Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Disney Pay And An Expose'

It's that time of year again when being a Disney fan pays off, literally. That's right every January for the last 10 years the Walt Disney Company has sent me a check. Why? Because I'm a stock holder. 

This is a replica of the single share of Disney stock I received as a Christmas gift about 10 years ago. It's now a little more of a collectible. The Disney company stopped issuing paper stock certificates last October.

Each year I get a dividend check in January. Here's this year's check. 

The amount of this year's investment return is on the right side of the check under the word "amount". Okay so it's not a lot of money but it is a check from the Walt Disney company. 

In the past I have kept the checks as souvenirs. But for the last couple years I've been cashing them.  Just another bit of "magic" that adds to my Disney Geekdom. 

The first book,  I've finished this year "Who's Afraid Of Song Of The South and Other Forbidden Disney Stories ",  is written by one of my favorite experts on all things Disney. 

Jim Korkis is a lifelong Disney fan and has had an all-star career as a Disney cast member. His discussions about Walt Disney World and it's history on Lou Mongello's WDW Radio podcast are pure Disney gold. 

He's currently not employed by Disney but he is still one of the best Disney historians around. This book is a three-part treat. 

The first two parts are all about the movie in the title. The film that's the "red-headed step child" of all the Disney movies. 

The most misunderstood film Walt Disney ever created has been unfairly labeled as racist and offensive since it's release in 1946. 

Korkis writes about the films origins, starting with Walt's fondness for the Uncle Remus stories during his own childhood, moving on to his plans to make a live action movie featuring them, and ending with his creative control of the actual production.  

In part two, the author then goes on to explore all the little known secrets of Song of The South, explain the "true and false" of  its surrounding controversy, and finally comes to it's defense. 

The third section of the book, the "Forbidden Stories" is a collection of legends and accounts of Disney's involvement in things the public doesn't know very much about. 

They are the stories of Disney's involvement in making public health films, campaign commercials, TV advertising, and some other things previously thought to be very "unDisney like."

I won't give everything away because some of the stories will blow the mind of even the geekiest of Disney fans. I highly recommend this book to all who are interested in the history of "the house that Walt built."

I would suggest that if you do read this book use You Tube and Google as companions to find visuals of what Korkis is writing about. (Let me give you a hint. One of the stories is about a poster that's got to be seen to be believed.)

The last section was by far my favorite part, but the whole book contains extensively researched material and is very well written. It is an expose' on parts of Disney history that is not well known but should not be forgotten. 

The history of the company is probably as important to Disney as any other company in the world. But it's back story is divided into pieces, like a jigsaw. As a corporation it will continue to add, subtract, revise and promote the pieces that best match the public image it's executives deem best for making profit. 

As a Disney geek I find that rather alarming and it keeps me suspicious of the corporation that pulls the strings on all my favorite characters and holds the key to the vault that holds many of my most treasured movies. 

But why should I be against a company doing what it has to do to make a profit? Isn't that the American way? Besides I get a check every January, don't I?

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