Sunday, February 11, 2007

Remembering Walt - Part 1

Can we remember Walt enough? It seems so many admirers of him, be it professionally or personally, always seem to want to learn more about the man who was Walt Disney. What made his mind tick? Where did all of his amazing ideas spring from? Why did he have this incredible and innate ability when it appears so few people possess this skill now? How can we get it? So many questions.
Walt is someone I've always found to be so fascinating. I think what sparks my interest stems from his uniqueness and his refusal to be like the guy down the street (while, ironically, still being like the guy down the street). He had this balance. He wasn't content with average ideas, or even good ideas. He always shot for the BEST ideas, the new, innovative, hyper-creative ideas. Yet, he could pair that innovation with something tried and true. Something classically great that we were all familiar and comfortable with.
So often it's difficult to accept something that is different even if it is innovative. There can sometimes be a foreboding aspect to it. How many of us sat blankly in front of our computers when the Internet came to be? Feeling overwhelmed, lost, yet knowing it had near limitless potential. We knew it was very cool, yet it was intimidating and it took many of us years to really be comfortable with using it. Walt knew how to get beyond these feelings.
Back in the 60s, the idea of a robot was probably (I missed the 60s!) pretty crazy. Futuristic, sterile, sci-fi, unwelcoming, and scary. In a classic sense I think it still scares me to an extent even today. But the audio-animatronic! That's a completely different story! Walt made you want them in your own homes. He fascinated you, showed you how they worked, told you stories with them, used them to entertain you and even to give you a history lesson. He packaged them up beautifully and took them to places unimagined. It's 2007, and I would never consider having a regular technological type robot in my home. As a matter of fact, I'd flat out refuse, even if it cleaned my entire house. But give me that AA Johnny Depp anytiiiiiime! It's just one example of so many.
The above article (yes, I do love my paper Disney!) is part one of two. Enjoy this beautiful weekend day reading about great people's experiences with a great man. I hope it makes you feel a bit inspired to do something new in your day!

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