Walt Disney has promoted Leo Chu to the position of vice president, creative affairs for Walt Disney Feature Animation. Chu will now oversee the development of new features at the California, Florida and Paris-based Disney studios. Previously Chu had worked in various development roles on MULAN and DINOSAUR. Prior to joining the animation wing, Chu helped develop projects for Walt Disney Pictures. Currently, Chu is focusing his attention on next year's ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE.
Tagged With: Disney
On Monday, May 22, 2000, The Walt Disney Co. announced that its majority-owned Toysmart.com has gone off-line. Disney purchased 60% of the e-commerce site for educational toys in August for an estimated US$50 million. Disney execs, which made up 3/5s of the board, decided to shut down operations after a new round of financing was denied. One hundred-ten of the remaining employees were laid off. In April, 205,000 Web surfers visited the site compared to 1.3 million for Toysrus.com and 1 million for EToys said Media Metrix.
Riding the hopes that fantasy will be hot after LORD OF THE RINGS and HARRY POTTER, Disney has reportedly signed a multi-million dollar deal to produce the film versions of horror-film-writer-director Clive Barker's new fantasy series THE ARABAT QUARTET. Britain's EMPIRE magazine quotes a Disney spokeswoman as saying, "The work is a combination of HARRY POTTER and a contemporary WIZARD OF OZ." The first in the series is scheduled to hit bookstores next year. Barker's lawyer said that Disney inked the agreement "without reading any written words of the novels."
DISNEY CHANNEL has promoted GARY MARSH to executive VP, original programming. In his new role, Marsh will be responsible for the development and production of Disney Channel's entire slate of original programming, including Disney Channel original movies, narrative and reality series for both pre-school and older kids and music and documentary series and specials. In addition, he will oversee the network's newly created talent and alternative programming department. Marsh joined Disney Channel from Columbia Pictures Television in July 1988 as executive director, programming.
Mike Lyons meets Richard and Robert Sherman, one of the most popular and celebrated songwriting duos in animation history. Their songs for Disney have created enchanting moments in classics like Mary Poppins and The Jungle Book.
MIXME NETWORKS, INC., a developer of media technologies supporting dynamic, interactive e-marketing tools and interactive greetings, announced the appointment of RUSSELL T. GILLAM as the company's new CEO. Gillam is an Internet pioneer coming to MixMe Networks, Inc. from Disney Direct where he served as senior VP of commerce. Gillam was responsible for all the Internet initiatives of Disney properties. There he led a staff of over 1,000 people across the e-commerce units including Disney, ABC, ESPN and Go.com.
On Tuesday, February 22, 2000, Disney chairman-CEO Michael Eisner made the
announcement: "With Go.com, I believe we are now the sleeping giant of the
Internet. Once streaming video is commonplace," he added, "Disney is ready
with a vast library and the ability to create new content." Added Go.com
chairman Steve Bornstein: "I see a time, in the next few years, or even
sooner, where nobody will talk about television or the Internet separately.
They will become one synergistic, fused media." In scheduled business,
For the 40th anniversary of the Annecy festival and ASIFA, Annecy is
welcoming an exceptional guest, Mr. Roy E. Disney, as Honorary President of
this 24th edition...
Rumored since last fall, Walt Disney Animation Canada Inc. announced
Monday, February 14, 2000 it will close the doors of its animation studios
in Canada by the spring. Opened in 1996, the Toronto and Vancouver branches
of Walt Disney were created to produce primarily direct-to-home video films
in connection with Walt Disney Television Animation. The company slowly
started winding down production last fall and will completely close around
Michael Webster, who established Walt Disney's television animation
division in 1984, passed away at the age 60 following a long battle with
multiple sclerosis. On Saturday, January 29, 2000, Mr. Webster succumbed to
complications from pneumonia at his home in Port Townsend, Washington,
U.S.A. During his 42 year tenure, Webster created the Walt Disney
Television Animation division and served as its senior VP until his
retirement in 1992. He oversaw production of the Emmy-winning NEW
Fred Patten reviews Robin Allan's new book, Walt Disney and Europe; European Influences on the Animated Feature Films of Walt Disney, and discovers that Allan delves far beyond the obvious nature of the title.
On Thursday, January 27, 2000, Disney announced their decision to change
the direction of their Go.com from an all purpose portal and search engine
like AOL.com, Lycos and Yahoo! to strictly an entertainment and leisure
destination. This announcement comes on the same day as The U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Ninth Circuit repealed the stay [AF 12/7/99] on a previous
injunction that bans the use of Go.com's green and yellow traffic light
logo. Disney was given the stay to allow them the chance to remove the logo
The Walt Disney Company has announced its financial results for its
operations excluding its Internet business, GO.com. Disney pro forma
diluted earnings per share excluding GO.com were $0.25 for the quarter
ended December 31, 1999, a 9% increase over the prior year. Disney revenues
increased 5% to $6.8 billion and operating income increased 8% to $1.1
billion. Excluding the retained interest in GO.com, net income increased 7%
to $515 million. Broadcasting results for the quarter were driven up by
On January 24, 2000, Robert A. Iger was named president and chief operating
officer of The Walt Disney Co. as well as a member of its board of
directors. Previously, Iger served as chairman of the Disney-owned ABC
Group and president of Walt Disney International, Disney's overseas
business division. Michael Eisner, Walt Disney's chairman and CEO, also
announced the promotion of Chief Strategic Officer Peter E. Murphy and
Chief Financial Officer Thomas O. Staggs, to the positions of senior
CLAIRE ROBINSON has been named senior vice president, intellectual property
law, for THE WALT DISNEY CO. Robinson will oversee Disney's intellectual
property group, which is responsible for intellectual property matters for
the company and its subsidiaries worldwide. Previously, Robinson held the
position of vice president in the same department. Before joining Disney in
1989, she was with the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Washington,
TAIS, the Toronto Animated Image Society, will present "Creating Appealing
Cartoon Characters" with Peter Emslie...
* Wednesday, January 26, 2000. Toronto, Canada.
TAIS, the Toronto Animated Image Society, will present "Creating Appealing
Cartoon Characters" with Peter Emslie. In the evening's presentation, the
long-time Disney animator will explain his personal theory on what makes
for good cartoon character design, by referring to videotape and sketching
on the spot to illustrate various points. Since 1979, Emslie has spent much
of his time drawing for the Walt Disney Company. On staff for 10 years and
Imagine Television, the makers of THE PJS, is leaving Disney for its new
home at Fox. The three-year collaboration between the small screen arm of
production house Imagine Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television will
take effect at the end of April 2000. Worth up to $30 million, the deal
also includes a two-year option extension. Imagine TV had been based at
Walt Disney Television since it was formed in 1997 by Imagine Entertainment
On Friday, January 14, 2000, Walt Disney International-Latin America
announced the launch of the Disney Channel Latin America and an exclusive
satellite television distribution agreement with Galaxy Latin America, LLC
for DIRECTV service in Spanish-speaking Latin America. "Launching the
Disney Channel in Latin America in 2000 is an exciting initiative for the
Walt Disney Company," said Diego Lerner, president and managing director,
WDI-Latin America. "As we have in other parts of the world, we will now
On January 8, 1999 the Walt Disney Company recalled 3.4
million copies of "The Rescuers" video release due to two
objectionable non-consecutive frames in the 110,000-frame
On Wednesday, January 12, 2000, Walt Disney's legendary animator Marc Davis
passed away at Glendale Memorial Hospital shortly following a stroke. He
was 86 years old. Davis was a member of Disney's inner circle known as the
"nine old men." During his 43-year tenure at the studio, Davis brought to
life such classic characters as Bambi, Cinderella, Alice, Briar Rose,
Maleficent and Cruella DeVil. In addition to creating many of Disney's
female characters, he served as a key player in the development of many of