Dave dropped me a note last night which reads:
We saw "The Muppets" over the weekend (fun film, by the
way), and noticed that the familiar castle logo at the beginning of the film
now just says "Disney," instead of "Walt Disney Pictures." We
also noticed this for the trailers for "Beauty and the Beast 3-D" and "Brave"
that preceded the movie.
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.
All rights reserved
Was this a sudden change? Why are they dropping Walt's name
from the studios he helped to create? I for one am not happy to see Walt's name
removed from (the) studio logo. Something tells me that others may feel the
same way. Any insight as to why they felt the need to do this? Thanks!
Actually, that singular "Disney" is something that the
Company has been slowly rolling out over the past year or so. You may have
noticed that - when Parks & Resorts debuted DCA's new logo in late 2010 - that
this theme park suddenly went from being "Disney's California Adventure Park"
to the much-more-minimalist "Disney California Adventure."
As for dropping the "Walt" & "Pictures" portions of the "Walt
Disney Pictures" logo ... Look, I know that there are Disney conspiracy theorists
out there who will suggest that Mouse House managers are doing this deliberately
because they're eager to erase any & all traces of Walt's legacy.
But if that were really what was going on here, then why would
the Company be spending $150 million to turn DCA's Sunshine Plaza section into
Buena Vista Street ...
... which is this romanticized & idealized version of the Los
Angeles that Walt Disney supposedly encountered when he first arrived in
Southern California in August of 1923?
From the names of the stores that Guests will encounter as
they stroll through this part of the theme park (EX: Elias and Company
Department Store, Kingswell Camera Shop et al) to that statue of young Walt
& Mickey which will be prominently displayed in DCA's equivalent of Main
Street, U.S.A. ...
... this section of Disney California Adventure is going to be
a veritable valentine to the Company's founder. And if The Walt Disney Company
is willing to spend $150 million to do something like that ... Well, why then would
Mouse House managers be going out of their way to eliminate all traces of
Walt on the "Walt Disney Pictures" side of the operation?
No, the real reason that the Company has clipped "Walt" and "Pictures"
off of the "Walt Disney Pictures" logo has to do with all of those Droids
and/or iPhones that many of us now use to watch our media on.
I mean, think about it, Dave. On that teeny tiny
screen, the single word "Disney" is a lot easier to read / make out than "Walt
Disney Pictures" is ...
... isn't it?
This is why the logo in front of "The Muppets" & the "Beauty & the
Beast 3D" and "Brave" trailers has been changed in the way that it has. This honestly
wasn't an effort to eliminate Walt. But - rather - just Disney's way of
acknowledging that the ways in which many of us now use & view our media is
changing. And since Bob Iger likes to be out ahead of change, rather than
reacting to things after the fact ... Well, that's why the "Walt Disney Pictures"
logo that the Studio uses recently had to be changed.
Copyright Disney Pixar. All rights
I mean, you only have to look at the deal which Disney cut with YouTube earlier this week to realize that the Company is serious about making many of its movies available for viewing on handheld devices. Not just on those giant screens that you'll find at your local multiplex.
Does this explanation make any sense to you, Dave? It initially didn't
to me when someone at the Studio explained this concept earlier this year. But later that
same day, when they showed me the "Brave" teaser trailer on their iPhone, I
immediately saw what this individual was saying about how the just-plain "Disney"
logo was far easier to read / make out on that teeny tiny screen.
** It's up to us, the fans of the company, to make sure that future generations know its heritage.**
No, it's up to the COMPANY to know its heritage and continue it and educate the novice as to its rich, fabled legacy. I'm not going to make it my life's mission to tell neophytes who Walt Disney was just because I'm a fan. Who wants to be a corporate stooge?
However, if I DID decide to educate a novice, I'd tell him: "The Disney company was started by a gifted, visionary, good man named Walt Disney. Unfortunately, he died long ago, and now his company has been run by moneygrubbers who don't respect him and wish to jettison the first name on his company and make his last name a mere brand, like Pillsbury. Why? Because they find his memory and legacy a hindrance, and because they think the public is too stupid to remember two names. Now what do you say we skip "Disney World" and go to the Harry Potter attraction at Universal?" (Say, ya think maybe Universal will take its cue from Disney and change the attraction's name to "Potter"?)
To Gigglesock, Jones and all the other negative types... CUT IT OUT!!!
Gigglesock, you, sir, are always wrong and you know it.
As for you, Jones (or should I say, "Merlin Jones") your constant falling back on Disney family member quotes to make your points has gotten well-beyond annoying!
RE: Gigglesock & Jones ... Guys, this is why JHM have a discussion section. So that we can then hear a variety of opinions on the stories that get posted on this site. And as you may have noticed, some people just have really strong opinions when it comes to The Walt Disney Company.
Me personally ... I have to admit that -- the longer that I write about the Mouse -- the more dispassionate that I become about the Company as a whole. Part of that it is probably because ... Well, Disney *IS* a really-for-real corporation these days. Which means that the execs who are in charge of the Company these days genuinely do care about things like branding and emerging markets. Not to mention fretting about what Disney's stock price closed at yesterday and/or what the next quarterly earning statement is going to look like.
But at the same token ... I have to admit that -- while I have spent decades now studying the life of Walt Disney -- I don't really consider myself to be a member of the Church of Walt. You know the type of Disneyana fan that I'm talking about, right? The ones who -- whenever the topic of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" film series comes up -- immediately chime in with that tired old Walt-never-liked-sequels "You can't top pigs with pigs" line. Conveniently overlooking the fact that -- while Walt was still alive -- his studio not only made "The Absent-Minded Professor" in 1961 & "Son of Flubber" in 1963 but also "The Midadventures of Merlin Jones" in 1964 & "The Monkey's Uncle" in 1965.
I guess what I'm saying here is that I sometimes get tired of dealing with Disneyana fans who only see things in absolutes. Who -- whenever they hear about something like this (i.e. Disney's rebranding effort. Opting to go with a singular "Disney" logo because -- among other reasons -- it then makes the Company's movies & TV shows easier to recognize when viewed on the tiny screens that you find on handheld devices like Droids & iPhones) -- immediately become Comic Book Guy from "The Simpsons" and then begin spouting about how " ... this is the worst idea ever."
I also kind of get tired of dealing with people who think that Disney exists in a vacuum. Who actually seem to get angry when I post stories on JHM about what Disney's competition is up to. Whereas the Mouse House officials that I deal with, the folks that I talk with for background whenever I'm putting together a new article for this site ... All they can ever talk about is the competition. Take -- for example -- how the Studio now views "Arthur Christmas" as serious competition for "The Muppets" when it comes to the family film box office. Which is understandable, given that this Sony Pictures Animation release is the only real Christmas-themed movie at your local multiplex this year. Which is why -- as we get closer & closer to December 25th and people begin thinking more about Christmas & Santa Claus -- this Aardman Animation production will do if-not-spectacular-numbers pretty steady business between now and New Years.
Whereas "The Muppets" ... When I was talking with people at Walt Disney Pictures this week (Who -- trust me, folks -- had a lot to say about the new singular "Disney" logo issue), all they could talk about was the sort of business that "The Muppets" was going to do over its second weekend in domestic release. By what percentage was this film's box office going to fall off in Weekend No. 2. There seems to be a genuine fear in Burbank that all of the nostalgic Muppet fans & their families came out for this James Bobin film over the long Thanksgiving Weekend. Which is why -- as "The Muppets" rolls into Weekend 2 and now has to rely on repeat business and/or non-Muppet fans to come out & see this Walt Disney Pictures release -- there could be this huge drop-off in business.
Which -- in a nutshell -- I guess is the difference between myself and a lot of the people who read JHM. The people who come to this site (and let me take a moment here to say how grateful I am for your loyalty and your patronage) are -- for the most part -- Disney fans. Whereas I ... I really don't think of myself as a fan anymore. I'm just a business / entertainment writer who now specializes in writing about The Walt Disney Company and its various divisions & projects (Not to mention the Mouse's competition).
Don't get me wrong. I still do get jazzed when Disney does extremely well. Take -- for example -- "Tangled." Likewise "Star Tours: The Adventure Continues," which I thought was a very smart update of a popular theme park attraction. And then when you see the Company fielding genuinely amazing things like that new talking Mickey Mouse that does meet-n-greets at the Parks and/or delivering witty, consistently entertaining TV shows like "Phineas & Ferb" ... Well, that makes me happy too.
But to read through a thread like this and then see people get this hot-under-the-collar, this emotional about the change-out of the logo in front of Walt Disney Pictures releases ... I just don't get that sometimes. How can you get that emotionally invested in a logo?
Mind you, I could completely understand if it were Diane Disney Miller who was saying that she was upset that Walt Disney Pictures had gone with this new singular "Disney" logo, that it hurt her personally to see her Dad's first name shaved off of that logo. But to my knowledge, Diane hasn't done that. Not yet, anyway.
Hmmn ... That's a pretty interesting story idea, though. Let me now go and reach out to the Walt Disney Family Museum. See if Diane herself might be willing to go on record when it comes to her own personal feelings on this logo change-out.
You guys have a great weekend, okay?
Sounds like we 've got a bunch of folks making a mountain out of a molehill here. Pop quiz: The last time you heeard anyone refer to something the Company's done, how did they refer to the Company? I'm guessing that more likely than not they said "Disney". Not "The Walt Disney Company", not "Walt Disney Studios", "Walt Disney Theme Parks and Resorts", etc. - just "Disney". And it's not like this is new; back when Walt was alive, people just said "Disney" when they referred to anything the Walt Disney Productions did.
Some weenie in corporate marketing decided that they should simplify the product name on everything to Disney to better get the attention of the modern consumer, who has the attention span of a gnat. But it's not a signal that Disney's abandoned everything their history and everything they stand for (although it wouldn't be hard for me to find someone to tell you how Disney did that a long time ago). There's gotta be more important issues about the Company that we can talk about than this.
**Hmmn ... That's a pretty interesting story idea, though. Let me now go and reach out to the Walt Disney Family Museum. See if Diane herself might be willing to go on record when it comes to her own personal feelings on this logo change-out.**
Now that's a great idea, Jim. I'd love to hear her point of view. Now, having said that, I doubt it'll change my mind either way. I remember seeing Walt on TV when he was still with us. My grandfather once worked for Walt. The only reason I still hold stock in the WALT Disney company is because of my grandpa (who recently passed) and Walt. The Walt Disney company used to be unique amongst the cut-throat studios of Hollywood. It used to stand for certain ideals and certain brands of entertainment. I understand that changes must occur in order for the company to compete and survive, but taking Walt's name off his company is just bizarre and almost a caricature of the way money-grubbing bean-counting hard-hearted CEOs supposedly think. That's why I get hot under the collar about it.
As for the Muppets movie, I think the executives you speak of may have reason to worry. I haven't seen it, but relatives of mine have, and from what they'd told me, the film seems to be a manipulative exercise in nostalgia rather than a quality film. We'll see if that frog has legs...
Just wanted to add...if the Muppets continues to do well, fine with me. It'll be good for the stock at any rate.
Gigglesock, you and your posts are still moot and highly unnecessary.
My oh my - the Friday box office numbers are in - and The Muppets dropped 77%! Only took in a lousy 2.8 million. Those numbers add up to DISASTER. Guess all the snotnosed geekwads who live with their mothers saw it the first weekend, leaving nothing but a largely indifferent public to say "Kermit the sock? Ehh, no thanks."
And yes, Anonymous, that one's for YOU.
I am a former employee of Disney. I worked in marketing and sales. This is something that the company has been wanting do for a while. They are creating a consistent brand so that no matter what you see or where you see it, it is "Disney." Having the logo on mobile devices easily seen is completely understandable. My current company has done research showing that people can see others cell phones at a distance of 5 to 7 feet. Many people will attempt to read what is on others mobile devices also. It makes perfect sense from a marketing stand point and that is simply what this is.
Ryan - it's appalling. Period. First, that the suits think that removing Walt's first name from the company logo is perfectly fine, and secondly that they think it's brilliant because, after all, everything has to be dumbed-down for the public. Thus showing disrespect for the company's founder and disdain for the consumer. You're telling me that the suits really believe that they have to reconfigure the company logo so that it'll fit on a cell phone screen? That is so bizarre and ludicrous that it'd figure perfectly as a skit on Saturday Night Live. How laughably tragic. Don't think the public won't notice, and don't think that a very large group of them won't resent it. The reaction I've gotten when telling people about this change has been shock and anger, and that's from young and old alike. This, in my opinion, is New Coke all over again.
Your posts are STILL moot, Anonymous!
And drop your Muppet-hatred already! It's not healthy! And quite making up lies to try and discredit the Muppets--it's not going to work!
Somebody's unable to read and understand math. I guess that's why you live in your mommy's basement, Anonymous.
According to industry media, the Muppet "comeback" has crashed and burned. Hopefully it won't affect Disney stock, too much, and maybe that flapper Rich Ross will get the boot along with Iger and then saner heads with a scrap of understanding of the Walt Disney legacy will enter into leadership positions. (Yeah, not likely. But one can hope).
From the news services:
"With no new wide-release movies in theaters, the box office competition was supposed to be a closely fought battle between holdovers ''The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1' and ''The Muppets,' but it didn't end up close at all. 'Breaking Dawn' easily defended its crown for a third straight week at the top, while 'The Muppets' plummeted faster than expected to a distant second place. "
"That’s bad news for “The Muppets,” which looked poised to outperform “Breaking Dawn” given that it had already been in wide release for two weeks. The ”Rainbow Connection” comedy earned $11.2 million this weekend, bringing its total gross to $56.1 million. That marked a 62 percent decline from last weekend to this one.
Given its positive reviews, its mega marketing support and the many charms of Beaker, it’s puzzling that “The Muppets” hasn’t generated more ticket sales. On the positive side, “The Muppets” has one more weekend ahead of it with no competition in the family-friendly genre; after that, “Alvin and The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” and “The Adventures of TinTin” will arrive in theaters and attempt to appeal to the parents-with- kids demographic. If “The Muppets” doesn’t improve or at least hold steady next weekend, that may not mean that Jim Henson’s creations are irrelevant. But it would cement the fact that their comeback hasn’t been quite the indisputable success Disney might have hoped."
"The Muppets, which in a less crowded climate might be speeding toward $100 million domestic, limped into second place with $11.2 million (well below even the Disney studio’s conservative $15-million forecast) for a 10-day total of $56.1 million."
(What, the Muppets can't compete against live-action and animation? Who'da thunk that???)
I have no problems with this. The only thing that worries me is if they are changing Walt Disney World to just Disney World; And the only reason I'd take issue with this is because they called it such because it was dedicated to his name and legacy (which was the only reason they were allowed to use his full name to begin with).