I can’t help but think how much has changed in the world. Most kids today know Buzz and Woody as the characters they grew up not Mickey and Donald. Sssshhhh…. as I kid I liked Bugs and Daffy more than I liked the Disney characters.
I grew up on Sunday nights “Wonderful World of Disney” that really did look like a wonderful world on the black and white television it displayed on. In fact it looked more than wonderful, it looked fun. I wanted to go there. In 2006 it’s almost a surprise that Disney Park Right and Disney Park Left are the most visited places in the untied states. Following up in 3rd place is San Francisco’s own Fisherman’s Wharf a place that has no admission charge. Which must horrify at least one of the councilmen of Bagdad by the Bay.
Today’s Disney tentacles are long and deep. Ever go to a friends house who has kids in the 4-11 range? They’ve got every Disney disc (or tape) proudly displayed for all to see. Including Treasure Planet and Lady and the Tramp Dos. What was once an event (at least for me) of seeing Snow White or Pinnocchio is now reduced to endless baby sitter. And while I lament that my memories of classics have been treated this way, I find that Buzz, Flick, Mike, and Bob didn’t escape this fate either. Syndrome’s explanation to Kari that the S on his suit stood for sitter actually was the truth.
As I think about the Pixar takeover of Disney I find comfort in the thought that the cry “pre-pare ta be booor-dead” has been years in the the making. Pixar characters are a prominent as Disney characters in the parks. The Disney warning label comes before the Pixar lamp so you remember the lamp. And those lamps are everywhere. You’ll find them on desks around the world. Want to teach a kid to stopmo? Grab a camera and aim it at a desk lamp. They’ll take it from there after a 5 minute demo. But animating Mickey? They’ll whine, “Who’s Mickey. Why are we using pencils? I’m done with my drawing can I go? Whattya mean I have to do a hundred?! This is taking forever…”
See it’s not just Steve that goes with the 8 billion dollar E-Ticket. It gets them all. Everyone goes on this ride. John, Andrew… the lot. And because these kids are batting 1.0 they get all the cool jobs.
One of the things that happened after Steve came back to Apple was lot’s of things got “Steve’d”. Meaning if a project didn’t make sense it was cut. 3rd party Mac’s got Steve’d costing everyone that signed up to make them billions. If that hadn’t been done, Apple would have been reduced to slag having not been able to move forward because of so many other vendors in the mix.
You know how Apple is recongnized as cool, hip, neato around the world? How kids want a Mac like they’ve never wanted some other computer? By contrast Disney is the “World’s Safest” brand despite the fact the 80% of what you are buying doesn’t live up to Walt’s ‘Wonderful World’ promise that I still remember.
One thing Steve has said about television hits home with why this is good take-out. That is (paraphrasing), “when television works, it’s amazing. otherwise it’s a waste of time.” This is something he believes not something that is a lip service threat. Imagine Disney itself put to that standard?
After it transforms, I want to see that. Whatever it costs, I’ll go.