by Roy E. Disney
(Taken from Save Disney)
Maybe one of the most difficult tasks I have ahead of me is to set out a simple, clear vision of what I see as the idealized future of the Disney Company. I've found it's a lot easier to talk about what it's not, and what is wrong (because there have been so many examples of that lately) than what it is. But I'll try not to do that.
I believe the Disney ideal is, as it has always been, about the future and about the people who will form that future. I believe it's about hope, about a belief in the essential goodness in all of us, about trusting one another, about the idea that knowledge is invaluable to growth, and that happiness is something we all aspire to and all too seldom have ... and that it's not only possible, but necessary, to have fun along the way.
I believe that our mission has always been to be bringers of joy, to be affirmers of the good in each of us, to be -- in subtle ways -- teachers, and to speak, as Walt once aid, "not to children but to the child in each of us," by way of great storytelling, by way of giving our guests a few hours in another world where their cares can be momentarily put aside, and by way of the memories of those moments that remain with people forever.
I believe that is the core of what we've come to call "Disney," and that our single biggest need is to get back to that core. I believe we need to get back to doing the things we do best, and that our real power as a positive member of world society is in those things.
I believe that the innermost core of who we are is, as it has always been, the business (and please note, and never forget, that it is indeed a business ... we all need to make a living) of film and especially animation, and the stories, characters, music and humor that well-told stories generate through that medium. I believe that this is the engine that drives the train and the company basically flows from that.
My Dad was quoted once as saying, "it's easy to make decisions, once you know what your values are." That speaks volumes about what's gone wrong with the company.
But I also believe that our identity, as I've described, has been compromised by many factors: the addition of unrelated assets which live by different value systems; the perception that, in the absence of ideas, the road to success is to cut, slowly and cruelly, back on everyone and everything that once made us successful, no longer giving our guests value for money; the shifting moral grounds that this conglomeration of companies has created. Try this one: "The Walt Disney Company's ABC Presents the Victoria's Secret Lingerie Show." I'm not making that up, in case you wondered.
We need to remember that the product itself is important, not just the selling of a "brand" name.
I also believe in the idea of synergy, as long as you'll promise never to use the word again ... synergy was a wonderful thing until it had a name ...
I certainly have no monopoly on these beliefs. In fact, I believe they represent the feelings of millions of our friends around the world. They're also a bit of a work in progress. Clearly defining the notion of "Disney" could take many more words than these, and I welcome your thoughts and suggestions.
What does "Disney" mean to you?"