A Hippie in the House of Mouse (Jim Henson at Disney, 1980)

Oh, it's John Belushi. His brother Jim is still alive and kicking. Also, how did Weird Al manage to wrangle the guest star spot? Weird Al Yankovic in 3D was his big breakout album, and it didn't see release until 1984.
 
Also, how did Weird Al manage to wrangle the guest star spot? Weird Al Yankovic in 3D was his big breakout album, and it didn't see release until 1984.
He didn't--one of the posts points out that he wasn't popular yet and appeared on a different show, which presumably the other posters misremembered as being The Muppet Show.
 
He didn't--one of the posts points out that he wasn't popular yet and appeared on a different show, which presumably the other posters misremembered as being The Muppet Show.
He was a minor figure, but known to Dr Demento listeners in '79-80, for _My Bologna_ and _Another One Rides the Bus_,and that got nationwide from his appearance on the Tom Snyder show after Carson in early '81
 
In regards to the Muppet Show guest host appearances, Buck Henry, Steve Martin, or Elliot Gould could be guest hosts on the show during its final 2 years (considering that they were constantly hosting episodes of SNL around this time).
 
He was a minor figure, but known to Dr Demento listeners in '79-80, for _My Bologna_ and _Another One Rides the Bus_,and that got nationwide from his appearance on the Tom Snyder show after Carson in early '81
Sorry, I was trying to summarize the posts--the point was that at the time The Muppet Show was filming he wasn't popular enough to be a guest star, but he did appear on what I gather to be a different, later show (presumably a Disney/Jim Henson production)
 
EDIT ALERT!!

A Hippie in the House of Mouse has issued a post edit alert to the following Timeline post:

https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/a-hippie-in-the-house-of-mouse-jim-henson-at-disney-1980.489210/page-4#post-20595257

I have made an edit to my bibliography to add the following sources:
  • Dream It! Do It! My Half Century Creating Disney’s Magic Kingdoms, by Marty Sklar. The story of Disney Press Writer turned Imagineering head Marty Sklar, which in turn is the story of every theme park and ride in Disney history. It provides not only background on the parks and the Imagineering department, but on Walt’s philosophy and some of the behind-the-scenes drama and politics of it all.
  • Muppet Guys Talking, a recent documentary featuring Frank Oz, Fran Brill, Jerry Nelson, and Bill Barretta as they discuss working for Jim Henson and what Jim meant to them. A good source of anecdotes as well as behind the scenes information on life working for Jim Henson.
  • Of Muppets and Men, a late ‘70s documentary on making the Muppet Show with behind the scenes details. A good chance to “meet” plenty of the personalities you will see in this timeline. Available for free on YouTube.
We will now return to your regularly scheduled posts.
 
Timeline
Disney’s World of Magic (1982-1990)
Episode 44 of the Tales of Television Past Direct View Net Channel.

Title Sequence

An image of an old television gets turned on by a hand and, after warming up, distorted retro 1980s theme music plays and the screen[1] displays the title card “Tales of Television Past” on the screen, then: “Episode 44: Disney’s World of Magic (1982-1990)”. It then transitions to the original opening theme and intro for “Disney’s World of Magic.” We zoom in on the screen until it is the full display we see, nested and blocked to fit our screen. It starts showing a montage of historical clips, mostly from Disney TV past.

Host
The year was 1981. Walt Disney’s Wonderful World had been on the air in one form or another since 1954. But after all those decades, the public had largely tired of a show that hadn’t really changed since 1975. It relied heavily on re-runs, classic Disney shorts, and a few live performances, most of which was far out of touch with the popular culture of the time. NBC, who hosted the show on Sunday nights, was threatening cancellation.
Montage
Images from the TV Show, the Shorts on it, and still images pertinent to the discussion points go by on the screen as the Host discusses them. Public Domain music, with snippets of copywritten music interspersed, play.

Host
Enter Jim Henson, the man behind the Muppets. In late 1980 he joined the Disney team, first as a consultant and then later as Chief Creative Officer, or CCO. As one of Henson’s first jobs as CCO, Disney President Ron Miller tasked him with revamping the flagging show. Henson had a lot to do. Reinvigorating a failing old show would require not just new material, but an exciting new look. After several long creative meetings, it was decided to keep the classic structure of having a host introducing the various Shorts. However, the set would get a modern update with new, contemporary theme music and sets and, most importantly, new and boundary-pushing Shorts. The thought was that the show could be used as an experimental test bed for new ideas, a virtual mass test screening, as it were.​

Montage
Images continue, now shifting towards the newer, post-Henson images from the new show.

Host
The host would speak from a modern new office set backed by a large picture window, from which exotic, magical, and otherworldly images would be first back-projected, and then later chromakey inserted, suggesting that the office was located on some strange new world or setting. Special visual effects “magic” would be used during the live action hosting segments and other live performances in order to play up the mystical power of television as a medium, and, indeed, demonstrate the “Magic of Disney”. The show would then progress through the week’s Shorts, with stylish animated or puppet sequences, abstract images, or other transitional sequences separating them. The Shorts would primarily be new sequences, short animations, Muppet sequences, musical videos or performances, short documentaries (often about Disney rides and attractions, puppetry, animation, behind-the-scenes, nature, or environmental issues), or excerpts from upcoming movies, though an occasional classic Short would be used as filler or if deemed appropriate to that week’s themes.​

Montage
Images shift to footage of the various guest stars.

Host
In addition to the Shorts, the show would take a cue from variety shows (including the Muppet Show) and feature live guest stars. At first, these guest stars were recruited mostly from Bernie Brillstein’s agency or from existing Disney contracts, though in time more guest starts would seek out opportunities on the show, particularly once it was realized that appearing on the show could gain one an audience with Disney producers and directors, and thereby a chance to set up future gigs. The guests would perform and interact with Muppets, animated characters, walkaround characters, or even with the host. Musical and dance performances from these stars would add a hip, pop culture vibe that, along with for-the-time cutting edge computer animated transitions and segues, would help give the show the new, hip modern vibe that Henson and Miller were looking for.​

Montage
Images transition into shots of various producers, directors, and artists on the set and at work.

Host
Henson assigned the job of Production to Muppet Show veteran David Lazer, Disney Creative VP Tom Wilhite, and Jim’s agent-turned-manager-turned-producer Bernie Brillstein. Individual guest writers and guest Directors would be given the opportunity to do a week’s episode, thereby having the show serve as a training ground for new talent. Henson and the team filmed an internal pilot hosted by Jim Henson, with the idea being that President and later CEO Ron Miller would take over hosting for the actual show. To Henson’s surprise, Miller asked if Jim could host[2]! Already a household name following the fame of the Muppets, Jim Henson’s easy-going nature and friendly smile would provide exactly the kind, family friendly presence that Disney wanted for the show. Though Henson’s stiff and stilted early appearances betrayed his hesitance to put his own face on camera[3], over time he relaxed into the role, becoming a calming, pleasant, reassuring presence for audiences.​

Montage
Images transition from Production stills and on-the-set shots interspersed into stills from other TV shows and clips, and then into Disney Channel shows.

Host
Production began in January of 1982. By this point NBC had dropped the show and CBS had picked it up. It would run on Saturday nights from 8-9 PM Eastern & Mountain time before being moved to Tuesdays to avoid competition with the wildly popular Diff'rent Strokes and Silver Spoons. Ratings improved notably compared to the previous several years of the show, though it would never reach the heights of The Muppet Show, whose viewership it had largely hoped to capture once the latter went off the air in 1983. After the creation of the Disney Channel in 1983, the Disney management briefly considered moving the show there[4], but on the advice of Brillstein and Lazer they kept the show on network television, where it would effectively serve as a profit-generating advertisement for Disney movies, attractions, and the new shows on the Disney Channel. For example, when a Short featuring the Waggle Rock characters was aired on World of Magic, it generated a notable spike in subscriptions and viewership for the show on the Disney Channel.

Montage
Images transition into Production stills and on-the-set shots interspersed with the Shorts

Host
The show also offered Disney a chance to expand its boundaries with audiences. Disney animators and writers, in particular the young and the unorthodox, would get opportunities to create fare that was outside the normal Disney aesthetic…within reason, of course. This would allow for a variety of different styles, moods, pallets, mediums (including computer animation), and story structures to be explored, particularly when special edition shows like holiday episodes were run. Future big names in animation, such as John Lassiter, Ron Clements, Joe Ranft, and Tim Burton, would get their first big break on this show. In particular, audiences remembered Burton’s first contribution, the stop-motion short Vincent, which aired during the 1982 Halloween special. With its bleak, German Expressionist inspired imagery, it would stick in the audience’s memories, whether they wanted it to or not. Vincent would receive critical acclaim and would even win a Prime Time Emmy for Outstanding Short Form Comedy, one of many the series would win during its run. The series itself would take home an Emmy in 1985 for Outstanding Variety Sketch Show.​


Montage
Images transition into more clips from Disney’s World of Magic.

Host
Disney’s World of Magic would air weekly from the spring of 1982 to the fall of 1986, when its high costs would drive a transition into a periodic special format rather than a weekly series. It would see slight tweaks in format over the years, with chromakey technology and computer graphics backgrounds moving in during the mid to late 1980s. In 1990 it would change its name back to the Wonderful World of Disney. This later, updated format would continue to air periodic specials up to the present day.​

Montage
Images flip through more clips from Disney’s World of Magic before finally ending on a concluding screen.

Host
Disney’s World of Magic represented an interesting blend of the new and the traditional, giving it a unique place within the history of Disney television. While the show’s obvious and outdated special effects and graphics betray its age and its era, the show remains a favorite in syndication and direct viewing and is considered by fans to be one of the best eras of the “Wonderful World” Disney anthology series. Thus, Disney’s World of Magic remains a memorable Tale of Television Past. Tune in next week when I talk about Great Television Disasters, including My Mother the Car, Spy-Yai-Yai[5], and the epically disastrous Heil Honey, I’m Home! If you’d like to see more videos please “like”, Subscribe, and hit the “Tracker” button for more…​

[click “Return” button]

[1] My apologies to Defunct TV for ripping off their schtick. Consider this a tip of the hat for all the great research I’ve gained from the Defunctland channels.

[2] Ron Miller was famously shy and nervous in front of a group and would be very reticent about hosting a TV show

[3] As seen in his stiff hosting of The Jim Henson Hour in the late ‘80s; there he never got the chance to settle in to the role, as it didn’t last a season.

[4] This happened in our timeline where the show largely got absorbed into shows like Disney Studio Showcase and Mousterpiece Theater.

[5] Fictional, thank the Maker. Unfortunately, the other two examples actually existed.
 
Last edited:
This sounds like a fun show once revamped- though it doesn’t sound like something we’d get in the UK Until Satellite TV kicks in anyway.

How much of it was just an ad compared to original material though?

Does sounds the sort of show Weird Al would be on though- is he a regular?
 
This sounds like a fun show once revamped- though it doesn’t sound like something we’d get in the UK Until Satellite TV kicks in anyway.

How much of it was just an ad compared to original material though?

Does sounds the sort of show Weird Al would be on though- is he a regular?
Mostly original. Henson would insist on it. Weird Al was one of the guest stars.
 
Ah ha! There's our Fantasia equivalent for experimental short films!
Never expected Jim to host the show, I didn't think he'd have the time.

Jim, turning from window: 'Oh, hello there! I was just watching the Gollybird migration.'
[Cartoon bird collides with window, making a funny pose before peeling off]
Jim: 'It's quite the sight, given their poor sense of direction.'

The revitalization of The Wonderful World of Disney is appreciated, I remember watching a great number of films (re-cut for television) there when I was little. An animation junkie like myself would have been glued to the set if it had aired in this format.
I assume CBC would pick up distribution for Canada as OTL.
 
Timeline
Interlude: A Small Strike After All
Excerpt from The King is Dead: The Walt Disney Company After Walt Disney, an Unauthorized History by Sue Donym and Arman N. Said


Unions remained a controversial topic at Walt Disney Productions well into the 1980s. Angry memories of the contentious 1941 animator’s strike remained seared into the minds of union and management alike, even four decades later. Disney’s animators largely remained a part of the Union of Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists, Local 839 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. In 1979 they’d won layoff protections from management following a brief strike. And in 1982, the specter of a strike reared its head again as the animation studios of America grappled with the issue of “runaway production”, or studios sending animation work overseas to cut costs and avoid unions.

This had never been an issue at Disney. Keeping jobs in America had been as much a patriotic duty as it had been a quality control measure. But with the release of The Fox and the Hound, the conclusion of feature animation projects being a traditional time of layoffs in animation, there was a desire by many in Disney management to scrap the ’79 contract. Anti-union sentiment was strong on the board and some saw the burgeoning strike as an opportunity to break the union.

Board member and Chief Creative Officer Jim Henson and his associate, board member Al Gottesman, were notable exceptions. “First off, we don’t send work overseas and I see no reason to start now,” said Henson. “We have the best animators in the world and we’re paying them either way. Secondly, I need these guys right now.” Henson was taking the animation department full speed ahead with The Black Cauldron in active production, Basil of Baker Street in side production, and a dozen little Shorts under development for the new World of Magic TV series. He argued that a few weeks of work stoppage would cause “irreparable harm” to his ability to keep these productions going, in particular the new TV series, which was at a critical stage in its early run and attempting to build a steady audience. He pointed to the full offices and desks in the Animation Building. “These guys are good workers,” he said. “I have no desire to start laying them off or sending the work to Taiwan. The quality will suffer and so will the Disney name.”

Gottesman listed the legal and financial risks associated with a long strike, and did a presentation on the financial burden and short-term losses the company would have to absorb for every week of the strike. “I hardly see the point in taking on the loss and disruption over something that’s not even an issue for our studio.” He advocated maintaining the status quo.

Card Walker was not swayed. He described the union members as dangerous. He talked at length about the Strike of ’41, citing the anger, insults, threats, arrests, and even assaults. Former Disney animator and union leader Art Babbit could certainly have shared similar tales of “gangster like” actions against the union members coming from the management.

Henson asked Walker and the board why they would want to go through that all over again when they didn’t have to.

“You know,” said Henson, “I dealt with unions in England while making The Muppet Show. When they said ‘lights out at 8’ they meant that. When 8 PM arrived, and they would literally shut off the lights on you, even if you were mid-scene. In France [striking unions] shut down entire cities. If all that [the Disney animators] want is what we’re already giving them right now, then frankly we have it easy.”

After a contentious and divided board meeting, Gottesman convinced the board to allow the management to preemptively meet with the union representatives. Walker, Miller, Henson, Gottesman, and the Disney legal team met with Union President Mo Gollub and his team. The meeting was contentious, and Gottesman had to physically grab Henson to keep him from leaving the room at one point. But ultimately an agreement in principle was made: if the studio maintained the clauses of the ’79 contract, then the union would support no more than a short, limited “Solidarity Strike” to show support for the strikers in the other studios, but they would not interfere with production at Disney or publicly badmouth the studio.

At the union meeting that evening, the assembled members discussed the agreement. In a narrow vote, the union members decided to support a short, limited Solidarity Strike, but no more. For a week starting on July 31st, 1982, a handful of union members took turns walking a short picket line holding signs that voiced support for their striking brothers and sisters in the competing studios, and then returned to work.


Steve Hulett and Vance Gerry Strike; from Steve Hulett’s blog, link in the footnote

The larger strike beyond Disney lasted 10 weeks. It broke the back of the union at several studios and led to major gaps in their schedules. Saturday Morning in early 1983 would be filled with reruns for everyone but Disney, costing the TV networks and the studios revenue, but dramatically increasing Disney’s Nielsen share. Union membership plunged in every studio outside of Disney with nearly-bankrupt striking employees tossing out their union cards, desperate for any money that they could make. Some of the Disney executives lamented the “missed opportunity” to break the back of the union while the union members and leadership realized that they’d dodged a bullet.

In the end, however, the Studio had the last laugh. With the union fatally weakened at every other studio in LA, the union’s bargaining position at Disney became significantly weaker. The union and management alike knew exactly how long your average union member was able to last before they broke. Negotiations became more one sided. Should any major strike happen, Disney would have a well of “scabs” from other studios eager for the better pay and prestige that came with working at Disney.

Even so, the fact that the Disney union still had the ability to collectively bargain with any sort of leverage put them a league ahead of the other animation studios[1].




[1] In our timeline the management circled the wagons and the union went on full strike. After several weeks, the Disney union began to break as well. Read Steve Hulett’s account of it here: https://www.cartoonbrew.com/untold-tales/mouse-in-transition-rodent-detectives-and-studio-strikes-chapter-11-103143.html
 
Well the early 80’s was the time Unions where broken across all job markets it seems - miners, print workers, writers, guess animators are not immune.

Shame the Far Eastern animators cannot organise too.
 
In terms of the effect of the strike and the failure of the union to achieve its aims, it's hard not to see a net positive result for the quality and quantity of animation output as a whole - 1970s animation tended to run very limited series (22 episodes max was the typical Filmation run), almost as limited as the animation itself (Filmation notoriously so; Hanna-Barbera was little better). But in the 1980s television cartoons started to look good, or at least much better than what they had been before. I'm often amused by complaints the WB showrunners of the early '90s (Batman in particular, though apparently there were lots of problems on Tiny Toons as well) had with their overseas animators, when even the "terrible" work they would churn out was light-years ahead of what the cream of American animators were doing 15-20 years earlier.

Henson's perspective with regards to the power of European unions (Mrs T, of course, would break the ones in Britain during her tenure) is a valuable asset and what this might mean for Disney animation in the 1980s is a very exciting prospect. The short cartoons unit being "revived" for World of Magic has a lot of potential too. One suspects the old guard will want a return of Mickey shorts - and the experience and experimentation these animators will get working on them might prime them to be more successful if Who Framed Roger Rabbit happens anything like IOTL and the decision is made to produce Roger Rabbit shorts. IOTL there were three, though they stalled out (the third was produced years after the second). I think a huge part of the problem was the failure of Disney to schedule these shorts alongside their Renaissance movies - the first Roger Rabbit short ought to have preceded The Little Mermaid, the second The Rescuers Down Under, and so on - although my understanding is that Disney execs were not fond of Amblin getting a cut of the revenues since they owned half of the Roger Rabbit rights (the same reason there's never been a sequel - that and the only workable idea, a Roger Rabbit-in-WWII pitch, coming after Schindler's List meant that Spielberg had entered the "we're never ever going to make fun of Nazis anymore" phase of his career and it never got off the ground).

Given that Ranft and Lasseter are involved and have Henson's ear they might suggest packaging shorts with full-length features, which of course has become a Pixar trademark IOTL.
 
Looks like the example of Muppets staff working a full 8-hour day (and loving it!) is already paying off: an animation department firing on all cylinders through the 1980's might have huge consequences for the industry as a whole.

I wholeheartedly approve of the 'sympathy strike' (I've got a union job myself). What a PR coup it could have been if a couple of Disney execs had walked the picket line for a shift!
"Animation is part of the bedrock of Disney, if we don't support the people making it, what does that say about our company?"
- [insert board member here, making it sound like it was his idea from the start.]
 
Shame the Far Eastern animators cannot organise too
the outsourced nature of their work, and i don't mention from western animation, in japan itself, very few studios own the IP they adapt, unless they're anime first(and even them, ghibli have to release a manga of nausicaa first as people would not watch an anime movie than didn't have a manga first), plus as mention before, studios don't own the ip, the production comitte and the original creator is the one.

There a reason why Kyoani was so revolutionary, they were seed capital for ideas of manga and novels in exchange getting exclusive anime rights
 
Well the early 80’s was the time Unions where broken across all job markets it seems - miners, print workers, writers, guess animators are not immune.

Shame the Far Eastern animators cannot organise too.
Being in a Union doesn't mean that the Company they work for is immune to the outside world: the company still has to be competitive to both domestic and increasingly foreign markets.

Take the infamous gutting of the PATCO Union by Reagan.
Union initial demands were far beyond reasonable, like wanting a 32 hour Week, immediate salary increase from the $49,000 of the old Contract to $73,000, and able to retire with full pension in 20 years, regardless of age, from the existing 25 years of service and 50 years old. Oh, and free international travel, in addition to the free domestic travel they already had.

All during a recession. And a then a Strike, when it was illegal to do so.

United Mine Workers wanted Royalty payments on all Coal that dug in the USA bu non-Union members. At this time UMW dug 36% of the Nation's Coal.
Problem for the UAW was that demand for Coal was not what it was decades before.

The Strike under Carter showed that the UMW did not have the power for Striking as they once had, with along with 37% increased pay(and loss of COLA), had to do Health Insurance Copays(and now a deductable), and having productivity based wages rather than just seniority, and able to be fired for joining a Wildcat Strike.

It was a new workd, and Unions had to compete in it.

Now some Unions were broken, like Meatpacking, that shouldn't have, while others that should have, like Teamsters and Longshoremen, remained
 
Thanks for all the likes. FYI, personally I'm not taking sides on union vs. management here, just reporting the likely outcome. I've seen some wonderful things come out of unions, and seen some pretty blatant overreach as well. The binary argument of "pro union" or "no unions" I personally find reductive and missing some of the bigger points. That said, we'll see how the union's tentative survival affects things going forward.

For the record I have no idea what Henson's opinions were on unions, though I feel that this sympathies towards employees and sense of fairness would make him sympathetic in principle, at least, though as a workaholic the hard work stop times would undoubtedly frustrate him.

I wholeheartedly approve of the 'sympathy strike' (I've got a union job myself). What a PR coup it could have been if a couple of Disney execs had walked the picket line for a shift!
"Animation is part of the bedrock of Disney, if we don't support the people making it, what does that say about our company?"
- [insert board member here, making it sound like it was his idea from the start.]
A clever idea but probably a non-starter. Disney management was virulently anti-union since the days of Walt (seriously, look up the strike of 1941; ugly ugly ugly!). Things could change with time, of course, but as of '82 it's a hard sell. That said, they will certainly put out press releases saying something of the sort (always a chance to jab at the competing studios!).

In terms of the effect of the strike and the failure of the union to achieve its aims, it's hard not to see a net positive result for the quality and quantity of animation output as a whole - 1970s animation tended to run very limited series (22 episodes max was the typical Filmation run), almost as limited as the animation itself (Filmation notoriously so; Hanna-Barbera was little better). But in the 1980s television cartoons started to look good, or at least much better than what they had been before. I'm often amused by complaints the WB showrunners of the early '90s (Batman in particular, though apparently there were lots of problems on Tiny Toons as well) had with their overseas animators, when even the "terrible" work they would churn out was light-years ahead of what the cream of American animators were doing 15-20 years earlier.
Much of the poor quality of '60s/'70s animation was, from what I can tell, due to the "limited animation" born of cost-cutting. Recycled cyclical backgrounds (how many times can they pass the same tree?), filming on threes and fours (repeating each frame 3-4 times to cut costs, leading to that choppy look), using very simple lines and flat colors, and having only a small handful of poses and expressions for characters. TV animation was only marginally profitable at the time. Union hours likely added to this, and union costs likely further strained budgets and added to the need for cost cuts elsewhere, but the economics of TV animation were the principle driver (DIC-USA was non-union and still used Limited Animation). It's worth mentioning that even union animators really weren't paid much more than scale at the time according to Steve Hulett.

Ironically, sending animation overseas had diminishing returns as the 1980s continued since Japanese animators were getting better pay with time and since changes in the Yen-Dollar exchange rate added unexpected costs.
 
I think you nailed it on the head by having Jim and Gottesman argue that if all the union wanted was to keep the existing contract then why risk a repeat of the disaster of the '41 strike.
I mentioned the 8-hour day example as a positive because if Disney animators were still haring off after lunch to play ball as you mentioned before (and now I can't find the reference, frustratingly) I'd probably agree with the board. Why pay full-time when they're only working part-time hours? However, if the animators were now motivated to put the full day's work in and producing results the board's antipathy based on memories from forty years earlier loses a fair bit of legitimacy in my eye.

[edit] I note the references to The Black Cauldron and Basil of Baker Street snuck in there. Almost as soon as this thread started people pondered what a Henson-helmed Cauldron would be like, sounds like we're going to find out fairly soon. I'm also pleased to see Basil isn't butterflied away, here's hoping they can still get Vincent Price to ham it up in this timeline too!
 
Last edited:
I think you nailed it on the head by having Jim and Gottesman argue that if all the union wanted was to keep the existing contract then why risk a repeat of the disaster of the '41 strike.
I mentioned the 8-hour day example as a positive because if Disney animators were still haring off after lunch to play ball as you mentioned before (and now I can't find the reference, frustratingly) I'd probably agree with the board. Why pay full-time when they're only working part-time hours? However, if the animators were now motivated to put the full day's work in and producing results the board's antipathy based on memories from forty years earlier loses a fair bit of legitimacy in my eye.

[edit] I note the references to The Black Cauldron and Basil of Baker Street snuck in there. Almost as soon as this thread started people pondered what a Henson-helmed Cauldron would be like, sounds like we're going to find out fairly soon. I'm also pleased to see Basil isn't butterflied away, here's hoping they can still get Vincent Price to ham it up in this timeline too!
Thanks, GrahamB. Yes, the animators producing mattered a lot here. If they'd been screwing off all afternoon then Henson and Gottesman would surely have a harder time. It's also worth mentioning that management was screwing off all afternoon too (according to Disney War): they all went off to the elite spa on the top floor of one of the buildings for masages and saunas. The lax culture of the early '80s extended across the board.

Cauldron and Basil were already in production when Henson joined. In Cauldron's case it'd been in pre-production since the early '70s! Disney Animation can take over a decade in some cases.

Oh, and if you like Vincent Price hamming things up then you're in the right timeline. :cool:
 
I suppose Mickey's Christmas Carol (If that featurette exists ITTL) gets to keep it's intended original television release on CBS in 1982 ITTL, considering that Disney only participated in the strike for a week ITTL?
 
Top