Editor’s Note: Welcome to our newest FICTIONAL trial involving issues we often debate within the Disney community. Authored by Rich Bernato, the author of the wildly popular and witty series, Farkle v. Farkle, this series examines the issue we all love to debate: should Disney change with the times or preserve the past? Join us for this fun, yet reflective, blog series–and share your thoughts as the “trial” progresses.
by Richard Bernato
A JURY ROOM. SIX SEATS ARE ARRANGED AROUND A CONFERENCE TABLE. LEGAL PADS AND PENCILS ARE AT EACH SEAT. SOME PITCHERS OF WATER ARE DISTRIBUTED AROUND THE TABLE. A COFFEE POT IS ON A SIDE TABLE WITH MILK AND SUGAR ALONG WITH A COUPLE OF BOXES OF DONUTS. TWO EASELS ALONG WITH MAGIC MARKERS ARE ON THE LONG SIDES OF THE CONFERENCE TABLE. A CEILING FAN DESULTORILY TURNS THE AIR.
THE JURY ROOM DOOR OPENS. THE COURT BAILIFF POINTS TO TABLE AND CHAIRS AND THEN TURNS TO THE FOREPERSON.
Here you go. It’s [2:00] so Judge Julia would like you to deliberate until about [5:00]. If you aren’t done by then we will send dinner in and you can decide if you want to continue this evening or to reconvene in the morning. In the meantime if you need anything else you just have to knock on the door.
Thank you sir. Everything looks like it will work, We are ready to go.
Well everyone, let’s get started. I believe that Judge Julia’s instructions were pretty clear but I am going to return to them so that I feel comfortable that we are all starting on the same page.
The Disney Board of Directors is “charged with straying away from, perhaps even leaving its original mission by using non-Disney characters, Internet approaches, and the like. The testimony we heard gave evidence and conflicting points of view about whether it has wandered too far from its original mission by giving up old traditions, attractions, and entertainment in favor of other non-Disney, characters, productions, and xxxx.”
The lawyers behaved like lawyers do. They brought it in witnesses to offer evidence either way and in several cases, in view of who these witnesses were and are, (SHE AIR-QUOTES) “expert” opinions.
What we have to do is to sort this out and make the call.
Before we do we begin our actual deliberations I don’t believe we know each other very well. So let’s introduce ourselves to each other and your various levels of familiarity with Walt Disney World. Don’t offer your opinions yet though.
Who wants to get started?
(SHE LOOKS AROUND, HOPING THAT SOMEONE WILL VOLUNTEER ALTHOUGH SHE IS PERFECTLY WILLING TO TAKE CHARGE IF SHE HAS TO.)
(BERNIE BIZARRO RAISES HIS HAND)
Hey everyone! I’ll go first. SO glad to be on this jury, man! Looking forward to parlaying with my brothers and sisters. My name is Bernard Bizzarro but my friends and you are all my friends, call me Bernie. I work for myself. You could call me an independent farmer in a promising new crop. My family and me, we go to Walt Disney World whenever the spirit moves us to just take off and go.
(SAM SENIOR CITIZEN RAISES HIS HAND)
SAM SENIOR CITIZEN
Good afternoon everyone. My name is Sam, Sam Senior Citizen and as I look around at you I am pretty sure I am the senior citizen in this group. I go pretty far back with Walt Disney. I actually had a Davy Crockett coonskin hat. I rode the It’s a Small World attraction in the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. I watched Art Linkletter emcee the opening ceremony for Disneyland. You might typecast me as a traditionalist but I can also respect change when change is for the better.
(ISABEL IMAGINEER CLEARS HER THROAT TO SPEAK)
Well how an Imagineer got on a jury is anyone’s guess but here I am! Yes I am an Imagineer for Walt Disney Company. Many of you think of Imagineers as men first of all, and while it’s true that many if not most Imagineers have been men, in fact there are women who are Imagineers. What you probably don’t know is that many of the tasks we Imagineers perform are not nearly as spectacular or so obvious as Joe Rhode for example. Me? I am in charge of painting the rocks at all Walt Disney attractions. And when you think about it there are an awful lot of rocks in the Walt Disney theme parks!
(FRANNY FOREPERSON SMILES AT ISABEL)
Welcome Isabel, I’m sure your insight will help us understand the evidence. As for me I am a working mother of two children, a daughter 10 and a son six. Growing up, my family wasn’t particularly interested in Walt Disney or Walt Disney World. But as my children seemed to be at that age my husband and I dig take them there a couple of years back. We liked it, had a good time.
(FRED FARKLE LOOKS AROUND, REALIZES IT SEEMS TO BE HIS TURN)
Well hello, my name is Fred, Fred Farkle, I am a little surprised to be on this “jury”. I’m not sure if any of you have heard of me but I was in a similar courtroom not too long ago. I was “accused” of being a Disney fanatic, of being the ultimate over-planner and consumed with Walt Disney World. I was exonerated by the way and since then, I’ve quit the day job so to speak. I’ve started my own website service called DOA, Disney Overplanners Anonymous. I have points of view about the testimony we have heard but I will certainly hold my opinion until the right time.
(FRANNY FOREMAN LOOKS AT FRED AS IF TO SAY, “DON’T GO THERE YET”)
Well we have one more juror to say hello. And you are?
My name is Ted, as you can see I am in my early twenties. I was raised on the Internet so to speak. I can tell you the family tree of every superhero out there. I love videogaming and actually have my own video game production company coming together. I think I get it better than most when it comes today’s media. Glad to be here, hope I can help.
Well thank you everyone. We are a mixed but committed group and what we come up with will be interesting and informative. So let’s go round again and hear what you think, whether or to what extent Walt Disney World had left its original mission.
When you offer your opinion try to pull it back to the evidence and testimony that was offered.
(EVERYONE LOOKS AROUND NOT WANTING TO BE THE FIRST TO SPEAK)