Snow White and the Man Who Killed Disney – Pt. II

Corruption and Lies Economics Liberty/Politics

In 2005, James B. Stewart wrote the book “Disney War” about the problems that plagued Disney 18 years ago. Unfortunately, for the legacy of Walt Disney, the problems have grown and multiplied under later leadership.

Welcome Back Freedom Troopers! Scouts Out! Let’s mount up for the completion of Snow White and the Man Who Killed Disney – Part II Disney War.

Before we continue let us have a quick recap of the theme of Walt Disney’s Dream. Last time we talked about how Disney identified with Mickey Mouse as a little guy that everyone picked on but who persevered to come out on top. “If at first, you don’t succeed, try try again!” We also talked about how he personally developed Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and viewed it as the apogee of his achievements. Both characterized his dream and the thematic message of Disney which was to stimulate imagination, accept responsibility for yourself, go out and slay the giants in your life, get married and raise a family, and live happily ever after. [See more at: ]

This resonated with Western Civilization (and every successful civilization,) because it is literally the formula for success in the world for not only individuals but families and civilizations as well. Read on Freedom Troopers! [For more on the foundations of Western Civilization and the threat see: ]

As I said, James B. Stewart wrote “Disney War” in 2005 about the problems that even then plagued Disney and had for some time. The first years of the new century were a decidedly troubled and un-fairytale time for the company. With a hostile takeover attempt by Comcast (the parent of Universal Studios,) and the forced ousting of Michael Eisner by Roy Disney, the company’s resort experience still managed to produce new thematic attractions with regularity up until about 2012.

[OK, this was not a Disney-like fairy tale existence. If you go back to Hans Christian Anderson’s Fairy Tales they were dark and grim affairs that warned children that the world was a dangerous place and that if they were not careful and obey the warnings of their parents they would be eaten, tortured, enslaved, or killed. These are necessary lessons in a dangerous world. But Disney wrote in the relative safety of Western Civilization and so his versions were more gentle.]

Bob Iger is charismatic and he knows money. When he was acquired by Disney along with ABC he seemed like quite a catch and he rose rapidly through the executive ranks of Disney. But Disney needed someone who understood the dream of Walt Disney and could carry it forward into the modern world. Bob used his skills to generate the dollars to reinvigorate the animated studios which was good. Unfortunately, he either lost or never understood the theme of Disney and betrayed not only the families and fans but also the lifelong employees who loved it.

When Bob Iger took charge he ramped up a process that had already begun before him. He promoted people with the new woke vision and DEI “sensibilities” marginalizing or even firing those who tried to defend the thematic dream and keep Disney on course. Bob Iger continued to abandon the plot and fired or destroyed the employees associated with Disney who understood the dream and tried to redirect him to a better course. Disney has continued alienating their experienced and more traditional employees; those who have loved and been part of the Dream of Walt Disney their whole lives and have been marginalized, minimized, and even fired by the “new” Disney. In doing so he betrayed not only the themes of Walt Disney but the fans as well.

This is not just reflected in Disney but in their other properties as well. We talked about the failure of the live-action Snow White but, as I mentioned, this thematic blindness is endemic in the woke industry that Disney has become. Just as Kathleen Kennedy betrayed the vision and fans of Star Wars, She-Hulk flopped with horrible writing and pathetic characterization and now, following the crash of Snow White online Disney has suspended “The Marvels” as their highlighted female hero of the future, Captain Marvel has already failed to perform and catch the fans’ imagination flopping repeatedly.

Again, it is not misogyny to expect female heroes to follow the time-honored heroic cycle that was identified in the works of Joseph Campbell as being present in every heroic tale, in every culture of the world! Although the unthinking cultists today would have you believe everything is due to cultural patriarchic conditioning, science has proved this failed philosophy of the 60s to be false. Unfortunately, too many people never read another book after they leave formal schooling so they are easily taken in by old and obsolete ideology. The truth is that heroism is not a patriarchal theme but a human one.

It is not only a trait of male characters and stories but was present in nearly all the stories of heroism until recently. Victoria Barkley, The Bionic Woman, Ripley, Alice, Cleopatra, Mulan, Joan of Arc, and historical figures as well generally followed the hero’s journey and the “Mary Sue” type character was characteristic of immature writers of middle school or high school level inexperience. [For more on female heroes see: ]

No one starts as a hero. It is a hard-won path, taught by a mentor whom the hero must eventually replace, assuming personal responsibility for not only their own life and the heroic quest. It appeals to people because it is not only the cycle of heroism but the journey that each of us must take to manhood or womanhood, in our own lives and environment. It is the very challenges overcome by the hero that makes them someone to emulate in the struggles we all face in life.

A stream of new shows and park attractions by Disney properties that were intended to reinvigorate sales have missed the mark on what the public wants. Like Hollywood, they are citing racism and claiming people “need to change” and accept their products. But that is not how sales work. You don’t produce sales by yelling at and shaming your customers but by giving them what they want. Nothing else has been an effective marketing strategy.

This “wisdom” is not new, but like everything else they don’t know the left doesn’t know their history. Being open to selling to all potential customers is a tradition that goes back well over a thousand years. One of my favorite examples was that early medieval merchants made “crosses” that they could sell to Christians and Pagans. These crosses were designed so that they could run a cord through the top and be a cross necklace, or if they were selling to a pagan they could run the cord through the bottom and upside down it resembled the hammer of Thor. In this way, they could sell happily to all of their potential customers and tie into their dreams rather than force on them their own agendas. They didn’t try to convert them to Christianity or Paganism so they would buy their product or try to shame them because they were they believed the “wrong” thing. They sold what the customer wanted.

When I first went into business everyone knew that American politics was divided into two relatively equal groups. Therefore, anyone who took a political stance invariably alienated HALF of their customers. If Disney is losing sales because their themes and scripting are not up to the old magic then further cutting your customer base in half by dabbling in politics seems to me to be suicidal. [For more on the problems with business see: ]

Thus Disney’s unfortunate foray into politics has yielded the expected results. But this seems to be a hall mark of the left. They don’t create. They destroy. And then the wonder why things went wrong.

With Disney, Bob Iger followed the same losing strategy of other woke-ified properties (recently typified by Bud Light and others,) by trying to “convert” their customers to their own ideology; an ideology foreign to the dream of Disney. In so doing, they betrayed the original vision. Both the empire of Walt Disney and the fans are now paying for it at the box office, the Disney stores, and the amusement parks.

We have also seen that Walt Disney was a champion of family values. Do we find that in Disney today? [For more on the value of truth and courage to society see: ]

In 2017 when Pixar executive John Lasik was publicly making out with a junior staffer Bob Iger did nothing. And it’s not as if this was an isolated occurrence. An anonymous executive said, “I know personally that Bob was aware…everyone was aware. They just wouldn’t do anything about it.”

In another instance, instead of dealing with the striking and complaining Disney employees fairly, (many of whom were angry at feeling betrayed because he had betrayed the dream,) he just characterized them as “very disruptive” and “unrealistic.” Many were fired, marginalized, or quit.

Perhaps their needs were “unrealistic” because Bob had gone so far into debt (see below,) in his buying spree of other companies. Or perhaps it was unrealistic because he thought they clung to a dream that he deemed “would no longer sell” in America or was part of the “patriarchy.” Like most of his ilk, he wasn’t very specific in what he said.

There was also a loss of this thematic understanding in the parks.

On January 4, 2023, published an article by Jason Cochrane entitled “4 Signs that Disney Parks are In a Lot More Trouble Than You Think.” This further highlights the decline of Disney and its betrayal of the theme. In the article it cited the rise in prices, the loss of theme, the change in message, and the burden of debt, all coupled with and resulting in, the loss of traffic at the parks. In truth, not all have abandoned Disney, but Frommers magazine recently reported that already last year 18% of families that attended Disney parks went into debt to do so. And prices have gone up since then and continue to do so even as the economy declines. In a recent interview, Iger admitted that perhaps the increase in pricing at the parks was “too aggressive.”

I should say so, does this look like a $ 988-a-night hotel room to you?

The Frommer’s article cited over and over again the loss of thematic elements among Disney projects; from placing a modern style boring square steel and glass building amid their Polynesian island immersion to remaking their resort rooms in sterile “modern” styles (see above). Disney was losing its distinctive themed buildings and they were being replaced by the same non-descript plain modern buildings that currently pollute our modern landscape with bland sameness. Over and over my wife and I have noted that it seems that “modern” means boring, institutional-looking, straight lines that demonstrate little or no imagination. Disney is fully grasping this “modern” look and it is just one more factor that is killing the magic.

Further, failing to understand the unique attraction of Disney to family entertainment Bob Iger assumed that Sports (the modern Bread and Cicusus of America, Europe, and the world that sells to so many,) would sell anywhere, and so championed a Sports Hall of Fame in their parks. After all, that was HIS passion. Again, he didn’t understand the products he had charge of. While sports can generally be a money maker, it didn’t fit the Disney theme. And his multi-million dollar Hall of Fame crashed and burned closing so fast that most never knew it existed. It was more wasted money by someone who didn’t understand the paradigm he was operating in or the dream he was charged with protecting. [For more on how abandoning a theme destroys creative properties see: ]

Despite a desultory gap and failed themes 2023 sees the opening of “Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway” and “Tron’s Lightcycle Run” but nothing more is even on the drawing board. This is serious considering how long it is taking Disney to produce its attractions nowadays. A roller coaster at Epcot Center themed on Guardians of the Galaxy took 5 years to produce and Tron’s Lightcycle Run has taken a whopping six years to bring about. That means the parks will see no new attractions for at least 5 more years at a time when their attendance is already waning at levels that remind one of the years of Covid.

For a while now the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, among others, have been noting the loss of value in a Disney vacation as more and more of the experience loses the thematic experience it used to have and becomes more generic. At the same time, the price of these vacations continues to increase rising far above its competitor’s prices (such as Universal Studios).

There is only so long that you can ignore the core fans and the theme of any thematic product before they lose interest and Disney is approaching that point – even as it has already passed that point with Star Wars and Marvel, other products have also been marred with their social moralism.

As usual, they deflect blame. “It is because we flooded the market” or “People are bored.” NO! I, for one, would watch Star Wars, Star Trek, and Marvel weekly, and I do. But because the new efforts are disappointing I watch DVDs of the previous products that were done so well. The combination of poor writing, characterization (such as in she-hulk where the writers stated they knew nothing about either the hero genre or legal dramas,) and being bombarded with leftist propaganda as the price for watching makes the new products unappealing.

Everywhere great and creative properties are ruined when you turn them over to accountants and writers who don’t understand the dream they are called to represent, are lacking in imagination, and in some cases have no understanding of the disciplines in which they are writing. This, in any area, would be a recipe for disaster. In genres with a particular feel or dream, it is even worse. Neither accountants, financiers, cultic neo-Marxist, gender campaigning fanatics, nor mediocre writers ignorant of their genre are suited to be what Walt Disney called his “Imagineers.”

Bob Iger has greatly expanded Disney’s portfolio but the expansion had nothing to do with Walt Disney’s dream and he put Disney in debt to do it. Bob Iger went on a buying frenzy buying Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and 21st Century Fox and expanded Disney’s parks into Asia, established Disney+ and Hulu, and more. Yet in “expanding and diversifying” Disney investments he has put Disney in so much debt he has endangered the dream at the very time that (as the International Monetary Fund predicted) a third of the world’s nations are falling into recession in 2023.

Of course, like all narcissists, Iger believed he and his company were immune to the reality that “lesser mortals” had to endure and anyone who didn’t agree with him was a fool…or racist, misogynist, haters who didn’t understand what he was trying to do.

But he has now declared they will begin selling off some of his ill-advised purchases. ESPN and Hulu have been mentioned. Could you imagine Walt Disney owning ESPN? Sports is Iger’s love and not part of the Disney milieu. Now, Iger has said that not only may his home company ABC be on the chopping block for sales but recent acquisitions of Lucasfilm/Star Wars, Marvel, and even Disney itself might be on the chopping block as well. A greater failure and loss of plot I could not imagine.

So where does that leave Disney today?

The financial publications all seem to agree that changing from Chapek back to Iger in an emergency move isn’t going to solve Disney’s deep-seated financial and thematic problems. While Disney, like so many other companies fall back on blaming the “pandemic” their problems predate Covid by many years.

One of the things that made Disney so attractive in the first decades of my life is that it was not political and the whole family, whatever their beliefs, could enjoy it. True, Disney did get involved in the war effort of World War II but the war against Hitler and Japan was not exactly controversial, especially after the attack on Pearl Harbor. In the 1940s Captain America, Superman, and Mickey Mouse all battled nazis. [For more on teaching values see: ]

While the parks still rake in billions the over-spending in other areas is leeching all of the profit and putting the overall balance sheet in the red. I speak from experience when I say that being in debt tends to destroy your creativity. Disney announced recently it is firing another 7000 employees in necessary cutbacks.

Disney is now paying for their shortsighted thematic blindness and betrayal of the dream by attempting to appease and promulgate woke ideology resulting in the growing alienation of their core supporters and long-time employees both. This is resulting in declining sales and collapsing stock prices. But then narcissists tend to act against all advice and common sense. Advice is not something they take well. Not only that, but they tend to attack the very people who dare to try to help them. This is what the Leftist, ideological cultists who now run Disney are doing, and extending it into the politics of Florida ended with them losing their very generous incentives around Disneyworld. Moreso, they didn’t bother to read the very bill they attacked because their rhetoric, while it matched media rhetoric, was completely out of line with what the bill said. [For more on subversion of values by leftist ideology see: ]

It remains to be seen whether the damage that Disney’s politicized and unimaginative writing and endeavors have permanently destroyed these properties. I would like to think it hasn’t but under current leadership it will only get worse.

Nowadays if I hear Disney is producing a new movie or streaming show I have no incentive to dust off my Disney+ subscription or go to the theater until I have heard more about it I still would get back on board if Star Wars, Marvel, and other properties returned to their roots and modern writers knew how to write without moralizing. However, I would now be cautious when before I would have been confident that I would enjoy it.

A YouTuber who has sympathetically followed Disney for years, Brayden Holness, finally declared “Am I right here when I say Disney’s creatives have lost the plot? As they gut the themes from the resorts, we’ll reach a point where the only thing that makes Disney Disney is the name.”

We are approaching that point fast. Disney needs new leadership and it must be leadership that understands the dream of Walt Disney and the magic of creativity and knows something beyond sports and finance. Iger cannot save Disney because he cannot dream the dream of Walt Disney and, if other companies are any indicator, we have many more years of companies preaching to and shaming their customers for not wanting their mediocre products and trying to force their customers into the woke alleyways before they recover the wisdom of past centuries keeping business and politics separate.

To See this we need only look at what it has done to the broad thoroughfares of Disney. I went to both Disneyland and Disneyworld with my family when I was younger. I remember wall-to-wall crowds and long lines. But today, the woke nightmare has had its effect on killing the dream envisioned by the great Disney. This can be seen by the broad thoroughfares of Disneyland today being virtually empty.

The problem with Disney is that its not just a problem with Disney. [ See also: ]

If Bob Iger cannot recapture the dream he will become the Man Who Killed Disney just as Rian Johnson and Kathleen Kennedy are known by Star Wars fans as the ones who killed Star Wars, and they can both join the list of Star Trek, Aliens, D&D, and other creative properties that were killed by the other greedy dragons who wanted to hoard the gold but didn’t know how to make it.

In conclusion, while Bob Iger’s financial acumen brought Disney to unprecedented heights, his failure to see the significance of preserving the thematic dream has become a fatal flaw. Perhaps by harnessing or recapturing the experience of Disney veterans, if there are any left, and by balancing financial success with creative integrity, Disney could have secured a more enchanting and prosperous future.

The magic of a thematic dream should never be underestimated, it has driven the rise and fall of not only creative properties but empires, and it remains the heart and soul of what was Disney’s timeless allure. But the warning and consequences of abandoning the thematic dream are also clear although it seems that many have still not learned their lesson.

1 thought on “Snow White and the Man Who Killed Disney – Pt. II

  1. Here is a take on Bob Iger that differs from mine. Patrick Bet-David praises the intelligence of Bob Iger and he is confident that he will step in to fix Disney. I like PBD but I disagree with him. He is operating in the same closed circle that too many of the elites operate in. I don’t see the evidence that he will redirect the ship that largely came to this point through his own leadership – Chapek may have made it worse but Iger is not innocent and he doesn’t understand the theme because it is foreign to his nature. You can be brilliant with money and still not “get it.” In fact, I would say that a person’s strengths on the flip side reveal the person’s weaknesses and in this case Iger’s weaknesses are defined by his competence in money and the blindness of the echo chamber he operates in. I don’t think he can see or understand what the problem truly is or why he is missing the mark with Disney products. Anyway, enjoy PBD’s view and see what you think: Here is a video about the new Disney movie Snow White and the disaster being created by the lead actress. Note in the video the summary of the real story of the tale of Snow White regarding the men who saved her from the jealousy of the evil queen until she could replace the evil queen and rule in her own right:

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