Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.


Photo

WALT: The Man Behind the Myth


  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
44 replies to this topic

#1 of 45 OFFLINE   Matt Lucas

Matt Lucas

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 173 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 22 1999

Posted October 16 2003 - 07:25 AM

Hello all--- A few months ago, my family was visiting my favorite aunt in Florida, and, being only a couple of hours from DisneyWorld, we decided to make the trip to take our young children to the park for a couple of days. During a particularly hot afternoon in the park, we stopped by one of the numerous shops to cool off, and, as per usual, my eyes were drawn to the displays full of DVDs. Hidden among some of the more mediocre films of the past few years was a DVD with a striking cover I had not seen previously---a black and white profile photo of Walt Disney looking toward the ground. The film was a documentary on Walt's life---WALT: The Man Behind the Myth. I was immediately interested in it, but I figured I would wait until I got home and order it over the net. Long story short---it didn't work out that way [I'll get to that later], but I managed to buy a copy. What a sweet, sad, wonderful, joyful film about a man who brought so much happiness to the world. Walt is alternately described as a tough boss, "one of the guys," a demanding individual, a normal man, a genius and a perfect father and grandfather. Interviews include comments from family members, collaborators, friends, historians, and current professionals for whom Walt is an inspiration. There are some truly touching moments caught on film in WALT, and many happy ones as well. Archival footage and home movies contribute greatly to the film. There is plenty of information about Walt's childhood and early years---including a surprising amount of home videos dating back to the 1920s---but the most entertaining parts for me were during the years as the Disney empire grew. It was great to hear about Walt's involvement in the many classic films we now love so much from those who were directly involved. The film is lovingly narrated by none other than Dick Van Dyke. Some might say this was a white-wash of the man's life. I was surprised---given that it was produced by Disney---that it DOES address Walt's near bankruptcy during World War II, his supposed racism, and his conservitism, albeit briefly. [Pretty much the only thing that wasn't touched upon is the rumour of Walt's body being frozen at his death. The end card notes that, at his request, he was cremated, though.] The feature is 119 minutes long and appears in 1.66:1 aspect ratio. I confess that I watched it on my laptop at work, so I'm not sure if the video is enhanced for widescreen televisions or not. There are a number of bonus features that are exclusive to the DVD, including many more interviews [presumably cut from the main feature] that focus on specific areas ["Walt at home," "Meeting Walt for the first time," etc.], a featurette on the making of WALT: The Man Behind the Myth, featurettes on the various location shots, home movies and more. If you're interested in purchasing the DVD, good luck! When I returned from Florida, I was shocked to find it's not listed at online companies like Amazon [which only lists the VHS, for the same price I paid for the DVD]. I checked eBay, which had several copies up for auction at ridiculous prices. [There's a copy on ebay right now, and the current bid is $30.99.] I even checked the DisneyDVD.com site, which lists the DVD, but when I tried to order it, I received a message saying that it was "not available." Frustrated, but not deterred, I called DisneyDVD's telephone ordering number and was first told that WALT had been returned to the vault. I explained that I had just seen it at the park the month before, and I was given a second number---this time to Buena Vista Home Video. I called BVHV and ordered the DVD with no problem [well, actually, there WAS a problem---they first sent me a film called Bionicle, which isn't quite the same thing...]. Bottom line: skip the high prices on eBay and call Buena Vista directly. I highly recommend this film to anyone who loves and cares about the classic Disney films and the man whose vision drove those masterpieces. Regardless of your feelings about the current corporation known as Disney, it started with one man [well, two if you include his brother] who always remained a kid at heart. It really is a tribute to the man behind the myth. mattl

#2 of 45 OFFLINE   Randy Tennison

Randy Tennison

    Screenwriter



  • 1,099 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 05 1999
  • Real Name:Randy

Posted October 16 2003 - 07:37 AM

Matt, I watched this on my last Disney Cruise. They were playing it on the stateroom tv system. Yes, it was a wonderful film, and as someone who claims Walt Disney as a personal hero, I, too, found that it was not a white wash. It dealt with the fact that he was a tough boss, and not always forthcoming with the compliments. I do believe that Roy Disney (the father, not the son) is really overlooked in the history of Disney. Walt was the dreamer who thought up the ideas, Roy was the financial genius who found ways to make his brother's ideas happen. I'll have to see about getting this on DVD. Thanks for the heads up!
Randy T.
Orlando, FL
ºoº Home of The Mouse!!!

"Oh, come on, guys. It's so simple, maybe you need a refresher course. It's all ball bearings nowadays!"

#3 of 45 OFFLINE   Matt Lucas

Matt Lucas

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 173 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 22 1999

Posted October 16 2003 - 07:50 AM

Certainly the film is focused on Walt Disney, but his brother, Roy, is clearly recognized as Walt's partner and the financial official behind the company. At least once during the film, the narrator or person being interviewed says something along the lines of, "With such a large, new project, Walt approached Roy, who resisted at first, but once again found a way to make Walt's dream a reality." But you're right, Roy deserves credit, too. mattl

#4 of 45 OFFLINE   Michael St. Clair

Michael St. Clair

    Producer



  • 6,009 posts
  • Join Date: May 03 1999

Posted October 16 2003 - 07:59 AM

Make sure and read Walt Disney: Hollywood's Dark Prince, to balance it out. Posted Image

#5 of 45 OFFLINE   Paul Penna

Paul Penna

    Supporting Actor



  • 547 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 22 2002

Posted October 16 2003 - 12:10 PM

[quote] Make sure and read Walt Disney: Hollywood's Dark Prince, to balance it out. [quote]
In the same way that reading tracts from the Flat Earth Society will give you a balanced view of geography.

Yes, I took note of your smiley Posted Image

#6 of 45 OFFLINE   David Lambert

David Lambert

    Executive Producer



  • 11,386 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 03 2001

Posted October 16 2003 - 02:32 PM

Maybe I'm crazy, but I don't spot the price you paid for it. Can you post that, and maybe also the phone # you calleD? Thanks,
DAVE/Memphis, TN

...Want to see your favorite show on DVD?

#7 of 45 OFFLINE   Jerome

Jerome

    Second Unit



  • 302 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 09 2002

Posted October 16 2003 - 07:52 PM

you can buy it at mouseshoppe.com

http://www.mouseshop...m?ProductID=303

Posted Image

#8 of 45 OFFLINE   Randy Tennison

Randy Tennison

    Screenwriter



  • 1,099 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 05 1999
  • Real Name:Randy

Posted October 17 2003 - 04:03 AM

[quote] In the same way that reading tracts from the Flat Earth Society will give you a balanced view of geography. [quote]

Exactly. I'm always amazed how people seem to like to point out Walt's flaws, as if that in some way minimizes his achievements and genius. Walt was no angel. He had his character flaws; was hard to work for, a task master, probably would qualify as a megalomaniac, probably anti-semitic (but during that time, much of the US was).

Maybe he wasn't our kindly "Uncle Walt", but still, his contribution to popular culture is undeniable. He was a genius, who made the world a better place than it was before he was in it.
Randy T.
Orlando, FL
ºoº Home of The Mouse!!!

"Oh, come on, guys. It's so simple, maybe you need a refresher course. It's all ball bearings nowadays!"

#9 of 45 OFFLINE   Dan Hitchman

Dan Hitchman

    Screenwriter



  • 2,714 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 11 1999

Posted October 17 2003 - 05:00 AM

Not to mention ratting on people during the McCarthy era. Maybe Mickey Mouse should have been changed to Mickey Rat. Posted Image Mickey, afterall, was voiced by Walt for many years.

He sure wasn't a saint, but I'd imagine he had much better business sense (along with his brother) than what Eisner is making out of his empire. The schmuck! Walt is probably turning over in his cryo chamber ( Posted Image ) now that Disney is thinking of scrapping their traditional animation department, and has had image problems as of late, and the fact that their parks are being run down, etc. etc. etc.

Dan

#10 of 45 OFFLINE   Matt Gordon

Matt Gordon

    Supporting Actor



  • 534 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 21 2001

Posted October 17 2003 - 07:33 AM

Wow! Beautiful cover! Posted Image
Spoiler tags are cool.

#11 of 45 OFFLINE   Paul Penna

Paul Penna

    Supporting Actor



  • 547 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 22 2002

Posted October 17 2003 - 11:46 AM

[quote] you can buy it at mouseshoppe.com
[quote]
No actually, since when you get to the video product list, the one with the add-to-cart buttons on it, there's a message "this product is currently unavailable" and that being the case, there is no add-to-cart button for it. Oh well. Had my hopes up there for a moment.

#12 of 45 OFFLINE   Mark_Wilson

Mark_Wilson

    Screenwriter



  • 1,809 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 27 2000

Posted October 17 2003 - 12:51 PM

http://disney.store.....Go.x=12&Go.y=3

Must be OOP. I had bought a copy here before.

I've heard this is available for purchase in their Parks.

#13 of 45 OFFLINE   Matt Lucas

Matt Lucas

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 173 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 22 1999

Posted October 20 2003 - 02:55 AM

David--- I ordered the DVD from Buena Vista Home Video customer service at 800-723-4763. If you call this number, press 3 and you'll be connected to the ordering department. [Note---when I dialed the number again this morning to make sure it was the correct one, the automated system stated that I had called Disney Home Video, or something like that. I asked the representative about this, and he said that even though there are two numbers---one for BV, one for Disney---they more or less end up in the same place. The weird thing about this is that when I ordered my copy, I called the Disney number first and was told the DVD was no longer available. I told the woman I had seen it in the theme parks, and she gave me the BV number and suggested that I call them. BV took my order with no problem. Odd, eh?] The DVD is $19.95 + shipping, so drive-out was $23.90 for me. The man I spoke to this morning said they have 8 copies on hand [as of 9:37 a.m. central time!]. And yes, as I noted in my original message, they had the DVD on the video racks in a number of the shops inside Walt Disney World-Magic Kingdom in Florida. I think it was $19.99, but I'm not completely sure about that. mattl

#14 of 45 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

Ronald Epstein

    Studio Mogul



  • 42,669 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 03 1997

Posted October 20 2003 - 04:17 AM

This is an interesting thread. Back when I was reviewing product, Disney sent me a copy of this DVD. Unfortunately, I had too many other titles on my plate and I just sort of threw this title into my collection without ever bothering to open it up. I'm gonna take a look at this one over the next day and get back to all of you. It sure sounds like an interesting DVD.

 

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

 Click Here for the latest/hottest Blu-ray Preorders  Click Here for our complete Blu-ray review archive

 Click Here for our complete 3D Blu-ray review archive Click Here for our complete DVD review archive

 Click Here for Blu-Ray Preorder Release Schedule  Click Here for forum posting rules and regulations


#15 of 45 OFFLINE   David Lambert

David Lambert

    Executive Producer



  • 11,386 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 03 2001

Posted October 20 2003 - 05:59 AM

[quote] David---

I ordered the DVD from Buena Vista Home Video customer service at 800-723-4763. If you call this number, press 3 and you'll be connected to the ordering department. [Note---when I dialed the number again this morning to make sure it was the correct one, the automated system stated that I had called Disney Home Video, or something like that. I asked the representative about this, and he said that even though there are two numbers---one for BV, one for Disney---they more or less end up in the same place. The weird thing about this is that when I ordered my copy, I called the Disney number first and was told the DVD was no longer available. I told the woman I had seen it in the theme parks, and she gave me the BV number and suggested that I call them. BV took my order with no problem. Odd, eh?]

The DVD is $19.95 + shipping, so drive-out was $23.90 for me. The man I spoke to this morning said they have 8 copies on hand [as of 9:37 a.m. central time!]. [quote]

Ordered it around 11:30 Central. Didn't get a chance to ask about how many copies were left after my order, as something else was going on at the same time.

But it's on the way to me, $23.90 shipped. Thanks for the help! By the way, this is the 800-72-DISNEY number that Mr. Boulet is always mentioning. Once I gave my name and phone #, they had my address pulled up instantly due to previous calls.
DAVE/Memphis, TN

...Want to see your favorite show on DVD?

#16 of 45 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

Parker Clack

    Schizophrenic Man



  • 12,188 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 30 1997
  • Real Name:Parker
  • LocationKansas City, MO

Posted October 20 2003 - 10:28 AM

Matt: Interesting thread. I have seen the video in the past just never purchased it. I was watching the Antique Roadshow with my wife the other day and they had a guy on there that his grandmother was a friend of Walt Disney's. When ever he would get back to Kansas City he always would look her up. He gave her a animation cell from Snow White and he signed it. (For those that don't know Walt very rearly signed anything himself. He usually had an artist or someone else sign stuff for him). At any rate it was of course it was valued at a high price. The interesting thing is that his Grandmother's name was Daisy.

"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#17 of 45 OFFLINE   Brian L

Brian L

    Screenwriter



  • 2,882 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 08 1998

Posted October 20 2003 - 10:57 AM

Well, I too ordered, but they are currently out of stock. The gal said that there were more inbound, but it may take a couple weeks. NBFD. I am right that this is the show that was on TV last year? If so, I think I Tivo'd it, but it will be good to have a DVD copy. I do note that they appear on e-bay with some regularity. Prices are all over the map, as you might expect. BGL

#18 of 45 OFFLINE   John Fieldstadt

John Fieldstadt

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 53 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 22 2000

Posted October 20 2003 - 03:37 PM

I called my order in about 6:45 PM EST and was told that it is in stock and that it should be shipped in a day or two and that I should receive it within 7-10 days from that time.
Sony KP-61HS10, Sony DB940, Toshiba SD-6200, JVC HR-7600U, Sony CE545, Sony Sat. Receiver, Klipsch Reference Series (RB-5, RC-3 & RS-3), Klipsch KSW-15, Sennheiser RS-6, Sony RM-AV2100

#19 of 45 OFFLINE   BrettB

BrettB

    Producer



  • 3,024 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 01 2001

Posted May 06 2005 - 10:44 AM

I was looking at the Disney Movie Club just now wondering if it was worth signing up and ran across this film and remembered this thread.

DVDEmpire

It looks to be a lot easier to acquire at this point in time. Props to Matt and everyone else but I'm really hoping Mr. Rister sees this. Posted Image

#20 of 45 OFFLINE   Ernest Rister

Ernest Rister

    Producer



  • 4,148 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 26 2001

Posted May 06 2005 - 02:11 PM

The film is a nice, family-sanctioned point-of-view on Walt Disney's life. I have my own beliefs about Walt "the Man", based on events which the film tries to shunt aside, but I just can't get past them -- I'm not talking about crazy conspiracy kook stories like you'll find in Marc Elliot's smear book -- I'm talking about the abuse (yes, abuse) Walt endured at the hands of his father in his formative years. I think its the rosetta stone that finally deciphers and answers many of the questions as to who Walt was as a person, and the documentary avoids that subject like kryptonite. I once had the great pleasure to attend a screening of some early "Alice Comedies", with the original Alice, Virgina Davis, attending and answering questions from Leonard Maltin. Mr. Maltin asked her what it was like working with Walt back in the early 20's, and she answered honestly (I believe), that back in those days Walt had a hard time relating to people because, and I quote, "because of how hurt he'd been". Long before the Mintz betrayal, the defection of Iwerks, the studio strike, the multiple miscarriages of his wife, the death of his mother, the deterioration of relations between his brother and himself, the box office failures of Pinocchio, Fantasia and Bambi and the collapse of the golden age, etc. etc. etc., Davis is talking about Walt Disney being a wounded individual long before any of this ever happened. There is a cliche about show business, but sometimes cliches come into being because they are common truths. The reason many people get into the performing arts, especially acting, is because of a lack of love and support at home - for whatever reason, they have a bottomless hole in their heart, and they thirst for love and acceptance from strangers. By modern standards, the reported punishments inflicted on the young Disney brothers at home by their father, Elias, were criminal. Elias, it is written, would dole out beatings to his children on a *daily* basis, sometimes for no reason. Elias reportedly felt this kind of treatment was needed to ensure productivity and focus. I think it is Bob Thomas who writes about Elias getting angry with young Walt when they were fixing a screen door, and Elias allegedly hit the young boy in the head with a hammer. Little Walt was traumatized by this, and as recounted in Storming the Magic Kingdom, he would curl up in his older brother's arms at night, and weep, and ask Roy why his father hated him so. At that age, Walt even came to believe that Elias couldn't be his real father, because no father could ever do such things to his own children. At this point in Disney's life, he starts to draw, retreating into a fantasy world. His grade-school teacher was reportedly surprised to see a drawing of Walt's where all the flowers and animals had smiling faces. Is it any wonder he would anthromorphize animals and flowers? Abused children frequently speak to their pets and dolls and even furniture, pretending they are loving friends (Spielberg talks about having this trait, as well, when he was a child, but that's a whole other story). Later Walt would put on his own neighborhood stage and vaudeville shows with his best friend, but he would never tell Elias what he was doing. Walt would sneak out of the house through his bedroom window to perform his shows, because he was afraid of what Elias would do if he found out. I think these early shows and the praise he received for drawing were the seminal moments in his life, because he had found a skill that earned him the respect and love he was not getting at home. The rest of the story writes itself. Out of that cauldron, a young man is formed with some personal issues, looking for admiration and respect, and choosing art and filmmaking as the pathway to those goals. We're talking about a man who created a monument to himself in the Anaheim orange groves, like some Egyptian Pharoah trying to conquer death by building something immortal. So much of what I know about Disney's life snaps into such sharp relief focus once you understand what he went through as a boy. There's a story about Walt in his later years that has always stuck with me -- Wald would always cry everytime he heard the Sherman Bros. play "Feed the Birds" from Mary Poppins. Why, because he was such a big ol' sentimental sap? Personally, I think it's because of what that song is about...how it doesn't take very much to show your children you love them. It doesn't take Sigmund Freud to figure out why that song would touch him so. Back when Walt Disney began building the Burbank studio in the late 30's, Walt and Roy brought their mom and dad to California. Fearing the scorn of his father, Walt lied through his teeth and told his dad that the building was designed so it could also be sold and used as a hospital if the studio went bankrupt (Elias, it seems, was always dubious about his sons' cartoon business). Even in his late 30's, Walt was still afraid of his old man. Anyway, I could go on for pages and pages...from Mickey Mouse to Walt's attraction to dark stories to his mood swings to his difficulties relating to people, the core of Walt Disney the man is Walt Disney the child. The documentary, Walt: The Man Behind the Myth is a good primer for a general timeline of Walt's life, with some good anecdotes from admirers and co-workers. It isn't a white-wash, the film was comissioned by the Disney family to celebrate Walt and point out his accomplishments and all the positives of his family life, and as such, it is rather like a eulogy at a funeral. It's a largely celebratory film, and it should be taken as such. However, they do spend about 20 seconds to address the abuse issue by Elias, and they dismiss it and excuse it, saying it was necessary to maintain discipline on the farm and that everybody loved Elias, and that Elias was stern, but not a demon. Thing is, the abuse stories did not come from hearsay or rumours, though, they come from Walt himself, talking to various people over the years. This where things get dicey -- the position of the Disney company or the Disney family or whoever it is that runs the "Disney Museum" section of the disney.com website states (and I'm not kidding) that these stories by Walt about his childhood were not true and were embellished and exaggerated by Uncle Walt in order to spin a good yarn. Who do you believe? Walt? Writers Bob Thomas and John Taylor? Or his modern heirs and family, who love him, who are trying to make sure the world remembers him in a warm and happy light? Personally, I've come to see Walt as Virginia Davis remembers him -- as a good, hard-working man who had been hurt in early life, and so he carried some pain around in his heart and, yes, developed some issues. The flip side is that out of this internal sturm und drang, he turned it around and created and produced an astonishing body of work and made uncounted millions of children and adults happy. He was motivated by pain, but his life's work was a source of tremendous good. That's Walt to me -- Ironic, full of contradictions, endlessly creative and productive, and very, very human.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users