Walt - The Man Behind the Myth
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From Mickey Mouse to MARY POPPINS to Disneyland and beyond, Walt Disney touched the hearts of millions with his special brand of magic. In this revealing portrait, you'll discover the man behind the myth as never before. Inspired by daughter Diane Disney Miller and hosted by Disney legend Dick Van Dyke, the film features all-new interviews with friends, family, collaborators, and experts plus never-before-seen home movies. Through good times and bad, including a brush with bankruptcy during World War II, Walt remained a driven innovator and perfectionist behind studio gates and devoted family man at home. Commemorating the 100th anniversary of his birth, WALT: THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH offers the most intimate look yet at the man whose legacy continues to inspire the world.
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Van Dyke details the family history with never seen before home movies and photographs. It's a well balanced documentary with participation from the people who really knew Walt and who had worked on many of his creations. The famed "Nine Old-Men", the very animators who spent their whole lives at the studio,tell us why they were so devoted to a man who never offered personal praise. You'll learn about the negative side too, the bitter 1941 animation strike, the accusations of racism and of Walt being anti-semetic, are also truely laid to rest. The birth of Disneyland, television and live-action are all included in this well paced two hour salute.
Their are secrets to be learned, like how Mickey Mouse came about. How the animation process works, with plenty of footage from Disney classics to illustrate why they were the best and most inovative. Walt surrounded himself with good people, he was a master motivator and ideas man. But he was also human and that is well brought out, specially with his family. It's a great drawn to scale, down-to-earth look at a man, that most people only thought of in mythological terms.
There is the usual mix of sugar and sweetness, but you'll also see the warts.
What I found most fascinating is the wealth of old footage: home movies, Walt's early cartoons, how things operated in the early days of Disney Studios. His life certainly seemed to be charmed, be it in business or in love.
Disney was the ultimate family man: it didn't seem to be an act. Sometimes he was an average Joe, preferring crackers and beans on business outings, while at other times, his excessive self-indulgence had a high wince factor (building his own railroad on his property just didn't strike me as charming).
Surprisingly, he was a man who didn't believe in positive reinforcement for a job well done. In a way, he pioneered the mindset of today's corporations (that is, be thankful you have a job, and don't expect much in the way of compensation). Again, the self indulgence: Uncle Walt gets almost everything, and everyone else gets...just enough, no more, no less.
This DVD is highly recommended.
Seeing the home videos, placing you in Kansas at the turn of the Century, the reason why he created Disney Land, taking you through the important early milestones of Disney Films, his vision for Disney World (and why it is fundamentally different than Disney Land), it is a treat to watch.
Adults I think will get a much better appreciation of this DVD. I highly recommend it.