"When You Wish Upon a Star", "Whistle While You Work", "The Happiest Place on Earth", these are lyrics indelibly linked to Disney, one of the most admired and best-known companies in the world. So when Roy Disney, chairman of Walt Disney Animation and nephew of founder Walt Disney, abruptly resigned in November 2003 and declared war on chairman and chief executive Michael Eisner, he sent shock waves through the entertainment industry, corporate boardrooms, theme parks, and living rooms around the world, everywhere that Disney does business and its products are cherished.
DisneyWar is the breathtaking, dramatic inside story of what drove America's best-known entertainment company to civil war, told by one of our most acclaimed writers and reporters.
Here, too, is the creative process that lies at the heart of Disney, from the making of The Lion King to Pirates of the Caribbean. Even as the executive suite has been engulfed in turmoil, Disney has worked, and sometimes clashed, with a glittering array of stars, directors, designers, artists, and producers, many of whom tell their stories here for the first time.
Stewart describes how Eisner lost his chairmanship and why he felt obliged to resign as CEO, effective 2006. No other book so thoroughly penetrates the secretive world of the corporate boardroom. DisneyWar is an enthralling tale of one of America's most powerful media and entertainment companies, the people who control it, and those trying to overthrow them.
DisneyWar is an epic achievement. In its sudden twists, its vivid, larger-than-life characters, and its thrilling climax, it tells a story that might itself have been the subject of a Disney animated classic, except that it's all true.
©2005 James B. Stewart; (P)2005 Blackstone Audiobooks
"Stewart has an astonishing story to tell. His notable accomplishment is that he tells it so well. The book is hypnotically absorbing." (Publishers Weekly)
By an incredible coincidence of timing, the author was given access to the inner workings of a corporate giant during a time when corporate leadership was unravelling. This is a great text for anyone interested in the evolution and tranformation of Disney, OR, the workings of leadership vs power between a CEO and a company's board, OR a great treatise on why governance rules and regulations have had to change in the last 5 years above and beyond the exploits of Enron. If ALL THREE interest you, this book is a grand slam. This book is almost a novelization of the corporate history of Disney and specifically Eisner, and reads more like a story than a business text. But the lessons are there for all to learn from, if nothing else as a shareholder to consider when making votes in an annual proxy. Good reading.
I love the book, but the editing was horrendous. Repeated phrases, mispoken words, "corrected" words from the speaker without removing the "incorrect" words. In many spots, it was like a rough cut directly from the recording studio, without final editing. Absolutely no attention was paid to the editing of this product. Very disappointing.
This was a LONG listen. I think once is enough for this title.
Inside the Mouse: Work and Play at Disney World, The Project on Disney
Apr 14, 1995
by The Project on Disney and Jane Kuenz
Not as intense as DisneyWar, but a great sociological exposé about the inner workings and politics of the parks
The firing of Jeffrey Katzenberg and the reception of the shareholders to Roy Disney.
Although the writer quickly mentions the success of Shrek, a Katzenberg smash hit, I wish he would of delved into the suspicion that Lord Forquaad is a cinematic jab at Eisner, (read: Lord F#*kwad).
From Wikipedia: There is some speculation that Lord Farquaad's appearance may be inspired by Michael Eisner, the then–CEO of The Walt Disney Company, owing to producer Jeffrey Katzenberg's animosity toward his former employer.
I think that most Disney fans and even the general public have, at some point, been exposed to the fact that Eisner was known as a tyrannical lunatic, who destroyed lives and fired everyone who disagreed with him. This book brings that to life and although it does credit Eisner for accomplishments in the epilogue, it really highlights how much of a monster he really was.
The book is written in a lateral and chronological way which helps understand the evolution of Disney, ABC and Pixar.
Special Collections Librarian at the Marion H. Skidmore Library, Digital Director of The Skeptiseum, co-host of The Thirteenth Four podcast.
Although it's a long book, it's very well worth finishing. A well-written and interesting history of an often neglected period of Disney history.
I feel a built guilty for peeking at the men behind the curtain, but equally relieved. They are just men, mostly men, after all. The multitude of facts sometimes reads like an annual report and one wants to yell at Mr. Eisner to stop treating people like crap and face up to his obsession, but who among us could handle that kind of power and influence with dignity?
This book is very long (thick). As a business coach I found it very interesting. It is actually very scary. It is amazing that people act in such a bad way. I think most expect so much more of people that have a monthly salary that exceeds what most make during a lifetime. Listen and get a better understanding of Disney. It is very good read and follows a chronological flow.
I was concerned when I realized I had purchased a 23 hour book but it is hard to stop listening to this. Who knew how many letters these guys would write about personal relationships?
It is a glimpse into a high stakes world of money and the personal foibles of those in power.
very very good up to the end. at which point it rushes to a conclusion. it needs another year or two of timeline.
For any die hard Disney buffs this book is mandatory reading. However this book is primarily corporate finger pointing with some interesting insider information on major Disney projects. The narration leaves a lot to be desired, many mistakes.
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