If HOTR is a run away hit, does it help or hurt?

After reading the thoughtful comments here below about the soundtrack, I raise the Question above.

If Home on the range is a hit, does it help Eisner?

If it makes as much as the former Menken productions what then?

Does it protect him or Disney from Comcast?

Do we the enthusiasts, want Comcast to rescue Disney?

Do the stockholders know that he has shut down Animation?

your thoughts...



I think the stockholders do know that he has shut down animation. Big investor type stockholders dont really care about creativity. If they see CGI features makes more then handdrawn at the moment, well... that's enough reason for them to stop handdrawn animation.

I think if HOTR is a hit it wont help Eisner a lot, since he was the one who said there's no future in handdrawn animation, and HOTR looks very handdrawn with its flat backgrounds and squary character designs. It will be clear Eisner made a mistake by selling all the animation tools and firing all the artists or putting them behind computers (especially when those CGI movies wont be a succes).

The comcast offer has some good sides. it would mean that Comcast would take care of all the "not Disney stuff" (ABC, ESPN, etc) and let Disney concentrate on what they do best: movies and themeparks. Then again, Disney wouldnt be totally independent anymore, which could lead to some problems in the future. Also, there'd be less room for totally new one of a kind projects, like Disneyland back in 1955. I

think if HOTR will be a succes it will protect Disney a little more from Comcast though, since then Disney would prove they still have (had?) the power to enchaunt the public.

I doubt if HOTR will be a succes though ;)

X-S Tech

Active Member
If Home on the range is a hit, does it help Eisner?-Probably not much. If it's a hit (which I also doubt, at least not by Disney's standards) then he'll point to it as a sign of brilliant leadership. But too much has already happened to soil his name.

If it makes as much as the former Menken productions what then?- Then hopefully the move to destroy traditional animation will be reevaluated.

Does it protect him or Disney from Comcast?=Probably not.

Do we the enthusiasts, want Comcast to rescue Disney?- If they could. But I think Comcast would be Disney's Concrete Life Preserver.

Do the stockholders know that he has shut down Animation?-Well like any major group of people, there are those who are informed and those who aren't. Disney has never said that they are shutting down Animation. They are simply relocating everything to Burbank where the next generation of films is going to be made, coincidentally all on the Computer. Heck Treasure Planet was half CGI, so it's nothing new, they're just replacing that pesky traditional part that kept people out of the theatres right? I'm sure a good number of the shareholders see it like this. Who wouldn't want thier company moving in a bold new direction, cutting new ground even if they're simply following on the coattails of other studios and trying to grab a slice of the pie, meanwhile ignoring their own traditions?

Like I said I don't think HOTR will be a success. While I love the style (though there are several computer elements, backgrounds and props) and am glad they've once again tried something different, I no longer have any faith in their ability to do a great story. Good maybe, but not great, and that's what it takes. Good cartoon stories are for direct to Video, great are the ones that get people talking and fill theatres.

IF (that's a big if) in fact, HOTR has a decent chance to succeed, I think Disney will sabotage it. And before you say "that will never happen" let's all look at 2 little films: Emporers New Groove and Lilo & Stitch. Despite terrible story trouble during production, the ENG emerged as quite a little gem of a movie, funny, quirky and different, and with just the right amount of heart so as not to slow the humor but enough to feel genuine. This film got zero promotion. I was working at DL at the time of it's release and we had guests coming through who had never heard of it. Not that there's anything wrong with a bit of a subtle promotion but this is simply not the way Disney operates and it seemed very suspicious. Especially when Atlantis was being touted so loudly and then bombed so badly. ENG had 4 pieces of merch in the park, 2 childrens shirts, and 2 video games, oh yes and the CD, the shirts and games finally debuting towards the end of the films run. It was bizarre. It was like Disney disavowing all knowledge of it's existence and then grudgingly admitting that it was thier film.

Lilo and Stitch was promoted much better, perhaps because Disney had a bit more faith in Florida's Feature Animations abilities. For a time it seemed like it had another Lion King caliber film. However, merchandise was not as prevelant and the film was only in theaters for a short time. Of course that's the trend nowadays, get the film to DVD as quick as possible. Lilo had what 6 months between theatrical debut and DVD debut (someone correct me if I'm wrong)? Lion King was released in Summer and then after fading away was reissued for a special holiday engagement which brought in just as much revenue as the first time. It was in theatres twice as long and had (and still has) a ton of merchandise. Lilo& Stitch was well on thier way but weren't given the chance.

I believe the reasons for all this sabotage is simply because the moves to eliminate traditional animation have already been made. Heck they'd have to buy back all those desks right? Not to mention hire back all those people. No, a good leader has to stick to his decisions, not flip flop every time the wind changes. Maybe we can take some hope in the fact that Eisner's not a good leader.
Diane made the point in the LA Times this week that if Mike were to forced out now that the stock would drop below Comcasts offer. She said it needs to be done delicately with a groomed succesor in place.

HOTR a hit? Give me a break....a problematic film, as Bill pointed out, that's getting thrown out, like yesterday's news, for an April release; that decision doesn't give me the feeling that there's a lot of faith in the film.

As far as affecting Eisner's future, I think that there are bigger wheels in motion already(i.e., the loss of Pixar) that will determine his fate--hopefully, his doom.