Disney EchoEar Grand Mouseter
Joined: Aug. 2001
||Posted: Sep. 09, 2003 9:23 am/pm
|Quote (GoofyDad_STL @ Sep. 08, 2003 8:20 am/pm)|
|I think some of my feelings about Disney are coming from the fact I have been working some incredible hours at work recently. It seems that companies have forgotten that they are suppose have three stakeholders, shareholders, their community and their employees (they taught us this at Business School, it just seems my fellow MBAs have not been listening). It seems that all business cares about is the bottom line and not even a long term bottom line, but one for next month or quarter. I hate the "productivity" figures the government keeps trotting out. All they mean is that the people left with jobs are having to work incredibly hard right now.|
I think Disney right now is just a symbol to me of this corporate greed and lost of direction. I am frustrated with working long hours just to keep up and not being able to spend enough time with my family.
For me, GoofyDad STL, Disney isn't the symbol of what's gone on with corporations today. Enron and Worldcom are the poster children for the corporate trend. But what disappoints me about Disney is simply the "me, too" about it, that Disney nowadays is no better/no worse, maybe several notches better than Enron and Worldcom but not the company that Walt and Roy Disney headed and not the company first headed by Eisner-Wells-Katzenberg in the mid-'80s through mid-'90s. It isn't greedy to be profit driven. That's the essence of a free market economy. It isn't greedy to want to hold down operational and personnel costs. We all have to live within our means. However, it does mean that when you take on something new you can afford all aspects of that: Maintaining it, keeping it painted, keeping it safe, taking reasonable care of the people who operate it and who come to use it, when you promote it your promotions reasonably match what people expect of it. And when and if the economy should tank, would you still be able to take care of it, maintain it, keep it safe, keep it updated, offer reasonable expectations about it to the public, take care of the people reasonably, etc.?
Disney made the same mistake a lot of companies did. They thought the booming economy would go on forever, that prevailing conditions would at least maintain at X-level and rise from that but never drop below it. They built, expanded, hired, held out to higher-end users, flooded the marketplace with merchandise and collectibles. Then the economy tanked, 9/11 happened, and a slow recovery, and international tensions. Tastes changed. Pixar does Disney animated movies better than Disney does Disney animated movies. Dreamworks and Fox provide credible competition for Disney and Disney-Pixar animated movies. Disney's got a brain drain going on, talented artists and division heads moving to other projects and jobs and studios. They bought Cap Cities and got some winners (ESPN) and losers (ABC) out of the deal, then incredibly bought the Family Channel from Saban and added increased ad inventory to that which wasn't already selling. They built a second gate at Disneyland and Disneyland Paris with negative results. Disneyland Paris needs bailing out again and Disney wants to build, what, two more (?) parks just like it in the Orient. In recent years Disney takes two steps forward and between a half-a-step to one step back every month.
And other unrelated companies are doing the same sort of thing.
Difficult to be a Disney fan right now, it takes tough love to get through reading what they do every day.
In a way, a boycott of sorts is going on among the public about Disney. Track the domestic box office numbers of these films on
for the last two years:
Monsters, Inc., Lilo and Stitch, Treasure Planet, Finding Nemo, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.
Lilo and Stitch and Treasure Planet are works of Disney Feature Animation alone. Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo are Disney-Pixar collaborations but really in a way are Pixar films, and Pirates of the Caribbean is based on a Disney theme park attraction but people were hired to produce and make it who knew what they were doing.
If you want to, to make the comparison fair, throw in Country Bears after Lilo and Stitch on that list.
Disney actually in this year so far has command of total box office for all films they've made, they are in the lead. But when you compare the Disneyana fans' fave films you'll see money flowing clearly to Pixar and to the live action Pirates when Disney took the time and resources to do that concept right.
Brother Bear this November 1 looks, to me, like "The Lion King" meets "Tarzan" in the northwestern US/Canada. Seen most of the trailer before in TLK and T, what Brother Bear does is just substitute elk (?) for wildebeast, bears for gorillas, aurora borealis for plains of Africa. I want to see this movie, but I don't expect much. However, the trailers for "Finding Nemo" didn't hook me either and look what a blockbuster it turned out to be, so anything can happen.
In retail a consumer flow is also happening. You don't need to go to a Disney Store to buy something Disney-logoed or a Disney entertainment product (such as a DVD or CD), these things are available everywhere and possibly at a cheaper price. Once the Disney Stores were magical, that touch of Disney right in your own home town, and it was possible to buy unique and fun stuff for all ages there. Not so much any more. Disney is everywhere in the market place, including Wal-Mart, Kohl's and other retailers. Disney Stores face sale now because the management of them and the "synergy" got lost, diluted and obscured. If you want cool adult Disney items, buy them at World of Disney at Orlando or Anaheim, you can't find them in your own home town at a Disney Store, the way it used to be.
What to do? Boycott or not? It's up to you. Disney theme parks aren't going away and a change in management and policies will always be welcomed and rewarded by those who want to visit those places. The Disneyland discussion boards caution newcomers to Disneyland that they wouldn't notice most of the complaints that veteran park goers notice and that newcomers there would have a great time nonetheless. Sometimes those who complain the most do the least, and when you open up to "glass is half full" optimism then you do have a good time. What's your discretionary dollar worth to you?
As for heavy work hours, I don't know what to tell you GoofyDad STL. Take a look at Clark Howard's WWW site to see if there's anything there that's useful for you (save money, spend less, avoid ripoffs):
My husband Rich used to work Bata'an Death March sort of long hours, too. Then the economy changed and new owners and managers came in and life changed radically. Be careful what you wish for, it might come true. Like in "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie, you need to be very carefully thought out, thorough and specific about your requests when engaging in "parlez". The Pirates Code is mostly just guidelines, y'know.
This too shall pass, sometime.
You might also enjoy reading this book when you get some time if things at work are that bad for you: "What Color is Your Parachute?"
Take good care.