Laughin' Place: Redefining Disney

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by HeX, Oct 18, 2018.

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  1. tornadobusdriver Well-Known Member

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    Apr 11, 2017
    This timeline is one of the better pop culture time lines because it takes risks.

    It would be cool to see joss Whedon pop up. he was such a big part of the late 90s and ealry 200s. even if i have a mixed feeling on some of his work.


    also id love to be in the pm
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
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  2. TheFaultsofAlts Well-Known Member

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    When's the next update going to be?
     
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  3. Threadmarks: The Miniature

    HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    Michael Eisner's Office, Universal City, CA
    March 30, 1980

    "Walt Disney's getting cocky. He didn't put out an animated movie last year, and let us and Woody Woodpecker reap the rewards. That's a big mistake on his part," said Michael Eisner, a smirk on his lips.

    "And what do you want us to do about that?"

    Eisner turned and faced the four filmmakers on the other side of his desk. Fellow 'Killer Diller' Don Simpson and his producer partner, Jerry Bruckheimer, were to his left, while animators Tex Avery and Gary Goldman (one of the only animators Universal had been able to poach from Disney) sat to his right.

    "I want you to take advantage of that. Don, Jerry, you keep working on The Legend of the Lone Ranger. Make me the best damn Western I've ever seen."

    Bruckheimer nodded. "We're working on that. We've reached a deal with Clayton Moore, he agreed to stop wearing the Lone Ranger costume in public in exchange for being put on payroll and officially promoting the film with us."

    "Yeesh," wheezed Eisner. "The whole point of this movie it to move away from Moore as the Ranger's face. What other options do we have?"

    Don Simpson shrugged. "We could take him to court."

    "And enrage everyone over the age of thirty? Moore was their childhood heroes. You take someone like him to court, and box office numbers are in the toilet. Call him, and tell him he's got the job."

    Eisner then shifted his attention to the animators. "As for you..." he said, pulling out a well-worn book and sliding it across the desktop, "...I want animation to start adapting this."

    Tex Avery flipped the book around. "Thumbelina? Sure, that's an okay fairy tale. When do you want it out? Next summer?"

    "Christmas," replied Eisner.

    "So... next Christmas, you mean?" asked Goldman.

    "What? No, this Christmas."

    Avery balked. "That's not nearly enough time to--"

    Eisner raised his hand. "No, don't tell me what you can't do. Eight months is more than enough time to crank out an animated movie. And, for future reference, I'd like you to know that Universal Pictures will be releasing at least one fully-animated feature film annually. To keep ahead of Disney's curve."

    Tex Avery opened his mouth to protest, then swallowed his words. Best not to upset a dragon like Mike Eisner.

    --------------------------------​

    Walt Disney Studios, Burbank, CA
    April 5, 1980

    Tony Baxter took in the intricate miniature of Discovery Bay. It was like nothing he'd ever seen. The model was incredibly detailed, right down to little figurines in Victorian clothing and the boats bobbing in the painted waves. The airship Hyperion was suspended from the ceiling by invisible plastic strings and tethered to the world below by a thick, coiled rope. Mountains streaked with veins of gold and silver towered over the steampunk paradise, begging the inhabitants below to take up a pickaxe and a hot air balloon to find their fortunes.

    "It's amazing, isn't it?"

    Tony whirled around, and his eyes settled on Roy Disney, who had just entered the room.

    "Discovery Bay right there is worth almost a million dollars. Most of the building interiors are modeled, the train and steamboat both work, and there's real gold in them hills," said Roy, picking up a bronze statuette of an old sea captain and examining it.

    "Seriously?" exclaimed Tony, mouth agape. "Why is it so..."

    "Lavish? Walt Disney spares no expense, Tony. You should know that by now. Plus," he continued, "he's always had a thing for miniatures. That's what his idea for Disneyland started out as: intricate miniatures on a train that would travel the country, and people could pay to climb aboard at stops and look at the models in detail. 'Course, his ideas outgrew what a train could hold."

    "They became Mickey Mouse Park, right?" asked Tony. "It was supposed to be where the LucasArts building is nowadays, across the street."

    "Yes, but even then, he was still obsessed with miniatures. I take it you've seen the original ideas for Disneyland? The first maps of the park?"

    Tony shook his head.

    "Really?" pressed Roy, eyebrows raised in surprise and suspicion. "Well, anyways, there was this land to be between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland that was all about miniatures. I'm not exactly sure why he dropped it, but eventually it morphed into the Storybookland Canal Boats I'm Fantasyland."

    "Interesting. I never knew Walt was so into miniatures," said Tony.

    Roy set down the statue. "You learn something new every day, I suppose. ...Sometimes I think that the only reason he decided to make The Discovery Bay Chronicles was to build these sets."

    "That, and getting me to trade Discovery Bay in Disneyland for Discoveryland in EuroDisney."

    "Yes, that too."

    An uncomfortable silence hung in the air as the two men fiddled with various aspects of Discovery Bay. Then, Roy spoke up again. "You know, if it wasn't for Walt, I'd be languishing in some veteran's hospital right now."

    Tony furrowed his brow. "What... do you mean?"

    "I got tuberculosis at the tail end of World War One. Military honorably discharged me, and sent me to some hospital in LA. Said I could probably never leave a hospital again. Then one day, Walt comes and visits. He's all excited--you know how he gets--and he's just going on and on about this new deal he's got with Margaret J. Winkler for the Alice comedies, and that he's going to found an animation studio and wants me to be his partner."

    "What did you say?"

    "Well I'm standing here right now, aren't I?"

    "...Right."

    Roy sighed. "Look, what I'm trying to say is, I'm getting old. I'm almost a decade older than Walt, and I've got a lot longer of a medical history than him. But you're young, and Walt really likes you. So, if you're ever in a situation where I'm not around, and Walt wants to make a very, very unwise financial decision... don't let him do it."

    Tony nodded.

    "Though, be careful. He once fired a guy on the spot who said building a ride with pirate ships dangling from the ceiling was 'impossible'."

    The silence returned again.

    "I'm sorry," apologized Roy. "I'm speaking like a man with a terminal disease--which I do not have, let me make myself very clear. I was just thinking of the studio's future last night... and I'd like to be able to sleep normally again, you know?"

    "Yeah," said Tony nervously. "Yeah, I do."
     
  4. Calcaterra Stuff About Politics (& Sports) Donor

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    I really, really can’t wait until Eisner gets some sort of comeuppance. Also, it’s good to see Tony Baxter get that kind of responsibility... do I see a higher position coming?
     
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  5. Unknown Member

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    While I don't agree with Eisner on a lot of things ITTL (and I hope he also gets his comeuppance soon), he does have a point that suing Clayton Moore would piss off every adult Lone Ranger fan; look at what happened IOTL when that occurred...
     
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  6. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    Eisner will get the best kind of comeuppance, but not for a while yet. As for Tony Baxter, I'm setting him up for a higher position, but that'll only come once a lot of the OG Imagineers are gone.
     
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  7. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    https://imgur.com/gallery/5noHKsb
    Seriously, you need three well oiled teams to pull that and seems they just have a very good one...that will be fun.
     
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  8. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    Eisner isn't totally stupid, he'll be hiring more animators ASAP. But Disney will have something to say about quality over quantity...
     
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  9. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    Yeah but you still well stablished and veteran team to pull that, Eisner strategy could work...to fill a cable channel or for Direct to Video, as cinema...have all the potential to go wrong.
     
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  10. TheFaultsofAlts Well-Known Member

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    I have two things to discuss.

    #1: Tex Avery's reaction to Eisner's order resembles the double takes his greatest works consisted of. Was that intentional?
    #2: If Eisner wants a new animated movie every year, he should hope and pray to Winsor McKay himself that Universal gets in the television animation business soon enough to just break even with critics on this idea of his. Still, when he was Disney's head honcho, he made sure the "one cartoon feature a year" thing resulted in some superb content, which definitely happened IOTL.

    Also, if I may ask, is anything going to happen to Roy Disney?
     
  11. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    Tex Avery's reaction was indeed a good old Looney Toons reference.

    Universal's got a deal with Paramount to put their cartoons on the PTS, so there's that.

    I mean, Roy Disney's gotta die at some point, and like I said he's got a lot longer of a medical history than Walt (who now, with smoking butterflied, just has an old polo injury in his shoulder, I believe), so he will be dying before Walt.
     
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  12. TheFaultsofAlts Well-Known Member

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    Good. All of these are just what I wanted to hear.
     
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  13. TimeEnough Well-Known Member

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    What decade will Roy die in?
     
  14. nbcman Donor

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    Roy is almost 90 ITTL and has lived almost 10 years after his OTL death. I can’t see him making it to 1990.
     
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  15. tornadobusdriver Well-Known Member

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    Esner's choice to have a film a year could be very smart or very dumb.. or both.

    You know what would be neat, if we see proper big animated discworld films by a studio at some point.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019
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  16. PunMaster Well-Known Member

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    I get the feeling Eisner’s plan is going to end up going something like this:
    • Thumbelina gets rushed out, only to be blown away at the box office by Disney’s movies. Eisner, frustrated, tries to produce more animated movies to beat the Mouse.
    • More animated movies get rushed out, their quality faltering as Eisner/Universal grow more frustrated/desperate
    • Meanwhile, the crew responsible for animation start getting upset over being rushed and pushed like this, causing further strain
    Now, it might not go exactly like this, and I imagine their live-action movies will have more success, but Eisner jumping the gun like this is not going to pay off in the long run.
     
  17. GTStinger Well-Known Member

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    Or Thumbelina fails and Eisner starts spending money for rights to established properties and making them into animated movies.
    Popeye
    Mighty Mouse
    DC comics characters.
    Tarzan
    Prince Valiant

    No idea who held these rights at the time.
     
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  18. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    King Syndicates..and that is pricey but managable


    CBS-Columbia.

    Warner, meaning is out.

    A combination of Burrough state and public domain
     
  19. Andrew Boyd Resident Rail Enthusiast

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    Lemme guess. Eisner screws it up.
     
  20. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    He will, but then again everyone screws up at some point. Nobody's perfect. Even Walt Disney.
     
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