Hello everyone. Today is Monday. The day where we all head off to work or school and spend the day wondering why we would ever choose to be awake on this day. Yes, we all hate Mondays, but maybe a little Disney rant can help focus that frustration with the beginning of our week.
Today I would like to talk about the Walt Disney PBS documentary that aired on PBS at the beginning of this month. I thought the documentary was good in finding historical information about Walt himself. They went through his entire life and focused solely on his accomplishments, not those that occurred after he was alive. While this was good and all, I felt like Walt was portrayed in a very negative light.
No human is perfect. In fact, Walt knew that he was presenting a character to the public whenever he made an appearance. He wanted to seem like a moral, strong, imaginative, and hopeful guy. For the most part he was similar in person. Yet, he was the first person to admit that he had flaws and that he was not the character he played. He was not, “Walt Disney”, because he was a person with flaws. He made mistakes and he didn’t necessarily take care of himself as well as he could have.
Imagineer Bob Gurr, stated that the best way to watch the PBS Documentary was, “With the sound off”. This way you get a visual history of Walt without the lies spread by historians. Richard Sherman was also outraged by the way Walt was talked about by people who didn’t know him at all.
My take on all of this was, yes, Walt Disney was human and he had some demons. We all do! Walt was a business man, a creative thinker, and one of the biggest dreamers of all time. He had to be hard at times to survive in the cutthroat industry he was a part of. He had to think outside of the box and push people to their limits to get results and it ultimately worked. I don’t doubt that Walt had some prejudices against women. Yet, I cannot exactly fault him on his beliefs because of the era he lived in. His career reached its peak in the 50s and Walt was born in 1901. He was not living in the politically correct society we have now. I’m not saying he never did anything wrong, only that we can’t hold someone to a standard so unbelievably high.
Walt has been and still is my hero. He lived a hard life, had many problems, and created one of the most inspiring empires the world has ever seen. I think Walt gets such a bad reputation because he wasn’t the man he portrayed himself to be.
I have no doubt in my mind parts of Walt really wished he was his character he created. People constantly wish they could better themselves and want to pursue different parts of themselves so why should we fault someone for this?
Walt Disney was a man. A man who achieved way more than many of us ever hope to in our lifetimes. He showed the world what dreams and imagination can design and create. Walt was so much more than the legend he portrayed but at the end of the day, Walt Disney was ordinary just like you and me. People get put on pedestals just to be knocked down. That’s what people keep trying to do with him. If we take a step back we see a man who loved his job, loved his family, loved the people he worked for, and everyone who would ever see his work. Walt just wanted to leave a lasting mark on the world. I think he did a pretty great job don’t you?
At the end of the day Walter Elias Disney-the creator of Mickey Mouse, The Mouseketeers, Classic feature films, Disney Parks, and holder of the most Oscars-was simply a human.
Have A Magical Day!