Throwback Thursday: The “Wonderful World of Disney”

As a person who is passionate about the arts and entertainment, I am convinced that we can change entire generations through the arts and all forms of “entertainment.” Certainly there is entertainment that is far from influencing for the greater good. The stupid crap on Disney channel comes to mind, which is ironic as it is Walt’s daughter, Diane Disney Miller, whose passing inspired this article.

I cannot think of anyone more influential in the realm of entertainment than Walt Disney. Walt died back in back in 1966, but his daughter Diane who died this past week, had worked tirelessly through her work with the Walt Disney Family Museum, among other ventures, to maintain his legacy–not just as a brand, but as a man. I mused a few years ago wondering if Walt, such a brilliant entrepreneur, was remembered by his family as fondly as he was by the rest of the world. I was thrilled to discover an article that confirms my deepest hope: Walt’s passion to entertain and bring imagination to life, was the outflow of his love for children, not just narcissism or a means to wealth. While I can’t verify the accuracy of this article, (it is a Disney blog after all) the evidence of good work by both his biological and adopted daughters seem to indicate that he and his wife had done something right in the raising of their family… I am a firm believer that the influence of a mother and father are the most significant in how children turn out.

As further proof of Walt’s great impartation to the entertainment industry, his first public character celebrated his 85th Birthday. Steamboat Willie launched Mickey and Walt into the American limelight, which neither has walked out of since.

I wonder how Walt would feel about his name being used to propagate the kind “entertainment” available these days on the Disney Channel. As a father, I wonder how he would feel about where Miley has gone with her great career opportunities…

My point is that anything worth looking back on, reflecting or considering is usually something that has stood the test of time.  Walt has. Mickey has. I wonder if the same could be said of many of today’s entertainment moguls. I wonder if Kanye and Miley, with all of their “genius talent,” will be the topic of someone’s Throwback Thursday article 50 years from now?

It’s probably not fair for me to make such comparisons. There was only one Walt Disney. These days our society is willing to reward anyone who is willing to make themselves a brand. We have become a culture who will give money and fans and celebrity-status to just about anyone– no talent or creativity necessary, no integrity or longevity required…  I wonder if little baby North West will be maintaining her mommy and daddy’s reputation until her dying day as Diane Disney Miller was doing for her truly legendary father? Just a question… What do you think?

Cover Photo Source: Tom Bricker via Flickr

 Jennifer is Director of Content & Ideation at SJG. I am convinced that every human being is innately creative – Picasso said the key is to remain childlike within the body of a responsible adult, or something along those lines. As the oldest member of this opinionated clan, I feel responsible to share a different perspective. Engage me – I love a good debate!