Group: Disney EchoEar Grand Mouseter/AdministratEAR
Joined: Aug. 2001
||Posted: Dec. 08, 2003 2:06 am/pm
Yoo Hoo, Disney EchoEars!
Carol found a very good commentary column on CBSMarketwatch.com posting the original article on The Motley Fool.com.
I'll do a quick quote of it here, followed by a link to the entire article, which I highly encourage you to read.
By Rick Aristotle Munarriz
It's not easy being you. You're Michael Eisner. You're running the corporate equivalent of the New York Yankees. Expectations run high. Every move is watched and publicly dissected. Anything less than victorious perfection and a commitment to quality taints the heritage and attracts the forked tongue.
Welcome to the Yankees, Eisner. Everyone's a Steinbrenner.
It's not fair, you say. Disney can't please everybody, yet it is somehow expected to do just that. The same park-happy woman that starts off her day riding Dumbo and would picket its potential closure is slamming you in online newsgroups for adding similar rides like Aladdin's Magic Carpet or Animal Kingdom's Triceratops Spin. The folks who claim that Disney should go back to making G-rated theatrical family fare and are quick to mutter "boycott Disney" didn't turn out in convincing numbers to see The Country Bears, The Straight Story, or [/i]Piglet's Big Movie[/i].
If you haven't figured it out yet, Michael, you can't win. Travelers want you to spend more to upgrade your theme parks while your bean counters want you to spend less. Purists want more wholesome filmed entertainment while the movie-going masses are favoring flicks with explosions and flatulence jokes. There is no compromise. There is no lowest common denominator.
While the same two men who brought you into the company two decades ago resigned this week -- and asked you to follow suit -- something tells me that you won't. Either you don't realize the size of the angry mob of Disney traditionalists trailing behind your wake, or you think that you can fix this mess and walk away wearing glass slippers.
If you don't feel the heat yet, just see what happens if you let Pixar get away. Want more media-injected venom? Drive a bigger wedge between Disney and the Weinsteins at Miramax. Let ABC continue to parlay its languishing future by airing The Bachelor -- or better yet, Monday Night Football -- four nights a week. Replace the park castles with Wal-Mart Supercenters.
But if things can get worse, one can reason that they can probably also get better. No, you still can't win. Give up on that notion, sir. However, if you don't mind settling for a draw -- and the way things are going for feature animation, a draw would be welcome on many different levels -- read on.
Are you going to tell me that the same company that was able to dish out tens of millions to kiss off the likes of Michael Ovitz and Jeffrey Katzenberg doesn't have enough jingle in petty cash to keep Carousel of Progress open year round? If Disney is the world's premiere theme park company, why is The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man sitting on Universal's lot?
To paraphrase Jessica Rabbit, Disney's not bad -- it's just overdrawn that way. Animal Kingdom should have been more than just a half-day park by now. Disney's California Adventure should have been more than half of a half-day park by now. Build a park right the first time, not like the last time. When Disney raises the bar, as it has with its cruise ships, water parks, and rides like Twilight Zone's Tower of Terror or Splash Mountain, the floored competition can't manage a chin-up.
Before I go, Roy Disney and Stanley Gold wanted me to let you know that a chummy board of directors is useless. Life isn't about the friends you make. It's about the enemies you don't make. If you think there is more value to the praise posse that surrounds you than the talented executives who bolted because you replaced glass slippers with glass ceilings, you better check the currency exchange tables.