20 December 2006

The 12 Days of Bookmas Countdown - #5

Disney War - My one non-fiction pick was pretty insightful. This book was about Michael Eisner's rise and fall within the Disney Empire. To be fair, Mike did some great things at first. Disney was hurting when he came on board, and he helped revitalize the brand... but he pushed it too far with countless Disney Stores, endless sequels to animated classics, and continual confrontations with other Disney Execs including Roy Disney, and Jefferey Katzenberg who left to form Dreamworks animation. Eisner's tiff's cost Disney hundreds of millions of dollars in contract breeches and settlements. When Katzenberg left for example, Eisner held out on paying him revenues due on a figure that Jeffrey had agreed to and justly deserved for his part in The Little Mermaid, and other huge Disney hits. A lawsuit eventually rewarded Jeffrey 3 times as much as he had previous agreed to accept. When Eisner hired his personal friend Michael Ovitz as President of Disney, Eisner immediately began to look for ways to get the guy fired. Ovitz's 1 year stint cost Disney over $100 million in settlement. Eisner just has a way of ticking off his "friends."

The book also gives little nuggets of trivia about the behind the scenes happenings on many Disney movies including some of the numbers in Fantasia 2000 (Pomp and Circumstance was supposed to accompany the Disney Princess strutting about with their post honeymoon babies) and The Little Mermaid (Part of His World was cut from the movie for a time due to a fidgety kid in a screening). Lastly, it mentions some of Eisner's biggest mistakes (not supporting Pirates of the Caribbean, passing on the TV show Survivor, paying way too much for Fox Family channel, and EuroDisney) Its an interesting read for fans of Disney with a good look at how the company really operates, but at 600 pages, it is too long.

Disney War

Countdown So Far

#5 - Disney War
#6 - His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass
#7 - The Earthsea Cycle: The Farthest Shore
#8 - The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician's Nephew
#9 - The Earthsea Cycle: A Wizard of Earthsea
#10 - Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone
#11 - The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
#12 - The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

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