FleischerFan wrote:I think changing the cantina scene so that Hans Solo now shoots in self-defense is tip-toeing pretty close to the same kind of PC changes mandated at Disney.
The decision to go public as a company was made by Walt & Roy, so they accepted all the consequences that go with becoming a public corporation.
I don't consider anyone employed in the company to be an "outsider" any more than I would consider myself an "outsider" at the various companies that have employed me through the years.
That is a huge supposition. Walt always had great concern for the mainstream American audience. In my opinion, he would have no problem with those changes, but neither of us can really know for certain.
Again, this is another supposition. I know it's vogue now to criticize Eisner, but I also remember what bad shape Disney was in before he took over. Eisner brought in Frank Wells & Jeffrey Katzenberg who are credited with turning the company around. The renaissance of Disney animation that began with The Little Mermaid began under Eisner's watch.
IMO, the Disney Studio has ALWAYS been concerned with being "PC." It's just that our notin of what is "PC" has changed through the years.
When "The Three Little Pigs" was made, a negative Jewish stereotype was not considered "un-PC" (so also for many racial & ethnic sterotypes). As mainstream tastes changed, Disney changed to conform to those changes.
Remember Walt was the guy who instituted the "no mustache or beard" rule for employees at Disneyland (when he himself had a mustache!) because he feared his mainstream audience associated such facial hair with "hippies."
Eisner is long gone and we still have such digital alterations and no Song of the South release, so to me, being PC is, was, and always has been a part of the Disney Company's policies.
I didn't see this reply when it was posted nearly a month ago, so sorry for the delay in answering it.
Eisner was definitely an outsider, considering he knew nothing of the business he was hired to run. Disney could have gone with someone who worked at the studio for years, for instance. Eisner, along with Frank Wells and Jeffrey Katzenberg, did help the studio in revitalizing the animation department. However, originally Eisner wanted to shut down that department! If you read the book "Keys to the Kingdom", the author paints a picture of Frank Wells keeping Eisner in check. Once Wells died in that plane crash, the troubles for the company started. (Apparently, in the book Eisner is portrayed as the type of manager who constantly came up with ideas and decisions based on impulse and whims, then change his mind, which would cause several costly delays and changes.) Katzenberg, according to the animators at the time of his reign at Disney, really was the one who oversaw the animation department.
Walt Disney definitely would have been upset by the number of "Cheapquels" to his classic movies like Bambi that were pumped out by the studio under Eisner's reign. Disney was against the sequels to The Three Little Pigs, for instance. ("You can't top pigs with pigs.") He only did it because he had to please RKO.
The heavy handed PC control over the older cartoons eased once Eisner left the studio. The Walt Disney Treasures included some cartoons that would have been verbotten under Eisner.