I knew better than to expect P.L. Travers to write something sweet in my copy of Mary Poppins, but I didn’t think it would be quite so medicinal. It was 1988, and I’d been a vice president at Disney for two years.
In what will hopefully be a blissful mawage, Disney has announced plans to work with William Goldman on a theatrical production based on both his book “The Princess Bride” and on his screenplay for Rob Reiner’s 1987 classic film.
I have known and been friends with Marty Sklar and his family for about 50 years. I enjoyed the article about Marty’s book and his accomplishments at Disney (“Disney Legend, Mensch,” Aug. 16). However, Marty Sklar is a multidimensional man whose accomplishments beyond Disney were truly exceptional.
The question often asked of the rich and powerful is, “What drives them?” In the case of Stanley Gold, head of Shamrock Holdings, the man who saved the Disney Empire and the man who has honed capitalism to a fine art, the question is, “What will Stanley Gold be driving -- when he risks life and limb to compete in a cross continent auto race?”
Until I saw 16 hot North Korean chicks singing “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo” to Kim Jong-un, the strangest video that I’d ever seen of a head of state enjoying a performance was Pope Benedict XVI watching four ripped acrobats strip off their shirts and put on a show worthy of Channing Tatum and the “Magic Mike” boys.
An Israeli reporter was suspended after reporting on an unfounded story that an Israeli girl was briefly abducted at Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
Haifa is poised to be the next home to a Disney amusement park. A 20-acre, $168 million entertainment complex including a 25-screen multiplex and a Disney amusement park is set to be built near the Carmel Tunnel.
One of Barry Josephson's first forays into the world of fairy tales was in an elementary school production of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." Although the "Men in Black" producer doesn't remember which dwarf he played, that glimmer of the land between "once upon a time" and "happily ever after," started him on the path to creating Disney's latest film, "Enchanted," opening in theaters Nov. 21.
Picks and Clicks
Marty Kaplan is often referred to as a "public intellectual." His current title is dean of the Annenberg School at USC and chairman of the Norman Lear Center. But Kaplan has led many lives -- molecular biologist, comedy writer, White House speechwriter, Disney exec, radio host. As Kaplan recently wrote me in an e-mail when I asked, "Which of those is you ?"
Bible Storyland must have a guardian angel. Dissolution by the clergy, dormancy for 45 years and a fatal fire were not powerful enough to erase the plans for this Bible-based theme park from history.
"What interested me about the story was not the Holocaust," Nancy Keystone said. "It was in what we did by bringing these people into the country and later by kicking them out. We whitewashed Rudolph's record when we decided he was important for national security. But when the game is over, can you really change the rules and is that justice?"
The latest round in the battle for Jerusalem is being waged not in the Middle East but in the Magic Kingdom.
According to my son, Disney's "The Lion King" is the greatest film ever made. He saw it three times in the theater,and insisted on playing the soundtrack every morning on our way to school. All the way to kindergarten, we sang the film's stirring theme song, "The Circle of Life," until, one morning, I listened to the words.
It's hard to feel sorry for the Walt Disney Company, a multi billion-dollar mouse-forged empire that seems to own a part of most children's hearts, including that of my own 2 1/2-year-old. Yet, in recent weeks, the venerable Burbank entertainment giant has been subjected to two major boycotts, one from the right-leaning Southern Baptists and the other from Latino media activists.