The Mermaid Lagoon

I feel this is more important than EVER. I wish SO badly a Disney family member was still a part of The Walt Disney Company. It really needs to get back to what it used to be. Roy said “branding is what you do to cows.” The quote is from a fantastic hearfelt speech he gave at the annual shareholder’s meeting in 2004, when he was trying to get Michael Eisner voted out. I couldn’t have ever imagined then, that today, every thing he said would ring even truer than it did back in 2004. :/ Roy E. Disney is such a brilliant man. He worded things so perfectly. And every time I read this I get so inspired. He loved his families company so much. Here is the full speech:

"First of all, I want to thank everyone for your many letters and emails and all your encouragement in this campaign.

Stanley has talked about why we need to make a change. I want to spend a few minutes talking about what kind of change we need.

The Walt Disney Company is more than just a business. It is an authentic American icon — which is to say that over the years it has come to stand for something real and meaningful and worthwhile to millions of people of all ages and backgrounds around the world.

This is not something you can describe easily on a balance sheet, but it is tangible enough. Indeed, it is the foundation on which everything we have accomplished as a company — both artistically and financially — is based.

I believe our mission has always been to be bringers of joy, to be affirmers of the good in each of us, to be — in subtle ways — teachers. To speak, as Walt once put it, “not to children but to the child in each of us.”

We do this through great storytelling, by giving our guests a few hours in another world where their cares can be momentarily put aside, by creating memories that will remain with them forever.

This is the core of what we’ve come to call “Disney,” and to my mind, our single biggest need is to get back to that core.

In my view, the essence of who we are lies in the business of film — especially animation — and the stories, characters, music, and humor that well-made films generate. This is the engine that drives the train, and everything we do as a company basically flows from it.

You will note that I refer to our film work as a business. Whatever else it may be, it is always that as well — a business that needs to be run on a sound basis by people who are sensible as well as sensitive.

My Dad was quoted once as saying, “It’s easy to make decisions, once you know what your values are.” Unfortunately, our corporate values have been compromised in recent years.

In large part, this is the result of a cynical management’s belief that, in the absence of ideas, the road to success is to cut back on everyone and everything that once made you successful, that you don’t really need to give your guests value for money, that creativity and originality are luxuries you can no longer afford … that art and artists are commodities to be bought and sold like any other office supply.

To me, the wrong-headedness of these beliefs is self-evident.

The creative process is the lifeblood of the Disney Company. If it is to thrive, we must do everything possible to establish an environment in which it can once again flourish.

Creativity is a funny thing — difficult to quantify, but obvious when it’s missing. It’s a living, breathing force with a life of its own, and it tends to flower among individuals or small groups. It doesn’t always show up on demand … or at convenient times or places. And it often gets killed by committees or by something called strategic planning. So we need to always be on the lookout for ways to nurture it, and not let it be trampled by a lowest-common-denominator mentality.

One of creativity’s worst enemies is something I call “Institution Think.” This is a very tricky issue. After all, Disney is an institution. But that doesn’t mean it has to think like one.

Let me tell you about the danger of Institution Think: It is often said that our company’s most valuable asset is the Disney name. You’ll get no argument from me. I kind of like the name myself. But, in recent times, there’s been a tendency to refer to it as the “Disney brand.” To me, this degrades Disney into a “thing” to be bureaucratically managed, rather than a “name” to be creatively championed. And lately I’ve been seeing Mickey receive this treatment too, as well as Pooh and a lot of others.

As I’ve said on other occasions, branding is something you do to cows. It makes sense if you’re a rancher, since cows do tend to look alike. It’s also useful to lots of businessmen, and they brand things like detergents or shoes for almost the same reason as ranchers. Branding is what you do when there’s nothing original about your product.

But there is something original about our products. Or at least there used to be. Our name already means something to consumers.

I really believe that if we keep thinking of Disney as a “brand,” we will lose all the meaning that has been built into those six letters for more than three-quarters of a century. We need to get back to thinking of it as a “name” that needs to be prized and enhanced, escape the clutches of Institution Think and resume our trajectory of creative and financial success.

How did the Disney Company create enormous shareholder value in the past? Two ways: first by trusting the talents and imagination of its creative people — and then by supporting them with the resources they required.

I don’t care what current management may tell you. The plain fact is, you can’t fool all the people all the time. Nor can you succeed in our business by trying to get by on the cheap. Consumers know when they are getting value for their money, and they know when you’re trying to sell them second-hand goods.

So what kind of change do we need to make? It’s really quite simple. We need to install a new management team, one that understands and believes in the enormously valuable legacy that’s been entrusted to us.

Speaking as someone with the last name of “Disney,” it is my firm belief that we are not a commodity. As long as we continue to believe in the power of creative ideas, then our best years still lie ahead.

Thank you for your attention.”

Via Mr. Geef


Oh my gosh

‘Ohana means family.

Family means nobody gets left behind.

Or forgotten.

omg crying 

<3 So sweet.

(Source: magicaldisneymemories)

Diane, Sharon and Walt Disney at home. 

New favorite picture of Walt

(Source: disneylandguru)

(Source: thatdisneyswag)




Photo appreciation of the fact that Disneyland Paris experiences snow.

This is the MOST MAGICAL thing ever. I’d adore being there at this time. So glorious.

Via Mr. Geef

Never released it’s rated PG-13!

Tom Hanks is so magical <3

Via Mr. Geef

This is written by Robert Sherman’s ( of the Sherman Brothers) son…


As you may have heard, Disney is going ahead with the movie about the making of Mary Poppins — “Saving Mr. Banks.” Tom Hanks is playing Walt Disney, Emma Thompson is playing Pamela Travers, the original book’s author.

They have also cast wonderful actors to play the Sherman Brothers. Jason Schwartzman is portraying my Uncle Richard and BJ Novak was just cast to play my late father, Robert B. Sherman. Pretty brilliant choices all around.

Many people have been asking me what I think about all this.

As many of you know, I got a chance to read a draft of this screenplay several months ago now and had issues with it. The script was full of inaccuracies that run afoul of mere poetic license. I lived through that period and recall it and the people involved very well. Of course, I intimately know my lovely late father and my uncle.

I was privileged to hear all of those wonderful songs before just about anyone. Some of my fondest memories were those acetate demos right after dinner. Those times I’d go to their office and Dick would sing me something new and they’d both watch my face for a response.

Dad read my sister Laurie and me the Mary Poppins books. They were good, but kind of creepy, too. Dad, though, was enthusiastic, his mind was racing, his eyes seeing all of the amazing magic as he excitedly told us some of his ideas of how he could adapt these episodic stories and weave them into a musical, moving film. I saw Dad step into his stride during the Poppins years, really feeling he was connecting and creating something magnificent with his brother, Walt Disney, Bill Walsh, Don DaGradi, Irwin Kostal and the other great minds involved.

I saw his highs, I saw his lows. This was his chance to truly merge his songwriting, poetic and story-telling skills.

"A man has dreams of walking with giants
To carve his niche in the edifice of time…”

Dad felt he was walking with giants at this time. He was a deeply humble and shy man, so this wasn’t an ego thing. He never really sought the limelight. Dad felt such deep respect for those artists around him and felt respected and safe and encouraged by them to open and shine, himself; contribute and convey in his own words — real and created — his heartfelt wisdom and philosophies on family, love, understanding, compassion, charity and, I think most importantly, the challenges parenthood. These were hard-learned lessons for him and he poured his soul into helping adapt the screen story and co-create the timeless song score.

"Before the mortar of his zeal has the chance to congeal,
The cup is dashed from his lips,
His flame is snuffed aborning
He’s brought to rack and ruin in his prime.”

I never actually met the “colorful” Mrs. Travers, but I did hear all about her at the time. In making “the boys: the sherman brothers’ story” with my cousin Gregg, we waded through the hours and hours — painful hours of tapes recorded at their couple weeks’ meetings with Travers at Disney Studios that are the basis of “Saving Mr. Banks.” Bear in mind, the script, the songs, the entire movie was fully developed and storyboarded and ready to go by the time the author flew in on her broomstick, but Mrs. Travers still had to grant the rights.

Truly, listening to those meetings was more than enough of that nutcase for me. I was so impressed by how my Dad, especially, kept his patience with the strange, clueless, vile woman and steadfastly tried to win her over though his passion, intellect and reasoning. She was a shrew and insulting and had nothing at all positive to say about anything they graciously presented. Her endless montra, “No-no-no-no-no-no-no” — even at hearing the brilliant story arc they created, the now-classic music and lyrics.

"My world was calm, well-ordered, exemplary
Then came this person with chaos in her wake
And now my life’s ambitions go
With one fell blow
It’s quite a bitter pill to take…”

Travers was a bully and nasty at that. She famously wanted “Greensleeves” to replace key songs and insisted the color red be nowhere in the film. This is also the eccentric woman who told my Dad that the way she got inspired to work was to take a pad out into her garden, sit in the tall grass and rotate in the grass until the feeling hit her.

My dog does that too, by the way.

Travers didn’t get it then and, I assure you, she never understood nor appreciated how my Dad and Dick and the others at Disney had passionately spent years, given arguably their finest work to develop “Mary Poppins” into the classic it eventually became. To boost her relatively obscure book into a household name.

Back to “Saving Mr. Banks.”

The Pamela Travers conceived by the screenplays writers is made to be a sort of hero. In the draft I read, at least, she comes up for key story and song notions I absolutely know were my father and uncle’s contributions. She points out that they’d better write a song about that bird woman, pointedly mentions flying kites and a spoonful of sugar. The screenplay suggests that, somehow, by “saving” her precious story from the hands of the bumbling songwriting brothers and their cartoon-making boss, setting them all straight, she will in some sense “save” her own deplorable, drunken loser father who, according to these screenwriters, was the entire basis for her “Mary Poppins” book.

For those of you who’ve read Travers’ original book, the ‘father’s responsibility to his family’ concept is nowhere to be found. That was my father’s and uncle’s added theme. So was the prayer for charity that is “Feed the Birds.” The kites were an ode to my Grandfather, Al Sherman, and his simple, inexpensive way of bringing family together. Yes, a man must work hard, but his first responsibility is to his family. Mary and Bert both get that across, singing and speaking my father’s words. All it takes is tuppence, just a spoonful of sugar.

With my Dad passing only a few months ago, it’s especially difficult to see, in “Saving Mr. Banks,” his genius and his legacy arbitrarily handed over to someone who, in truth, was bitter and demeaning and sought to stop him from sharing these gifts. The script also has Mrs. Travers making a snide quip about my Dad’s wounded leg and his limp. Those of you who’ve seen “the boys” know that my father was a World War II hero that, at 17, helped drive the Nazis out of Europe. He was shot in the knee charging a hill — a week after he liberated Dachau concentration camp. He was only 19 then.
Two years younger than my son, Alex. I can’t even imagine that kind of bravery. What an amazing man. He’s not here now to defend himself against this outrageous slight, so I am speaking out for my Dad.

I have expressed my feelings to the higher ups at Disney and, hopefully, these most blaring wrongs have been corrected. I would love to see a great movie about this time that correctly tells the story. It’s wonderful enough without fudging the facts, believe me. “Mary Poppins,” the movie and now the stage play, are a cultural phenomenon, in part due to PL Travers’ books, in part due to Walt Disney, the Sherman Brothers, the screenwriters, the actors, the dancers and the other artists involved.

Mrs. Travers did not “save” the movie with her stubbornness and insight, though, as this storyline suggests. She finally sold out her rights to Walt because of his persistence and because she needed the money.

Ironically, after the enormous success of the film and song score, she wrote additional Poppins books and even named one chapter “Supercalifragiliticexpialidocious” — a word my late Dad and Uncle created.

As I’ve written before, my Dad was an amazing father, first and foremost. He always embraced the message of their version Mary Poppins and, especially, the pivotal song he wrote (“A Man Has Dreams”) where Bert cleverly turns Mr. Banks to see, work is important, but family comes first.

"You’ve got to grind, grind, grind at that grindstone
Though childhood slips like sand through a sieve
And all too soon they’re up and grown
And then they’ve flown
And it’s too late for you to give…

Just that spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down,
The medicine go down
Medicine go down
Just a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down…

…Well, goodnight there, guv’nah”

Dad was always there for me, so I will always be here for him and I’ll honor and defend his memory. So will his and Dick’s timeless words and music.

As Dad always said, “The work speaks for itself.”

Jeffery Sherman (Robert Sherman’s son) - via Facebook

For those planning to see the movie, just to have an understanding of another side of the story.

To say I’ve been insanely excited to see Saving Mr.Banks, is a gross understatement. Sadly, This makes me slightly less excited for the movie. I still REALLY want to see it, but if Disney is throwing the Sherman Brothers under the bus to make Pamela Travers out to be a misunderstood hero in the process by giving her credit for things which she actually objected to…I’m going to have an issue with that because I know what a terror she was. I know her horrible thoughts on the movie, on Walt Disney, and her inability to work with ANYONE at the Disney Company. I know about her rudeness, coldness, and disrespect. So to think that The Disney Company would change facts for the movie… and give BRILLIANT ideas that The Sherman Brothers REALLY created, and give that credit to Travers, is just appalling to me. 

The film hadn’t actually been made yet when Jeffrey Sherman wrote the above piece, though, so it’s entirely possible that there were changes. I really hope there were. but even from the trailer, i know they are painting Travers in a nicer light than she really was. Because it’s a movie, and you have to actually “care” about your main character.  It’s one thing to take creative license; to do so at the expense of the Sherman brothers who helped shape us as people with their music just seems really wrong. You can paint her as nice as you want in the movie, just do not allow the credit for such historical musical moments in our Hollywood history to be “stolen” from such iconic, credit-deserving  magic makers such as The Sherman Brothers. And definitely do not give that credit to the very woman who spit on the ideas in the first place. I’m truly hoping those moments were changed in the script, but sadly, I do not think they would change a script based on what one man objected to when they already knew the REAL facts to begin with. *fingers crossed*

I am still dying to see the film. Counting the days till I get to see Walt live again on screen, through Tom Hanks!! :)

(Source: alwaysbelieveindisneymagic)

Via Mr. Geef


Just finished this!

"Visions are Seldom all They Seem"


Day 03: Favorite quote or one liner from Doctor Who?

Hold my hand, Doctor. Try to see what I see. We’re so lucky we’re still alive to see this beautiful world. Look at the sky. It’s not dark and black, without character. The black is in fact deep blue. And over there, lighter blue. And blue and through the blueness and the blackness, the wind swirling through the air. And then shining, burning, bursting through through the stars. And you see how they throw their light. Everywhere we look, complex magic of nature blazes before our eyes.

That always brings tears to my eyes. Yes I would have been tempted to go with “Allonsy” or “Trust me, I’m the Doctor.” or “Run”. I was very tempted to use “In 900 years of time and space I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important before.”. But I’m going with this because it moves everyone. Vincent Van Gogh is one of those characters in history that we all misunderstand. This episode and this quote in particular makes us see the world more clearly from his point of view. I too look up to the sky and see the stars so differently now because of this quote.

I know the Doctor didn’t say this line but it encompasses everything that the Doctor stands for. To him every creature, every planet is something beautiful and wonderful that needs to be looked at with a clear understanding and an open mind. So yes, I’m taking the quote from “Vincent and the Doctor” simply because it is precious in itself.

(Source: gcatherinev)

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