It was on this day – July 19, 1923 – that Walter Elias Disney, with just forty dollars in his pocket and a heart full of dreams, boarded the California Limited train in Kansas City and began making his way to Los Angeles’ La Grande Station and Hollywood.
At the time, Walt had suffered a string of failures, including the bankruptcy that year of “Laugh-O-Gram Studio” – a company he created that produced animated fairy tales. Years earlier, he had been previously laid off by an art studio.
Through all the ups and downs, Walt Disney remained philosophical and even optimistic.
“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me,” he reflected. “You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
Disney’s current leadership would be wise to heed its founder’s counsel and perspective.
Saturday’s Wall Street Journal reported:
The company is in the midst of painful layoffs and budget cuts. Crowds at Disney’s Florida theme parks thinned during summer holidays. Its Pixar animation studio continued a yearslong box-office slump.
Business analysts cite pressure with streaming income, as well as the extraordinary costs for content production last year ($32 billion), among other issues plaguing the company.
Yet the fundamental problem isn’t the amount of money they’re spending to create content – it’s the content itself and the radical ideological agendas both behind the scenes and publicly-facing customers, too.
Earlier this year, footage of a leaked company-wide Zoom call confirmed Disney’s desire to embrace an agenda that deliberately and blatantly rejects a Christian worldview of the family, as well as God’s view of human sexuality.
If Disney’s CEO Bob Iger and the current leadership team want to turn things around, they’ll do some soul-searching and see the cultural backlash as a “kick in the teeth” moment and embrace the original ideals of their company’s founder and namesake.
“Somehow I can’t believe there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secret of making dreams come true,” Disney once reflected. He then went on to suggest success can be summarized in “Four C’s” – curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy.
Is current Disney leadership even remotely curious why a vast majority of parents don’t want their children exposed to themes and issues well beyond their years, let alone far outside their morals and values?
After years of controversy and blowback, parent’s confidence in Disney has been shattered. It’s obvious their creators do not know the heartbeat and interests of the family.
Clearly, Disney executives have lacked the courage to stand up to culture’s bullies who are determined to indoctrinate and propagandize children.
Finally, it’s obvious that the constancy of Walt Disney’s values has been jettisoned. A once great brand has been defiled and tarnished by woke advocates within their own company.
Walt Disney’s arrival in California by train a century ago this month sparked a revolution in family entertainment. If they want to survive the next hundred years and get the proverbial train back on the tracks, they’d be wise to consider the legacy and philosophy of the man who started it all.
Photo from Shutterstock.