Three words: Apple, Dumpling, Gang

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In Slate, Kim Masters pens the umpteenth mocking obit for Michael Eisner's career as CEO of The Walt Disney Company:

I first met Eisner in 1986. In those days, he had a wonderful, avuncular P.R. man—the late Erwin Okun—who made sure Eisner knew enough about a journalist to flatter him or her into a state of near senselessness. Before that first meeting, Okun learned that I liked Jane Austen. Almost as soon as I sat down in the chair, Eisner told me he was re-reading Pride and Prejudice in my honor. "Quick," I wanted to say. "What's Darcy's first name?" (Answer: Fitzwilliam.)

Soon after the interview, an envelope arrived at my office (then at the Daily News in the San Fernando Valley). Inside was a pamphlet, "The Jane Austen Map of England," and a red-ink note written in Eisner's boyish scrawl.

Dear 'Janeite' Kim,

I thought you would enjoy the Jane Austen Map of England as I start my abandonment of Romanticism (goodbye Hawthorne, Melville, Dumas and even good old Emily Bronte) toward realism and order and discipline. And I've already read 100 pages of Pride and Prejudice.

Neoclassically yours,

Michael

Yes, I was cynical of this gesture. What harried assistant had really tracked down the Jane Austen Map of England? Did he or she also supply an executive summary of the major themes of English literature? Yet, the fact that I kept the note shows how effective it was. And looking back, I realize that it underscores a point in which Eisner took considerable pride. "I was an English major!" the note screams. "Unlike those schmucks David Geffen, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and even Barry Diller—one of the few people who actually intimidates me on God's earth—I have a college diploma!"

Not to put too fine a point on it, but who gives a shit? I have no stake in sticking up for Eisner, about whom I know nothing special except that he once cut off and nearly hit a friend of mine while trying to beat her out of the Disney parking lot. But given the much bigger fish he had to fry, doesn't it speak well of him that he took such care in gladhanding an entertainment reporter for a third-rate paper—who seemingly has nothing better to do than wonder whether he's actually read Pride and fucking Prejudice?

Do any of the people now kicking Eisner and noting his "mixed legacy" remember just how bad Disney was before he took over? Leave aside for a moment the difference Eisner made in the greater empire of parks, ABC, Miramax, etc. Consider just the production history. Titles from the years immediately preceding Eisner's tenure include Trenchcoat, The Devil and Max Devlin, Beyond Witch Mountain, and Gone Are the Dayes.

But since Disney's live-action movies have generally been pretty terrible throughout history, let's look instead at the company's core competency of animation. There we find B-grade titles like Mickey's Christmas Carol, and The Fox and the Hound. It's easy now, when Disney is a vast empire with revenues still streaming in from the Lion King and Little Mermaid franchises, to see Eisner as just some CEO who had a good decade and then a bad one. But at the beginning of that first decade, the company was in the kind of slump that can easily become terminal if left untreated.

Masters has an interesting read on the early Eisner magic:

Eventually, the façade of imperial command cracked. Eisner's shortcomings became exposed as the team that had helped him transform Disney dropped away. The executive group was like the Beatles: Eisner and his patrician No. 2 man, Frank Wells, were John and Paul. The annoying but effective Katzenberg and the unsung Okun were Ringo and George. That version of the Beatles broke up in 1994, Disney's annus horribilis. Wells died in a helicopter crash, Okun was carried off suddenly by illness, and Eisner tossed out Katzenberg on his round, black ear.

I don't know enough to say whether this reading is reliable or not, but since I loathe Shrek, a corrupt film that is more concerned with working out Jeffrey Katzenberg's anti-Disney animus than entertaining kids, I'm going to say the Beatle simile is misplaced: Just as Ringo was revealed to be the real genius in the post-Beatle era, Eisner, who continued to achieve artistic and financial successes even in his bad years, is the not-so-secret genius of this foursome. You can test out this theory: Hop in your time machine, go back to 1984, and make two predictions: that the Soviet Union will live for another 200 years and that Disney will be out of business by 1990. See if anybody laughs.

NEXT: Miers' Viewpoint Discrimination

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  1. Shrek is “corrupt”?

  2. But since Disney’s live-action movies have generally been pretty terrible throughout history…

    Hey! When was a seven-year-old I thought movies like “The Black Hole” and “Condorman” were cinematic triumphs!

    If you can’t take the word of a seven-year-old, then who can you trust? 😉

  3. Ringo was the real genius in the Beatles? George maybe, but Ringo? I think that is taking the analogy a bit too far.

  4. Yeah, what’s the corrupt thing about?

  5. Maybe he meant “Shrek II”?

  6. Despite TimC’s penchant for the contrarian point of view on things in general, but especially pop culture, “Shrek is corrupt” is just absurd. How?

  7. I don’t get the Shrek thing either. So what the guy made fun of his ex-employer. Not like anyone has done that before and also he did it in a pretty funny way. I think ripping on Disney is a great way to entertain children.

  8. Ok, Disney was puting out some truly dire stuff back then, but if loving Dragonslayer and Watcher in the Woods is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

  9. Shrek‘s pop-cuture asides were actually funny, which is more than I can say for the desperately-trying-to-be-hip allusions that have infected Disney since Aladdin.

    Isn’t it time we saw a remake of The Devil and Max Devlin?

  10. Chris Puzak,

    I forgot about Dragonslayer. That movie kicked ass.

  11. Tim Cavanaugh,

    That knock against Eisner, that the individuals named were the real “magic” behind his reign, has been a constant knock against him since at least the early 1990s. I can distinctly remember sitting in a sushi bar in S.F. in 1992 and hearing a friend say the same almost verbatim what this writer wrote.

    Jesse Walker,

    Remember The Black Hole? *blech*

  12. Oh, people ALWAYS knock those that have a lot of money and/or power. In this case, it’s pretty damned unfounded. Eisner turned Disney from a 3rd rate movie company making after-school specials with an ailing theme park to a multinational entertainment goliath. He did his job very, very well. Few people could do what he did as well as he did. Like him or not, you can’t ignore the results.

    The armchair wannabe CEO’s that write this stuff sound pathetic.

  13. As goofy as it now appears in a rewatching, The Black Hole was the bleakest and most horrifying movie I saw as a child. To this day, the final images of that movie give me the creeps.

  14. Black Hole wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t good, but it wasn’t as horrible as people make it out to be. It just could have been a whole lot better than it was. It had some potential and it just blew it.

  15. Shrek’s pop-cuture asides were actually funny

    Yeah, but those pop-culture asides will be stale in ten years. What seven-year-old in 2011 is going to get the gag behind “Faraway Idol”, or the “lines” and the “parking tram” gags? It’s like if Disney made “Fame” or IRS jokes.

  16. Wow, “Watcher in the Woods”. I will never ever forget when I learned sarcasm – watching that movie as a youngster with a friend of mine, who kept making fun of Bette Davis going “Leave me alone! Get out of my way!” Ha ha ha….*sigh*

    Oh, and I totally second that, isildur. I don’t think I can watch that movie *now* for how it scarred me.

  17. isildur,

    When I was a kid it made me laugh. 🙂

    I just found it to be totally unbelieveable.

  18. Well, to be honest, picking talented underlings is not a skill to be taken lightly, and Eisner should be given credit for those folks who thrived under his reign.

    And, really….his run for the most part had a lot more plusses than minuses (even if I cant stand a lot of what he did…).

  19. I grew up on Ol’ Yeller. What I hate Disney for is rewriting several of the classics to mchappyfry their endings. Dammit, The Little Mermaid did not get Prince Charming.

  20. ** RANDOM INTERNET UNSUBSTANTIATED RUMOR **

    So, based on discussions with my friends who are all ex-Disney employees (writers, animators, etc)- when Frank Wells died, so did Disney Animation. There were a few last gasps before the chicken discovered its head had been chopped off, but that was The Moment.

    It’s not the case that Eisner had “one good decade, one bad decade” so much as he was unable to recruit and maintain the executive and managerial talent he needed to keep Disney Animation in business. Frank Wells’ genius was that he could keep Eisner distracted while the writers could actually write, and the talent in general could, for lack of a better word, “talent.”

    So Eisner got lucky and was in the right place at the right time- but he overstayed his welcome by about 10 years. A better discussion would include not only artistic works, but shareholder value as well. Purchasing ABC was a insipid idea, and destroyed a lot of value. Remember “go.com?” Yeah, neither do I… except I remember the lawsuit they lost to goto.com for a pleasant $26 million or so. Eisner’s lack of due diligence, espcially in regards to the dot-com world also cost considerable shareholder value.

    I can’t say I’m sorry to see him go.

    Side-note: with “Brother Bear” complete, Disney Feature Animation has now effectively been shut down. There will be no more hand-drawn 2D animated Disney movies. They’re attempting 3D digitally created movies (a la Pixar), but that’s it for 2D. This cultural seppuku will gut Disney as badly as Walt’s death. There will be another generation before hand-drawn animation is “rediscovered” and the cycle starts again.

  21. Disney had a lot of live action success.

    The Absent Minded Professor, The Shaggy D.A., the incredible adventures of Dexter Riley, and, yes, Freaky Friday and The Parent Trap.

    People don’t remember those films so well anymore, maybe because of all the piss poor remakes. …but people remember that their parents used to feel okay about takin’ ’em to the movies.

  22. …everybody’s hit and miss.

  23. Isn’t this supposed to be “Reason” magazine? What’s with all of the lame movie reviews from before Eisner’s tenure? I’d say, that by looking at FACTS, he’s done pretty fucking well for Disney:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=DIS&t=my&l=on&z=m&q=l&c=

    And what’s with this “overstayed his welcome” bullshit?

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/is?s=DIS&annual

    Profit doubled from 1.2 billion in 2002 to almost 2.4 in 2004.

    Looking at it objectively, I do’n’ see how anybody could say that he did *not* do a good job.

  24. Oh, man, I loved those Dexter Riley movies when I was growing up. I must have made my mom take me to see Now You See Him, How You Don’t at least three or four times. Alas, after invisibility, being The Strongest Man in the World just didn’t seem impressive.

    And since we’re talking about great pre-Eisner live action, don’t forget the incredible Escape to Witch Mountain. That ending was amazing. I didn’t see it coming, but it explained everything. Damn that was cool!

    (Sadly, I don’t dare watch any of these movies again out of fear that they will seem stupid now.)

  25. It’s all so obvious to me. Eisner had one great movie… and then remade it over and over. Before the Animaniacs (Helllllloooooo Nurse! pass into “did that really happen” territory. Shortly after Pocahontas came out they did an outstanding parody of the opening song, absolutely nailing Disney’s formula. Just the Same Old Heroine (scroll down).

    I can’t tell you how elated I was when Mermaid came out. Finally a return to first rate animation. I always loved the old Disney full-length animated classics. The only knock I had for the original Disney heroines was that I thought the music was lacking. But the music in Mermaid was outstanding! Moving from Grimm to Anderson seemed natural too. But then they just kept beating it into the ground. The worst part was how every one of the new heroines has the voice of a Western European. It’s got to be some kind of PC crime to shamelessly author ethnic lead characters (Native American, Chinese, Asian etc..) with no ethnic characteristics. Evan as Aladdin gets the title role, Jasmine fall square into the mold. The Lion King is a notable exception.

  26. Isn’t this supposed to be “Reason” magazine? What’s with all of the lame movie reviews from before Eisner’s tenure?

    I bet you’re a lot of fun at parties.

  27. no ethnic characteristics

    I think that bizarre Cockney accent that Dick Van Dyke used scared them away from that kind of thing.

    I haven’t seen any love yet for Darby O’Gill, so here’s a shout out!

  28. As an Euell Gibbons disciple, I’m thinkin’ “marsh mallow” is more apropos for the ___ dumplin’ gang.

  29. I read “Pride and Prejudice”, but if someone had asked me Darcy’s first name I would have probably told them it was “Mr.”

    However, for some reason I do remember Wendy’s full name from Peter Pan, Wendy Moira Angela Darling. Go figure.

  30. Eisner just happened to preside over a Disney which was seeing the advent of cheaper, and more powerful special effects and animation… and taking advantage of them.

    I don’t believe the stories themselves (aside from Pixar’s) were any less banal.

  31. Eisner made a ton of cash for Disney back when, now they don’t think he’s been making them as much as they think they should be getting. Big business is the ultimate ‘what have you done for us lately’ kind of place, so it seems to me inevitable that once those who have the power to throw you out aren’t pleased by the bottom line anymore, you’ll be gone one way or another.

    Eisner doesn’t seem to have too many friends these days but I think he’s probably made enough cash to buy a few, if he really wants them.

  32. Also… none of you even mentioned TRON

  33. This is a quote from “The Fifty-Year Decline and Fall of Hollywood” by Ezra Goodman, Simon & Schuster, 1961, pg. 151:

    “The reviewer is frequently tempted with blandishments. These may range from a benign Samuel Goldwyn personally telephoning him, just prior to the release of a Goldwyn production, and indulging in some chummy, flattering chitchat with him, to the offer I once had from a Walt Disney publicity representative in New York, before the opening of a Disney animated-cartoon feature which I was reviewing for Time, of the company of a real, live young lady for the evening. According to Arthur Mayer, gigolos have even been imported to woo female reviewers on occasion.”

    It tells you all you need to know about Disney that in thirty years they went from giving critics hookers to giving them Jane Austen memorabilia. I’ll take “Darby O’Gill” with a blonde on top over “Lion King” with Mr. Darcy any day.

  34. One thing that I hate about the later day reign of Eisener is that two of the really cool things about the Disney channel, old Goofey cartoons and the educational cartoons, are gone.

    Goofey was and is the SHIT, bar-none, and don’t give me any damn Goof Troop, make Goofey the star of the show, get him doing something, like learning how to build and use his new workout machine, and voila, you have instant laughs from him f***ing everything up.
    Also, where else can you learn about the 4 groups of musical instruments using four cavemen who beat the crap out of themselves? Where else did I learn about the secret society of Pythagoreans and their relationship to geometry? And finally, where could you learn why we use money instead of bartering all in 10 minutes?
    I’ll say this, Ducktails of the 1990’s was a revival of that stuff because it actually taught me about inflation! One episode had money grow exponentially, so Scrooge McDuck’s fortune became a pittance compared to money flowing in the street, where kids had to lug bags of money just to pay for an ice cream cone, and I still remember that from being just 11 years old, that’s f***ing impressive!

    Who’s teaching shit like that anymore? That’s all gone now because I guess it’ll get in the way of Kim Possible re-runs. (Sigh) Guess I’ll get my copy of Lion King 15: Simba Takes a Dump at the Zoo…

  35. “It tells you all you need to know about Disney that in thirty years they went from giving critics hookers to giving them Jane Austen memorabilia.”

    No, it tells you all you need to know about the FEMINIZATION of our culture that men are afraid of their own male lifestyles and have to butter up sarcasmic feminists in the liberal media. So much for “boy’s will be boy’s.” Now even powerful men have to act all down with “womyn” and their bullshit. I’m so glad that radial feminists are setting the AGENDA now. NOT!

  36. Yikes! I forgot that Dragonslayer was Disney. That was a good movie.

    But, then again, there’s that Tron thing… just sitting there…

  37. That knock against Eisner, that the individuals named were the real “magic” behind his reign, has been a constant knock against him since at least the early 1990s. I can distinctly remember sitting in a sushi bar in S.F. in 1992 and hearing a friend say the same almost verbatim what this writer wrote.

    Did someone really type that? It’s as if Spy Magazine rose from the dead and decided to post here! 🙂

  38. I still think the best way to 1) improve the quality of mass audience films and 2) make the film industry more responsive to certain audience’s sensitivities is to drop prohibitions against studios owning outlets.

  39. It is my understanding that the director of The Black Hole died during production and as finished with another director.
    I groaned out loud when the to robots got sentimental. Their speech patterns were pure hayseed.

  40. I still get a kick out of 1971’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Viewing the “Portobello Road” song-and-dance sequence again as an adult, I said to myself, “Wait a minute! Those girls in the colorful dresses are hookers!”

  41. If Eisner had been CEO of, say, Acme Home Building Products, no one would be having this discussion. Obviously, Disney-The-Cultural-Icon evokes a different sentiment than a company that manufactures widgets, which is why Eisner will be judged on different criteria than simply did profits increase. And also why he will be judged culturally on the basis of more recent crap like straight-to-video Alladin sequels. And that crap on the Disney channel. Anybody here flip past that garbage? I know it’s not for my demographic, but geez, I’d hate to have to block that channel if I have kids someday.

  42. dead elvis,

    That is the exact problem with Eisener, he’s marketing a form of culture. His problem for many was that as of late he changed the quality of the product, and so many of his long-time costumers feel cheated. This is not a good marketing strategy if you’re associated with getting your company to be the gold standard of quality for the industry again and then start degrading that quality and at the same time start fighting expensive battles that lead nowhere. Even the most die-hard loyalists of Eisner could say that his glory days were over and the strategy needed to change with the times.

    Sic transit gloria and all that jazz…

  43. I groaned out loud when the to robots got sentimental. Their speech patterns were pure hayseed.

    Having the voice of Slim Pickens will do that to a robot…

  44. I said to myself, “Wait a minute! Those girls in the colorful dresses are hookers!”

    What about “Dumbo”? The black jazzmen crows, the sadistic clowns, and of course that the catalyst for his great talent was his getting really wasted on something in an “XXX” bottle, and having a kick-ass hallucination. And yet, its uplifting message comes through loud and clear for children. It could be super sentimental (with the song “Child of Mine”, for example), without totally pussying out on anything that might shock or offend. There just isn’t anything comparable in the bowdlerizations under Eisner.

  45. “Radial feminists?”

  46. This blog is entirely disappointing. Here I thought that I’d get to hang out with smart, libertarian-type, objectivist-type people, and discuss interesting things and instead this blog is just as full of idiots as any other blog.

  47. I have no problem giving Eisner at least some of the credit for Disney’s improved financial performance, but I think there are good reasons not to be thrilled with his legacy. First, Disney had an extremely strong brand identity. That’s definitely been damaged significantly under Eisner’s watch. Whether Disney could’ve continued to maintain that strong branding while improving its financials is another question entirely, but the long-term repercussions of weakening the brand in the entertainment industry have yet to be seen.

    Second, the quality of the theme parks has visibly declined. Big mistake, and the “credit” for that also goes to Eisner. Living in Tampa, I’ve got a number of friends who are Disney freaks (I’m not one of them, incidentally) who are amazingly pissed at the way Disney’s theme parks have been operating. I’ve got one buddy who is dealing with his angst by “virtually” preserving his favorite ride: Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. You just can’t buy that kind of loyalty (which in his case, was established back in the Apple Dumpling Gang 70s).

    Of course, I’ve worked with executives at big corporations long enough to be amused at the media’s (and the public’s–let’s be honest) obsession with CEOs. With the possible exception of people who founded and developed their own companies, most CEOs aren’t the Herculean talents that they are made out to be. Although a bad CEO can cause serious trouble, a good one usually has little to do with the success of a company. I mean, come one, who do you think does all of the work or even makes the big decisions? Ninety percent of the time, it ain’t the big guy. It’s probably worse these days, with senior executives hoping for plausible deniability in Sarbanes-Oxley and related matters. The media likes to focus on CEOs because they can be used to symbolize and give a human face to a corporation. In the same way that they like to focus their energies almost entirely on the president instead of, say, Congress or the administrative agencies, which really run the show.

  48. Frank, you were hoping to hang out with smart people at a blog? What, you’ve given up on trying to hang out with an eight-legged firebreathing hippo that shits hundred-dollar bills?

  49. J. Goard:
    What about “Dumbo”? The black jazzmen crows, the sadistic clowns, and of course that the catalyst for his great talent was his getting really wasted on something in an “XXX” bottle, and having a kick-ass hallucination. And yet, its uplifting message comes through loud and clear for children. It could be super sentimental (with the song “Child of Mine”, for example), without totally pussying out on anything that might shock or offend. There just isn’t anything comparable in the bowdlerizations under Eisner.

    It goes to show how smugly delusional today’s left-wingers are to regard themselves as “liberal” and “open-minded.” It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Dumbo, but I believe all of those politically incorrect elements can be justified. Liberals are eager to defend the legitimacy of Ebonics, and yet they object when cartoon characters speak it. The clowns are supposed to be sadistic; they’re antagonists. And it’s a fact of life that, under some circumstances, chemically-induced states of consciousness can be truly inspiring.

    From the DVD commentary of The Lord of the Rings, I learned that they almost chose to show Gandalf trying to quit smoking. I thank the Lord Almighty that they didn’t make this concession to the live-healthy-or-else prudes. What’s in those pipes, anyway? Bilbo called it “the finest weed in the South Farthing.” Hmmm. Now we know why hobbits are laid-back folk who eat six meals a day and have lots of children.

  50. Ah yes, Tron. That was the first movie I saw as a kid and said, in sevenyearoldese, “what a piece of crap.” I do like the Lion King, god help me, and when it came out the first alladin was pretty bitching.

    But what about Mulan? I mean, what about Eddie Murphy as yet another lame sidekick (I never saw the movie, but wasn’t that him as a dragon?)?

  51. Frank, you were hoping to hang out with smart people at a blog? What, you’ve given up on trying to hang out with an eight-legged firebreathing hippo that shits hundred-dollar bills?

    Actually, I think I might have bumped into a smart person on a blog once, but I’m not sure. …Even if I did, that wouldn’t mean they’re more common than eight-legged firebreathing hippos that shit hundred-dollar bills, I know. …Still, I think I’d recognize a firebreathing hippo if I saw one. How do you recognize a smart person on a blog?

  52. Eisner deserves credit for making some bold, profitmaking moves- buying ABC and ESPN come to mind.

    But while he may be a brilliant businessman, he has no sense of wonder.

    Eisner has pretty much been responsible for the following:
    1)Pissing of PiXAR so bad that they publically acknowledged that they were looking forward to the end of their 5-picture deal with Disney.

    2)Killing the traditional animation wing of Disney by foisting onto the public the same rehashed shit year after year.

    3)Blaming the death of traditional animation on something other than bad storytelling and then coming up with the plan of replacing all of their traditional animation with 3d/CG stuff. Eisner’s solution to a problem of substance is to change the style.

    4)Green lighting the production of a mind-bogglingly idiotic, poorly animated number of sequels to classic films: Lady & the Tramp 2, Alladin 2&3, The Lion King 2, Jesus, what’s next? A sequel to Bambi where we find out his mother really isn’t dead?

    5)Various and sundry idiotic policies implemented in the parks: The pirates now chase food instead of wenches, and the captains on the safari boat rides are no longer armed are just two particularly stupid examples of bowing to political correctness.

    Last year, I was lucky enough to spend the better part of an afternoon with a guy who had worked for Disney as an Imagineer. Even though this fellow was very affable, friendly, brilliant, and most assuredly not a smack-talker, one couldn’t help but come away with the impression that Eisner is a soulless creep incapable of grasping the wonder that put Disney on the map in the first place.

  53. This blog is entirely disappointing. Here I thought that I’d get to hang out with smart, libertarian-type, objectivist-type people, and discuss interesting things and instead this blog is just as full of idiots as any other blog.

    Frank’s just upset that we’re not all in lockstep with his world view.

  54. The pirates now chase food instead of wenches,…

    That’s a high crime already! …and as I recall, there was one wench who–how do you say this PC?–seemed to be in serious danger of Type 2 Diabetes that was chasing a pirate. …That was a big part of the funny!

    …and, by the way, if somebody’s takin’ up a collection to save Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, I’d like to make a donation. That was my favorite too. …and it used to be like a “C” ticket! …trippier than the Alice in Wonderland, for sure.

    Does anyone else remember that really trippy ride over by Space Mountain where they made it seem as if they’d shrunk you down to the size of a molecule?

  55. “The Black Hole” kicked ass. Its problem was that it was a late 50s/early 60s style of sci-fi movie, which wasn’t what people were looking for at the time. It compares well to “Forbidden Planet” and “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, though. The robots were silly, but hey, so was Robbie.

    And the “Hell” ending is still creepy.

  56. If you want to read a hilarious, scathing, ripping-a-new-asshole book on Eisner and Disney, read “Team Rodent” by Carl Hiassen.

  57. also, I learned a bunch of interesting geometry from a film I think was called “Donald Duck in Mathemagic Land”

  58. biologist, if you enjoyed the interesting geometry from “Donald Duck in Mathemagic Land,” you should check out the wierd geometry in “Donald Duck in Ry’leh.” It’s quite thrilling.

  59. “Donald Duck in Ry’leh.”

    Is that the one where Goofy says, “Ia! Ia! Hyuck-yuck-yuck-yuck-fhtagn!” Or am I thinking of “The Space Mountain of Madness”?

  60. Incidentally, has anyone else seen the episode of Robot Chicken where the head of a reanimated Walt Disney is mated to a giant mechanical body with pinchers and missle launchers, and he goes on a feeding spree eating Cubans?

  61. Way back at the start of the thread, people were asking how well Shrek’s pop culture references will hold up over time. Now, I don’t actually like Shrek, but?

    Bugs Bunny.

    Watch any Looney Tune from the 40’s. They’re all stuffed to the gills with W. C. Fields impressions and girls swooning for Sinatra. But kids still like ’em, because the material holds up.

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