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The Walt Disney Company Discuss Recent History of Walt Disney Company Downfall in the Miscellaneous Disney forums; I'm doing a research paper for my English class here at The Art Institute of Philadelphia. As my major is Media Arts and Animation, & I'm a rabid Disney-girl, I ...
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    Exclamation Recent History of Walt Disney Company Downfall

    I'm doing a research paper for my English class here at The Art Institute of Philadelphia. As my major is Media Arts and Animation, & I'm a rabid Disney-girl, I thought this would be appropriate. I'll be concentrating on the Walt Disney Company since the start of the Eisner age, up til present and possibly beyond.

    Any ideas for books or sites???

    I've already ordered "Dream On, Silly Dreamer," and I'm looking into "The Mouse Betrayed." I've found a couple news articles on when ComCast tried to buy Disney, and some wikipedia stuff. It's really the books I suppose I could use some help with. I only have til March 19, and my knowledge of books of this nature is nil, so I need to narrow it down quick and skim. Any suggestions appreciated, thanks!
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    I'm reading "How to be like Walt, capturing the Disney magic every day of you life". It's my first book on Walt. It has a lot of history on him. I'm sure there are better books out there though.
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    DisneyWar by James Stewart covers what it sounds like you're looking for. It's not light reading though.
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    I second the recommendation of DisneyWar.

    You might also try Team Rodent by Carl Hiaasen. It is a quick, easy read and shows the other side of Disney. Just keep in mind that Hiaasen really doesn't like what WDW has done to Florida.
    Lisa

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    You may want to try "Storming the Magic Kingdom" and "The Disney Touch." hbs.edu has several "cases" you can purchase for around $6.50.

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    Eisner's own "Work in Progress" will at the very least give you the story from his perspective . . .
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    Thumbs up

    Wow thanks for all the replies! Ok now...

    "How to Be Like Walt" doen't really sound like what I'm looking for in this particular case. But I am surprised I didn't find that years ago when I began collecting books about Walt & the start of Disney. Sounds interesting though.

    "Disney War" sounds perfect. I'll be sure to look that one up. As for the light reading concern, I happen to read ancient egyptian, greek, roman, and atlantis history books for fun, so yeah... I'm often considered a closeted geek... ^^' Now to find it <.> School library doesn't have it & the in-store Borders search thingy doesn't acknowledge it's existence.

    "Team Rodent" I'll check out, with that thought bearing in mind.

    "Storming the Magic Kingdom" I turned up here at my school's library just moments before logging on. Thanks though! & it does seem like it will be most useful.

    "The Disney Touch: Disney, ABC, and the Quest for the World's Greatest Media Empire" I also just found here at my school. My only concern here is that this particular book has no copyright information, like publisher, dates, and whatnot. Still only a stepping stone, but perhaps I will have to shift my focus to only the recent past (80's-90's) rather than right up to present.

    "Work in Progress" I was able to find, but I didn't think it looked like what I needed. Then again it probably would be a good idea to get Eisner's side of the story as well. Onto the good list it goes...

    I just read at my local Borders "The Disney Way Fieldbook: How to Implement Walt Disney's Vision of Dream, Believe, Dare, Do, in Your Own Company." It wasn't about what I needed, but I noticed it while looking for something else. I liked it & thought others might find it interesting. (I love my Borders here! It's so huge you could just read books there and not have to buy them. )

    "Prince of the Magic Kingdom: Michael Eisner and the Re-Making of Disney" would appear to be everything I need in one place, but unfortunately it only goes up to about 1991.

    "Disney Discourse: Producing the Magic Kingdom" goes up to 1994, and as far as I can tell from the back cover, it claims it "examines the pervasive cultural influence of Walt Disney and his imaginary empire" (lol, imaginary empire...) & so on about the company in terms of influence as a global corporation. "...provides a representative sample of past analyses of the Disney empire." Hm, hopefully.

    "Pirates and the Mouse: Disney's War Against the Counterculture," well, the description at least was talking about the company's innerworkings so I don't know.

    "Disney: The Mouse Betrayed," as this looks brand new I cannot wait to get it! Luckily I found a used copy for sale right here in Philly so I should get it quick.

    "Dream on, Silly Dreamer" my mom ended up ordering so I'll keep praying it shows up either in philly or nj...

    Sorry for boring so many of you But thank you so much for the suggestions!
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    Thumbs up

    whoops, sorry for the double post ^^'
    Last edited by MiraNova23; 03-08-2007 at 08:21 PM. Reason: message accidentally got posted twice
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    I am in panic mode right now... It's due tomorrow! I have only a vague idea of what she wants in a research paper, and from that only that it must be "about pop culture-" I think. I know two other people that have her same class at different times & they were each explained something different. All of my frustrations about the teacher aside, my mind is spinning.

    Pop culture... Would my 80's Disney stuff even be acceptable?! And issues with stocks and management??? Of all the books above, I thoroughly read "Team Rodent" and "Storming the Magic Kingdom" (because I knew absolutely nothing of this "hostile takeover" that ended up with Eisner being installed). I skimmed "The Mouse Betrayed," and "Disney War." Now I feel I've trapped myself... I mean, what on earth could I say my objective actually is?!?!

    (Despite whatever the REAL definition of a research paper is, the teacher wants us to have a question in mind (thesis) & then set out to answer it. As an earlier example, the "history of World of Warcraft" is off topic. Screwy, ain't it?)
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    There's one called 'The rise of Michael Eisner and the Downfall of everyone else'...or something like that...Not sure if that's what you're looking for?
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    Don't panic

    Hi,

    The first rule is don't panic. I actually think your professor is giving you a pretty standard view of a research paper--create an original idea (thesis) and defend that idea with facts and persuasive view points.

    You have done the research and you have the facts and you have opinions on what you think of Eisner and his reign. I think you can make a pretty cool paper with the work you have done thus far, you just need an original idea. If it were me, knowing your prof. has assigned the topic of "popular culture" I would focus on the work done pre-Eisner and contrast it with post-Eisner work. e.g. Epcot Center was over budget, bigger than expected and nearly ruined the Company, but it was innovative and grandiose. MGM, done after Eisner's reign, was under budget and opened early, but was light on thrills in the beginning. Both qualify as Pop art (I suppose,) but what Eisner did was control costs, and limit the experience of guests in favor of sounder economics. Notice how little they have expanded World Showcase, and how many character shows have gone up in the last 20 years. It's really about finance. You could talk about how Eisner brought financial responsibility to the company, and how that has affected the Pop art produced by the company. You could use Eisner's team as a metaphor for larger trends in the US and Western World.

    Hope this helps,

    Chris

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    Lightbulb I have reattached my head.

    Yes, thank you for the direction advice. *sigh* My best friend was able to calm me down and straighten out my thoughts. I have an objective! & turns out to be crucial that I did end up talking to her. As soon as I mentioned stocks, she brought up the single share of Pixar stock that her parents presented her with at her sweet 16 (everyone else watched bemusedly as we and our other Disney-crazed friends freaked out in excitement ^^'). She informed that it had since turned over into 2.something of Disney stock. Disney's actual acquisition of Pixar, I had totally overlooked.

    Given 2005's jubilation at the retirement of Michael Eisner, was it a good idea to bring him in as chairman/CEO in the first place?

    Paper breakdown:
    1. intro
    2. Eisner's problems (2004-06 court battles & retirement issue)
    3. history pre-Eisner (Walt -1984)
    4. why he was the one that saved Disney (1984-94)
    5. how he killed it (1994-2005) [I won't be using the word "killing," but hey, he did "kill" the entire animation department.]
    6. conclusion: yes, but '94 turning point for worse

    Hm, Story of the Year's "Wake Up the Voiceless" is helping keep me on track.
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    Sounds like a great paper.

    When you have finished your paper and have some free time (ha!) you really should read all of DisneyWar.

    You might want to note that the downturn occurred after the death of Frank Wells, who was the one who kept Ei$ner in check over the years. Once Ei$ner had free reign, his ego got the best of him and things starting spiraling out of control.
    Lisa

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    metsy86 is offline A-Ticket holder
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    Sounds like a cool paper to me. Godd luck.

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