As many of you are aware already, Fess Parker, best known for his portrayal as Davy Crockett, passed away earlier today at the age of 85. Parker was named a Disney Legend in 1991 and is held in such high regard that he even has a window dedicated to him in Disneyland’s Frontierland (pictured), an extreme honor typically reserved only for the windows on the buildings along Main Street USA.
In reaction to the news, Robert Iger, President and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, and life long Davy Crockett fan issued this statement:
“Like many kids growing up in the 50’s, Davy Crockett was my first hero, and I had the coonskin cap to prove it. Fess Parker’s unforgettable, exciting and admirable performance as this American icon has remained with me all these years, as it has for his millions of fans around the world. Fess is truly a Disney Legend, as is the heroic character he portrayed, and while he will certainly be missed, he will never be forgotten.”
You can read the Los Angeles Times obituary for Mr. Parker here.
Linda Lingle today announced that Hawai‘i will be the location for “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” the fourth installment of the highly successful Walt Disney Pictures’ action adventure film series from Jerry Bruckheimer Films. The Walt Disney Company President and CEO Bob Iger met with Governor Lingle on Friday to share the news that the islands of Kauai and Oahu will be sites for the production of the feature film, which will begin shooting this summer and is slated to be released in summer 2011. The production is expected to generate an estimated $85 million in direct and indirect spending in Hawaii, providing a needed economic boost for the state’s economy as well as creating hundreds of jobs for local residents.
“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” will star Johnny Depp, returning to his iconic role of Captain Jack Sparrow. The film is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, and directed by Rob Marshall. The writers are Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, and the executive producers are Mike Stenson, Chad Oman, Barry Waldman, Elliott, Rossio and John DeLuca.
“Disney’s long-term commitment to Hawaii – from ABC’s ‘LOST’ to the new Disney resort on Oahu scheduled to open in 2011, and now the upcoming filming of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ – is a testament to the company’s confidence in our state as a great place to do business,“ said Governor Lingle.
“The Walt Disney Company has a great relationship with Hawaii that we’re looking forward to building upon with the filming of the latest adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow and his crew,” said Iger. “I thank Governor Lingle and her team for their tremendous support of the projects Disney has underway in this great state.”
“We’ve always sought out the most extraordinary and exotic locations for the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ films,” said producer Jerry Bruckheimer, “and previously shot briefly on both Maui and Moloka‘i for ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.’ Hawai‘i provides an amazing range of both land and seascapes, and we’re delighted to return for ‘On Stranger Tides.’”
The state’s Creative Industries Division and the Hawai‘i Film Office, which are housed in the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, began working with Disney last year and organized a series of meetings and conference calls to help secure the business.
Georja Skinner, the State’s Creative Industries Division administrator who oversees operations of the Hawaii Film Office, worked collaboratively with the Governor’s office, Department of Taxation and Tourism Liaison Marsha Wienert, along with Hawaii Tourism Authority, Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, Kauai Visitors Bureau, the Kauai Film Office, the City and County’s Honolulu Film Office, The Resort Group, Ko Olina Resort and Disney Vacation Club to help secure “Pirates of the Caribbean” for Hawaii.
“Hawaii competes on a global basis for productions and to have Disney choose Hawaii over other states and countries is a huge win for us,” said Skinner. “Creative industries are by nature collaborative and what I think made a difference for us is the combination of our tax incentive as well as local film, travel and destination industry support.”
Below is some footage provided to us by Disney from both the Bob Iger address and the induction of both Betty White and Robin Williams into the Disney’s Legends program. Enjoy!
Scheduled to begin at 10 am, the address by Disney President and CEO Bob Iger actually began at 10:30 am. Although it was clear by the fact that the 4,000 seat Arena was still having guests being ushered in after checking all cameras and cell phones and being wanded by security, it wasn’t until Iger took the stage that he declared the popularity of the address the ultimate cause for the delay. Popularity is a major understatement as well as although the address was set to begin at 10, D23 Expo guests came to the Anaheim Convention Center as early as 4 AM to wait for the doors to open at approximately 6:45 AM, only to immediately go wait in another line to enter the Arena.
The presentation began with a powerful video that really underlined the expanse and reach of The Walt Disney Company. Not just the conglomeration of individual divisions, but how the company is experienced by people the world over (indeed I learned that there was a reporter from Russia covering the event). The titles quickly formed the sentence ‘Every Minute of Every Hour, Someone is Experience the Disney Difference’ (or somthing to that effect) and flashed through snippets of productions past and productions yet to come in all mediums. The film ended with flashing The Walt Disney Company over and over in different languages.
Then Iger took the stage and talked about the birth of D23, how he would constantly have guests ask him why there was no way for Disney to reach out to its customer base and how a visit to the Walt Disney Archives became the catalyst for D23. He talked about how only a company like Disney could have the type of fan base that would enable them to pull off a convention like the D23 Expo.
Crediting it all to the fans, Iger talked about being a fan of Disney himself as a child. A brief mention of the Mickey Mouse Club quickly transitioned to a lengthy ode to Davy Crockett. Anette, he said, was cute, but she had nothing on Davy.
Burbank, CA and New York, NY, August 31, 2009 — Building on its strategy of delivering quality branded content to people around the world, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) has agreed to acquire Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:MVL) in a stock and cash transaction, the companies announced today.
Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney on August 28, 2009, Marvel shareholders would receive a total of $30 per share in cash plus approximately 0.745 Disney shares for each Marvel share they own. At closing, the amount of cash and stock will be adjusted if necessary so that the total value of the Disney stock issued as merger consideration based on its trading value at that time is not less than 40% of the total merger consideration.
Based on the closing price of Disney stock on Friday, August 28, the transaction value is $50 per Marvel share or approximately $4 billion.
“This transaction combines Marvel’s strong global brand and world-renowned library of characters including Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, Fantastic Four and Thor with Disney’s creative skills, unparalleled global portfolio of entertainment properties, and a business structure that maximizes the value of creative properties across multiple platforms and territories,” said Robert A. Iger, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. “Ike Perlmutter and his team have done an impressive job of nurturing these properties and have created significant value. We are pleased to bring this talent and these great assets to Disney.”
“We believe that adding Marvel to Disney’s unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation,” Iger said.
“Disney is the perfect home for Marvel’s fantastic library of characters given its proven ability to expand content creation and licensing businesses,” said Ike Perlmutter, Marvel’s Chief Executive Officer. “This is an unparalleled opportunity for Marvel to build upon its vibrant brand and character properties by accessing Disney’s tremendous global organization and infrastructure around the world.”
Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Marvel including its more than 5,000 Marvel characters. Mr. Perlmutter will oversee the Marvel properties, and will work directly with Disney’s global lines of business to build and further integrate Marvel’s properties.
The Boards of Directors of Disney and Marvel have each approved the transaction, which is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, certain non-United States merger control regulations, effectiveness of a registration statement with respect to Disney shares issued in the transaction and other customary closing conditions. The agreement will require the approval of Marvel shareholders. Marvel was advised on the transaction by BofA Merrill Lynch.
Investor Conference Call:
An investor conference call will take place at approximately 10:15 a.m. EDT / 7:15 a.m. PDT today, August 31, 2009. To listen to the Webcast, turn your browser to http://corporate.disney.go.com/investors/presentations.html. The discussion will be available via replay on the Disney investors website through September 14, 2009 at 7:00 PM EDT/4:00 PM PDT.
Speaking from the Deutsche Bank Media and Telecom Conference on March 3, Disney President and CEO Robert Iger had a lot to say during a Q&A session on the current state of the company and its potential future. Read more…