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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

1937

The Old Mill won the Academy Award for Best Short Subjects: Cartoons. I’d never seen it before that I can recall.

As we discussed earlier, the word “genius” gets bandied about a lot, especially in Hollywood. Walt Disney is the only one from there I can think of. Personally, I’d rather watch a Warner Brothers Daffy Duck short than any Disney offering, but that signifies nothing. I’d rather eat at Johnnie Rocket’s than have an Escoffier dinner right now, too. An opinion is not always an analysis.

Disney captured great themes, and was a visionary in a multitude of ways. He was always in my mind a Californian, a representation of the very essence of America at its leading edge. But that man understood Europe better than the people that inhabited it .

3 Responses

  1. hmmmm…I think Astaire’s dancing is genius, but, that’s just my view…

    I also think Disney is a genius when it came to the business and cultural side of what he accomplished. He “bet the company” three separate times (Snow White, Disneyland, and Disney World) and won each time.

  2. Walt was a Missouri boy, and he made good. He and his company could really do long-form cartoons, even when they did have to change the story to be light and kid-friendly (Bambi notwithstanding).

    Warner Brothers, though, could and did do “Opera”: fast, funny, and highly inventive.

  3. from edward jay epstein’s book:

    But Disney was working from a different concept: he believed that
    children, with adults in tow, could be the driving force of the entertainment
    industry. His surprising success with Snow White and the Seven
    Dwarfs—which would become the first film in history to gross $100 million
    —demonstrated that the potential of the child audience had been severely
    underestimated by Hollywood: in the case of Snow White and the
    Seven Dwarfs, children were going to see it over and over again, just as
    they did with other cartoons. (Children’s tickets on the average cost only
    twenty-five cents; approximately 400 million of them had been sold for
    Snow White between 1937 and 1948).

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