Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Iger: Disney innovated by Pixar, Marvel

Collapse

Ad Widget

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Iger: Disney innovated by Pixar, Marvel

    The biggest challenge in running a company as big and varied as Disney is "to maintain the balance between heritage and innovation." Also tough is to resist those folks who want the company to invest in assets that are not "core or that don't enhance the brand."

    So mused Disney president and CEO Bob Iger in a wide-ranging set of remarks Monday during the Business of Luxury Summit organized by the Financial Times.

    "You have to protect but not be reverential to your brand, but also you have to be relevant and adapt to changing habits of a new world," Iger told FT editor Lionel Barber during the opening keynote session at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

    During the 45-minute exchange, Iger put the emphasis on the need to continue to innovate and experiment -- like with forays into the digital space -- while never losing sight of the essence of the brand.

    To this end, Iger continued, Pixar and Marvel bring added value to Disney, but those entities are allowed to retain their unique cultures. Keeping many different movie labels, however, seemed redundant and unfocused to Iger when he took over five years ago, hence the concentration on the Disney brand and the heave-ho given to Miramax.

    Asked by Barber at what point a company needs to go outside for innovation, Iger said that animation at Disney reached a point where it wasn't enough of "a wave maker." When Disney is successful, he pointed out, "it has a ripple effect throughout the company. The absence of quality animation has a dramatic effect, on value and on creative perspective.

    "When I came into the job, I weighed the options. I felt that losing the relationship with Pixar when their contract expired would be a shame. And so we brought into the company a culture of innovation, of never accepting mediocrity."

    He also benefited from "good timing" in that Pixar's Steve Jobs was ready to consider such a deal. "I was trying to establish a direction for Disney. Also, $7.3 billion was "just around," Iger quipped, then correcting himself, "actually $1 billion (was) in cash."

    "Money isn't everything; it wasn't and isn't what drives Pixar then, or today," he added. "I benefited from being bought twice: I was at ABC and it was bought by CapCities, and then 10 years later Disney bought CapCities/ABC. "In some cases you can destroy the very quality you set out to buy."
    full article at:
    Iger: Disney innovated by Pixar, Marvel
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

  • #2
    Re: Iger: Disney innovated by Pixar, Marvel

    Glad I'm not downwind.

    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Iger: Disney innovated by Pixar, Marvel

      Does anyone think that Disney is more relevant to popular culture today than the company was during the late '80's and early '90's?

      I think the only people who might answer with a "yes" are girls between ten and twelve years of age.

      Disney is so irrelevant now that the only things that sustain it are the few remaining assets that haven't been completely destroyed, yet.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Iger: Disney innovated by Pixar, Marvel

        wow...
        "Happiness is a Low Water Level"

        sigpic

        "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Iger: Disney innovated by Pixar, Marvel

          "Does anyone think that Disney is more relevant to popular culture today than the company was during the late '80's and early '90's?

          "I think the only people who might answer with a "yes" are girls between ten and twelve years of age.

          "Disney is so irrelevant now that the only things that sustain it are the few remaining assets that haven't been completely destroyed, yet. "



          At the risk of opening myself up to all sorts of ridicule, I wouldn't say that Disney is less relevant in popular culture today vs. 10 years ago. I think that it's simply that Disney's influence on popular culture is delivered through a different medium. 10 years ago, or 15-18 years ago to be more accurate, Disney's influence was through its movies- the revisited Golden Age of Animation, as it were- with Little Mermaid (20+ years ago), Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin. Now, the influence is through Disney Channel programming and Radio Disney (when the radio stations in my small market town are playing Jonas Brothers and Selena Gomez on a regular basis, I know crossover saturation has occurred). Disney movies, and Pixar movies, aren't quite the event they used to be. But overall, big screen movie attendance (and relevance) seems to be on a steep decline.

          That said (and this is where the ridicule potential comes in), I readily admit that I am (quite happily) ignorant of precisely what is driving pop culture, and moreover, what constitutes "pop culture." I have a 7 year old boy and a nearly 5 year old girl who love the Disney Channel, and all of the music that results from Disney Channel programming. I like it too- there are many nights that find me watching the Disney Channel long after my kids are in bed. For me at least, there's enough "pop culture" out there that you choose your own pop culture, and tune the rest out. Soon enough, my children's lives (and mine) will be influenced by other sources, but for now, I can happily say that Disney has enormous relevance to the cultural identity of my family.

          Hmm . . . a bit rambly. Perhaps I should post more often to get these feelings off my chest.
          Last edited by BSusanJ; 06-15-2010, 08:12 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Iger: Disney innovated by Pixar, Marvel

            Pixar and Marvel are clearly powerful pop-culture forces and an asset to the Walt Disney Company line-up, providing different angles to the core business of fanciful escapist entertainment.

            ...And much as one may dislike the shrill tone and shallow substance of the Disney Channel content (as a trendy consumer lifestyle ethic), it's clearly popular and a major profit-driver. But it will always be sad that this 'Tween asethetic was not given it's own brand identity as "ABC Family" or "ABC Kids" or something definably different than the name "Disney."

            The shame is that this easily disposable lifestyle brand called "Disney" has largely >>replaced<< the traditional "Walt Disney" idea that represented traditional animation, family entertainment, folk-tales, mythology, art, creativity, innovation and a certain reassuring optimistic timelessness. -- That should never have happened, as the Walt Disney ethic is still vital to the long-term relevance of the entire enterprise, providing an emotional core that lasts beyond the now and serves multiple generations.

            I fear the classic "Walt Disney" we all knew and loved -- which should still be a vital brand within the portfolio -- has been left behind as a perceived "relic" of the 1950's by this executive team -- relegated to the margins of the Archives, "D23" or "Vault Disney" and now replaced by The Disney Channel's "Invasion of the Disney Snatchers" version of the Disney brand. These things could have co-existed peacefully under different umbrellas. But they are certainly NOT the same thing in concept, theme, audience or product and that results in a brand identity schism.

            That should never have happened. The "Walt Disney" idea should be more actively passed along as a "living" entity (not just as the Founder's nostalgic, antiquated historical heritage) along to new generations along with Pixar and Marvel and whatever they want to call the "of the moment" 'Tween thing other than "Disney." Sure, the Disney Channel works will one day engender a nostalgia as well, but it will be of the kitschy "Brady Bunch" or "Saved by the Bell" variety, not the goosebump-evoking "Mary Poppins" or "Cinderella" kind.

            The traditional Walt Disney quality "art of animation" and "family entertainment" idea -- as actual content -- has a value beyond just the brand-name identity and the bottom-line.

            As for the need to bring in cultures that are innovative and don't accept mediocrity - - great - - but that used to be Walt Disney's internal culture as well. Why did that have to change?
            Last edited by merlinjones; 06-15-2010, 12:12 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Iger: Disney innovated by Pixar, Marvel

              Disagree. Whether you like it or not, Miley and the Jonas Brothers are a big part of Pop culture in an arena Disney was never relevant before - music. Their cable channels are all succeeding including ABC Family with Secret Life and now Pretty Little Liars. ABC has LOST, Desperate Housewives, Greys Anatomy, Modern Family, Dancing WIth the Stars which are all top-rated program (earlier ABC struggled). The Lino Kinga dn Mary Poppins are playing well on Broadway. Captain Jack ushered in a resurgence of Live-Action franchises including National Treasure Series, Tron, and Alice in Wonderland (Like it or not, it made a billion dollars). Pixar films are still among the top moneymakers each year, and TS3 should be the top moneymaker. Marvel has brought prestige to boys,and the parks are doing bigger numbers than ever. If anything Disney is more relevant.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Iger: Disney innovated by Pixar, Marvel

                Fine, they can move product -- but not much of that current content is about the traditional "Walt Disney" ideas of animation art and myth and timelessness. These things of lasting value that once represented "Disney" and gave the name an emotional punch beyond all other entertainment brands no longer seem to be of particular importance to the corporate culture. That unique aesthetic still has premium value of its own and should not be separated from the brand portfolio as a historic footnote.
                Last edited by merlinjones; 06-15-2010, 11:05 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Iger: Disney innovated by Pixar, Marvel

                  Originally posted by merlinjones View Post
                  Fine, they can move product -- but not much of that current content is about the traditional "Walt Disney" ideas of animation art and myth and timelessness. These things of lasting value that once represented "Disney" and gave the name an emotional punch beyond all other entertainment brands no longer seem to be of particular importance to the corporate culture. That unique aesthetic still has premium value of its own and should not be separated from the brand portfolio as a historic footnote.
                  As much as we all like the idea of nostalgia. Even Walt Disney understood it, after all we have Main Street USA. But, that was the last thing he dwelled on in his company. By every account I have read, Walt Disney was a man who was always looking forward to the next great thing. He always pushed his animators to look for better ways to do their drawing. He was always looking for better new technologies to put his animation on film or make his park better. He was never looking backward, and it was always about the story to be told.

                  I think he, of anyone, would be more in agreement than disagreement with the direction the company has taken in his absence. And Roy O. of anyone would understand that value and profit in the brand that Disney has been able to create.

                  Instead of trying to canonize Walt Disney by having the company hold to the old precepts of what Walt did, let celebrate him by having at least a little appreciation for his company is now doing.
                  My Disney blog: http://disneyhistory-myjourneyofdiscovery.blogspot.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Iger: Disney innovated by Pixar, Marvel

                    Originally posted by Second Star View Post
                    Instead of trying to canonize Walt Disney by having the company hold to the old precepts of what Walt did, let celebrate him by having at least a little appreciation for his company is now doing.
                    Reading the posts on this forum, it's clear that there is much celebration for those things the Disney Corporation does that are creative, innovative, and up to the world famous standards of Disney.

                    There is also appropriate criticism for the things they do that are poor quality, uncreative, cheap, lazy and below the standards of Disney -- which, in the last 15-20 years, have been considerable.

                    Connecting well-founded, well-documented and legitimate criticism of today's Disney Corporation with "canonization" of Walt is specious.

                    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
                    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
                    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

                    - Neil Gabler

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Iger: Disney innovated by Pixar, Marvel

                      >>As much as we all like the idea of nostalgia. Even Walt Disney understood it, after all we have Main Street USA. But, that was the last thing he dwelled on in his company. By every account I have read, Walt Disney was a man who was always looking forward to the next great thing.<<

                      Except this isn't entirely true. Walt was definitely all about pushing new boundaries and innovations in technology and showmanship, but his storytelling, themes and art aesthetics were classically traditional, timeless and archetypal and he believed that audiences did not change in regard for humor and personality based entertainment of a family, emotional, sincere and even "corny" nature. In point-of-fact he claimed several times in the 1960's that everything he'd ever done was based in nostalgia --- that this was a large part of his success -- in defense to those who criticised him for being irrelevant, corny and out of touch with the times (even then).


                      >>He always pushed his animators to look for better ways to do their drawing.<<

                      Yes. And, sadly, this is no longer the case. Have you seen Tinker Bell or Mickey Mouse lately?


                      >>He was never looking backward, and it was always about the story to be told.<<

                      Yes, and he was interested in telling classic stories with reassuring themes of a lasting archetypal nature in new ways. This is not happening so much today. In fact, we are often seeing typically post-modernist deconstruction of those themes.


                      >>Instead of trying to canonize Walt Disney by having the company hold to the old precepts of what Walt did, let celebrate him by having at least a little appreciation for his company is now doing.<<

                      These things are not mutually exclusive. There is still value in Walt's aesthetics and in perpetuating his works and ideas for entertainment (and living) along with new product of an entirely different nature.

                      At this point in time, Walt Disney the Man and Disney the Company are decidedly not the same thing, though there are still points of contact like Pixar and Imagineering. But the Disney Channel/ABC consumer lifestyle aspect of the company has nothing to do with his legacy and it's strange that those this bear Walt Disney's name.

                      That even the Company has realized Winnie-the-Pooh must go back to being that charming and whimsical A.A. Milne creation everyone fell in love with in Walt's films to remain a moneymaker is telling. I feel this is emblematic of the whole enterprise.
                      Last edited by merlinjones; 06-15-2010, 02:06 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Iger: Disney innovated by Pixar, Marvel

                        Originally posted by merlinjones View Post
                        Except this isn't entirely true. Walt was definitely all about pushing new boundaries and innovations in technology and showmanship, but his storytelling, themes and art aesthetics were classically traditional, timeless and archetypal and he believed that audiences did not change in regard for humor and personality based entertainment of a family, emotional, sincere and even "corny" nature. In point-of-fact he claimed several times in the 1960's that "everything he'd ever done" was based in "nostalgia" --- that this was a large part of his success -- in defense to those who criticised him for being irrelevant, corny and out of touch with the times (even then).
                        True, but also a product the market at the time. As much and Walt was telling stories that he wanted to tell, and the way he wanted to tell them, there was a market for them at that time regardless of what the critics were saying. If not, we would be having this discussion.

                        Times have changed, markets have changed, and Disney (the company) has change, though not always as successfully as we or they might want.

                        Originally posted by merlinjones View Post
                        At this point in time, Walt Disney the Man and Disney the Company are decidedly not the same thing, though there are still points of contact like Pixar and Imagineering. But the Disney Channel/ABC aspect of the company has nothing to do with his legacy or beliefs and its strange that it bears Walt Disney's name.



                        Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
                        Connecting well-founded, well-documented and legitimate criticism of today's Disney Corporation with "canonization" of Walt is specious.
                        My Disney blog: http://disneyhistory-myjourneyofdiscovery.blogspot.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Iger: Disney innovated by Pixar, Marvel

                          >>Walt saw the benefits of TV in his business model early on, and ABC was one of the first to run Disney programming. I also seem to recall a show on TV when I was younger called the Mickey Mouse Club, and I’m talking the late 50’s not the 80’s.<<

                          Yes, but what was ON "The Mickey Mouse Club?" Walt's classic animated cartoons... new animation of the highest calibur for the medium... a celebration of the arts, music and dance... serials and stories based in the same timeless themes seen in Walt Disney movies... a constant combination of the old and the new.

                          Yes, the Mousketeers were popular teen personalities and there was merchandising, records and cross-promotion, but all of it supported a unified vision of what "Walt Disney" was all about. The program didn't exist for franchising a consumer lifestyle brand alone like today's Disney Channel, which has eliminated Walt's classic programming and approach entirely. MMC and Walt's anthology shows featured content that was about something of value... and that aesthetic was uniquely Disney, having grown out of the storytelling of a cartoon studio, not the theories of an ad agency or MBA program.


                          >>Finally, I know I don’t have to remind people that The Walt Disney Company is a public corporation that owes a fiduciary responsibility to its shareholders, but I’m going to anyway.<<

                          Yes, and Walt Disney made lots of money with his unique ideas on entertainment, didn't he?
                          Last edited by merlinjones; 06-15-2010, 03:50 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Iger: Disney innovated by Pixar, Marvel

                            I can't believe anyone's actually arguing about the general crapitude of today's Disney, even in a forum comprised mostly of enthusiasts.

                            If Disney wants to make bubble gum for prepubescent 'tween girls,... fine. But, as MerlinJones says, for goodness' sake, create a brand extension, or, better yet, a different brand, because the schizophrenia of the Disney trademark is worse than ever before (and, the condition has been bad since 1966).

                            The name has been diluted and perverted beyond all recognition, and whatever affinity remains belongs to a very narrow audience.

                            It's also telling that the handful of examples Disney's apologists cite as evidence of the trademark's relevance are virtually all derivative works that are still trading on the appeal of old things, like "Mary Poppins," "The Lion King," and "Pirates of the Caribbean."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Iger: Disney innovated by Pixar, Marvel

                              In any event, Robert Iger's most recent remarks clearly show that he is painfully-ignorant of Disney's identity and image and that he doesn't see the need to alter the company's organizational structure to prevent the stifling of creativity and the repelling of artistic talent.
                              Last edited by PragmaticIdealist; 06-16-2010, 01:09 AM.

                              Comment

                              Ad Widget

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X