Last summer I spent two evenings watching “American Experience” on PBS. The episode was a two part show about Walt Disney.
The first night it aired I got sucked in from the beginning.
Walt Disney was a part of my life as a child. I remember Sunday nights making sure I was in front of the TV to watch “The Wonderful World of Disney”.
Every week I would hope the show would be an animated piece like Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck or any of the Disney cartoon characters that I loved. I loved the colors, the voices, the gags. Through the early years when all we had was a black and white TV I still loved the Disney cartoons.
And even when I was disappointed the episode was a live action show I didn’t turn it off. I watched from start to finish. There was no channel surfing in those days.
So when I saw this show about Walt Disney and his life I was drawn in. The more I watched the deeper I was sucked in.
The second half of the show was airing the next night. I made a point to set my DVR to record it but was so anticipating watching it the next night I made a point of being in front of the TV at nine o’clock PM. That rarely happens.
What I liked best about the show, what really touched me, was when they covered the early days of Walt Disney Studios. I enjoyed learning about the comradery that existed among Walt and his staff during those years.
I enjoyed how they all functioned with a final common goal in mind, to create a superior product. Everyone bought into Walt’s vision as they turned cartoons into an art form.
They were Walt Disney’s USS Enterprise crew.
It worked and they were successful.
With all that success the crew became larger and larger.
And as with any entity the larger it gets, corruption starts to set in.
I don’t mean an evil type of corruption, no bribery, stealing, crimes or malevolence.
It just got so big that the purity of the entity, the purity of the vision was compromised.
With so many people involved the vision becomes diluted. Other goals and visions, other agendas come into the entity and the clarity is gone.
Walt Disney ended up with labor relation problems, health problems and financial problems.
But for a period in time he was Captain Kirk and he had his crew.
Hats off to Walt Disney as he persevered through all the ups and downs that came throughout the years.
Eventually he built another vision, Disneyland and Disneyworld.
Unfortunately that entity has grown and become corrupt, but it’s still a special place.
Walt Disney passed away at 65 years of age. That hit home with me as well.
Thanks Mr. Disney for all the wonderful hours of art you presented to me as a child and as an adult.
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