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Thursday, December 17, 2009

RIP Roy Disney

The LA Times has an interesting piece, by on Roy Disney's death. He was Walt Disney's nephew and felt his uncle's vision was being overlooked. Roy Disney is credited with reviving Disney animation, beginning with "The Little Mermaid," after launching an internal struggle which resulted in the sacking of two Disney chief executives.

People always underestimated Roy," Peter Schneider, the former president of Walt Disney Feature Animation, said recently. "You underestimate Roy at your peril, as many people have learned."

Roy Disney began his career as a nature filmmaker, snagging an Academy Award and an Oscar nomination. After many successful financial investments and some corporate raiding, Disney was in a position to wrest control of the company. One of his decisions, which seemed minor at the time, was to invest in Pixar animation technology, which netted great rewards later.

Read the two-page article for more on Roy Disney's death and his struggles with Disney management, including his two-edged relationship with Michael Eisner.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Disney Online E-books Play

Through DisneyDigitalBooks.com, Disney Publishing Worldwide is offering an online e-book service for readers from 3 to 12 years of age. This is a no-device service (ie, no e-book reader such as the Kindle required). Disney has about 500 books online now and intends to continuously expand the offerings. This includes traditional storybooks and chapter books and newer material, such as Hannah Montana material. The service will include features such as storybook creation and a personal space.

Some industry observers [1 2] claim this is an attempt at an industry-defining move, marketing directly to parents, and requiring no special devices. The annual subscription is about $80. There is a monthly subscription of about $8. These subscriptions are for up to three children in the household, according to the DisneyDigitalBooks.com. They have a free trial, presently.

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