good replacement for Cook?
            From Iger's point of view, he's perfect. A TV guy, like Iger. A guy with no attachment to the "Walt" days, like Iger. And a guy who is 100% beholden to Iger for his position.

            End of story.


            "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

            "It's very symbiotic."
            - Bob Chapek

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            • #7
              Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

              Well, and he's also proven that he can package mostly talentless teenagers and make their tv shows a success. On basic cable.

              That's some fine programming there, Lou.

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              • #8
                Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

                This is the guy who gave the greenlight to things such as Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place, the Jonas Brothers . . .


                if you liked the Disney Channel you are going to love Disney Studios.
                Originally posted by SummerInFL
                Jesus, even I wouldn't eat that.

                Originally posted by Wanda Woman
                Turtle, the dorks are going to take upskirt robot pics.

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                • #9
                  Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

                  All that comes to mind is.... really?

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                  • #10
                    Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

                    By picking an executive from outside the clubby precincts of the movie business, Iger is signaling that he wants Ross to shake up a studio that the Disney chiefviews as entrenched in the past, from relying on high-priced, aging stars to open films to spending extravagantly on movie marketing.

                    To achieve this, Ross may be borrowing liberally from the playbook he followed to turn around Disney Channel, which has eclipsed the movie studio in recent years as a hothouse for talent and ideas that could be packaged and resold across the company’s various platforms. Ross has proved himself adept at turning entertainment into brands -- high profile examples include "Hannah Montana," which launched pop star Miley Cyrus' career, and "High School Musical,' which was created for television but quickly found life — and revenue — in recorded music, a big-screen blockbuster and a stage show.

                    Indeed, at a company that stresses team playing among its executives, Ross may be the ultimate team player.


                    “I am very excited to play a key role in continuing the storytelling legacy of The Walt Disney Studios. There has never been a better time to entertain our global audiences with high-quality and compelling content and introduce new characters that will become family favorites. I look forward to working with Bob, the team at the studios and all of our Disney family towards that goal,” said Ross.

                    Since his arrival at Disney Channel in 1996, Ross worked closely with other divisions of the Burbank-based company. For example, when the channel cast Cyrus as Hannah Montana in 2005, Ross ordered an internal “road show” to introduce the new program to other parts of Disney. Within six months of the show’s premiere, the consumer products group was shipping Hannah Montana clothing to stores — shaving a year off the time required for new TV-linked merchandise to reach retail outlets.

                    Such cross-division collaboration is a priority for Iger, and something he felt was lacking at the movie studio. Moreover, Disney Channel, under Ross' lead, has become a model for Iger’s oft-touted franchise strategy, in which entertainment properties can feed other parts of the Disney empire.

                    A prime example is 2006's “High School Musical” — a chaste tale of improbable high school romance between a brain and a jock. Ross revved up the Disney marketing machine, leading to the release of a soundtrack that was a top-selling CD, a sold-out 42-date concert tour in North and South America, a show at Disney’s theme parks and a slew of merchandise.

                    The2007 sequel, “High School Musical 2,” became the highest-rated telecast in cable history at the time, and the third installment in 2008, “High School Musical 3: Senior Year,” raked in more than $250 million in worldwide box-office sales. Merchandise based on "High School Musical" and other Disney Channel movies and TV series accounted for $3.6 billion in retail sales worldwide last year -- not including DVDs and CDs.
                    Rich Ross named chairman of Walt Disney Studios | Company Town | Los Angeles Times
                    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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                    • #11
                      Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

                      Not too happy with this news.
                      I'm from the camp that thinks great family entertainment is creating movies or whatever that the little kiddies can watch as well as their older siblings, their parents and their grandparents can all sit down and watch together without anyone feeling alienated.

                      But in recent months and years, the Disney brand has gotten the idea of family entertainment being something a 4 year old can enjoy and no one else. I can't tell you how many times, working at a movie theatre, that when the latest Disney movie comes around, families often now split up with the kids going to the Disney one, and the parents sitting in the lobby. This shouldn't happen and doesn't happen when another studio opens a family friendly movie.

                      Why do I mention all this? Cause the new guy is the one who greenlit Hannah Montana and High School Musical, both of which are what I'm talking about.

                      Plus, I was hoping someone from Pixar would take over in a bit of a shuffle, namely John Lasseter or Ed Catmull.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

                        Very disappointing news indeed. Watch for only kiddie based movies coming from the Studio. There will be more and more talking animals and probably a G2 sequel, and a Wizards of Waverly Street movie to compete with Harry Potter (like that would be competition). They made one mistake in the way they handled the firing ( no matter what they call it, he was fired) of Dick Cook and now they have just made another bad decision. My confidence in Bob Iger is no more. He has just done something as bad as Eisner when that man closed the Feature Animation Department. This time the very meaning of a "Family Freindly" Studio has gone right out the door.
                        Peter Pan Forever!!! I Will Never Grow Up.

                        Thank You Poisonedapples

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                        • #13
                          Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

                          I'm scared. I'm very scared. I don't want Disney Channel to take over Disney. And just when I thought we'd be getting our next Disney renaissance period...

                          I'm gonna go take refuge in my anime.. *hides under covers and huggles Alphonse Elric plushie*

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                          • #14
                            Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

                            Originally posted by AcmePunched View Post
                            I don't want Disney Channel to take over Disney.
                            Ditto. It would be a mistake if the studios reject a broad audience to go after only the Tweens as Disney Channel has done.

                            But time will tell. Clearly, Iger wants to clean house. Heads are rolling. The question is, what is his master plan? What sort of company is he crafting?

                            I tend to trust Iger's instincts, so I'm tentatively not as worried as some are at this moment.
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                            • #15
                              Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

                              But at least the Walt Disney Animation Studios will have a brighter future.

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                              • #16
                                Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

                                Originally posted by Dustysage View Post
                                Ditto. It would be a mistake if the studios reject a broad audience to go after only the Tweens as Disney Channel has done.

                                But time will tell. Clearly, Iger wants to clean house. Heads are rolling. The question is, what is his master plan? What sort of company is he crafting?

                                I tend to trust Iger's instincts, so I'm tentatively not as worried as some are at this moment.
                                Im with Dusty on this one, Mr. Ross has proved himself to have a good eye for successful shows/franchises etc, just because Disney Channel focused on the "tween" market doesnt mean that he will turn the Disney Studios into a tween studio. Heck the decision to have Disney Channel a tween channel probably came from above Mr Ross anyhow and wasnt necessarily his idea. He's obviously a very smart capable exec who can churn out popular franchises etc, I say we give him a chance.

                                I know the Disney fan community loves Dick Cook, but lets face it, the past few years under his leadership have failed creatively. I know he started as a ride operator at Disneyland etc but that type of thing only goes so far in my book. If you cant make a good product, then all that 'history' with the company does no good. At the end of the day its about Disney, not Dick Cook etc. Lets try not to fall in love with the personalities and try to see these guys for what they are and what they can do for Disney. Im loyal to the Disney Company (not individual execs etc) so if this Disney Channel guy can produce more hits and better movies, then Im all for him.

                                On a side note, I miss ya Dusty! I havent been to the resort in a while, Ill have to head down there soon and say hi 2 everyone =]

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                                • #17
                                  Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

                                  I don't care about the personalities. I'm looking at his resume as boss of the cable channel. Yes, he's made marketable, profit-making shows. But those shows are abysmal. I care less about how much money he can make as studio boss than I do about whether or not he can actually greenlight some quality films.

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                                  • #18
                                    Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

                                    Yeah.. Time will tell, I suppose. I can't exactly say I know the guy.

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                                    • #19
                                      Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

                                      I just think all this talk about how because Rich Ross headed up Disney Channel somehow that automatically means he will turn Disney into some tween studio is just ridiculous. Ya know Bob Iger was a weatherman before he came to Disney, I guess if we applied the same logic to him when he came on board at Disney we should have expected him to turn the films into nothing but nature/weather films. Its just silly.

                                      And Dick Cook, with all his love from the fan community,starting off as a ride operator etc, still churned out tween crap like the recent Hampster movie. Something to think about.

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                                      • #20
                                        Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

                                        Does his mean that Pirates 4 will now be a prequel musical; set in a time when all the main characters are in their teen years?

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