On Monday afternoon, original Mouseketeer and Disney Legend Annette Funicello, who passed away earlier this year, was memorialized during a private ceremony held at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. As part of the occasion, which brought together Annette’s surviving family members as well as many of her previous co-workers, Soundstage One — where ‘The Mickey Mouse Club’ was filmed — was dedicated to her memory.
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:
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.
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.
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. (more…)