I put this on my Netflix queue and it finally arrived last night. If you haven’t heard about it, it’s a documentary about the animation department at Disney. It primarily focuses on its re-awakening (hence the title) of a department that had been waning since Snow White. You follow how Disney was able to achieve success again with feature animated films in an industry and a culture that forgot about this medium. Very rarely does Disney lower their guard and allow people into the nitty gritty of their business, past the magic, because this achievement didn’t come easy. I was reminded that past all the magic of Disney, deep down, it is still a business.
An aspect of the documentary that I really enjoyed was seeing what kind of leaders and people were needed to achieve this goal. At the chairman level in a company, it requires a different breed of leaders. To be able to lead a company like Disney in a new direction required them to not only have an ability to see the bigger picture and a vision, but to get people on board with you, whether they liked it or not. It meant that not everyone will liked their ideas or even them as a person, but they had to be able to take the hate. I had no idea that a power struggle was going on between Roy Disney, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Michael Eisner. After watching how much work went into these films, I now have a whole new respect for them. Who knew they were about to cut the “Part of Your World” scene out of the film because management felt it wasn’t relating with their test audience. These are the things you’ll learn about from this documentary. Wow, I feel like a Reading Rainbow kid, summarizing a book. Oh well. But, you should definitely check this documentary out.