Disney War
  • Disney War
  • Disney War

Disney War

4.3 32
by James B. Stewart
     
 

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"When You Wish Upon a Star," "Whistle While You Work," "The Happiest Place on Earth"-these are lyrics indelibly linked to Disney, one of the most admired and best-known companies in the world. So when Roy Disney, chairman of Walt Disney Animation and nephew of founder Walt Disney, abruptly resigned in November 2003 and declared war on chairman… See more details below

Overview

"When You Wish Upon a Star," "Whistle While You Work," "The Happiest Place on Earth"-these are lyrics indelibly linked to Disney, one of the most admired and best-known companies in the world. So when Roy Disney, chairman of Walt Disney Animation and nephew of founder Walt Disney, abruptly resigned in November 2003 and declared war on chairman and chief executive Michael Eisner, he sent shock waves through the entertainment industry, corporate boardrooms, theme parks, and living rooms around the world-everywhere Disney does business and its products are cherished.

DisneyWar is the breathtaking, dramatic inside story of what drove America's best-known entertainment company to civil war, told by one of our most acclaimed writers and reporters.

Drawing on unprecedented access to both Eisner and Roy Disney, current and former Disney executives and board members, as well as thousands of pages of never-before-seen letters, memos, transcripts, and other documents, James B. Stewart gets to the bottom of mysteries that have enveloped Disney for years: What really caused the rupture with studio chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg, a man who once regarded Eisner as a father but who became his fiercest rival? How could Eisner have so misjudged Michael Ovitz, a man who was not only "the most powerful man in Hollywood" but also his friend, whom he appointed as Disney president and immediately wanted to fire? What caused the break between Eisner and Pixar chairman Steve Jobs, and why did Pixar abruptly abandon its partnership with Disney? Why did Eisner so mistrust Roy Disney that he assigned Disney company executives to spy on him? How did Eisner control the Disney board for so long, and what really happened in the fateful board meeting in September 2004, when Eisner played his last cards?

Here, too, is the creative process that lies at the heart of Disney-from the making of The Lion King to Pirates of the Caribbean. Even as the executive suite has been engulfed in turmoil, Disney has worked-and sometimes clashed-with a glittering array of stars, directors, designers, artists, and producers, many of whom tell their stories here for the first time.

Stewart describes how Eisner lost his chairmanship and why he felt obliged to resign as CEO, effective 2006. No other book so thoroughly penetrates the secretive world of the corporate boardroom. DisneyWar is an enthralling tale of one of America's most powerful media and entertainment companies, the people who control it, and those trying to overthrow them.

DisneyWar is an epic achievement. It tells a story that-in its sudden twists, vivid, larger-than-life characters, and thrilling climax-might itself have been the subject of a Disney animated classic-except that it's all true.

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Editorial Reviews

Bob Woodward
DisneyWar is a compelling and often brilliant tale of how Eisner kept his own -- and everyone else's -- stress levels churning. To give Eisner the benefit of the doubt, his intent seems to have been to maintain an atmosphere of creativity while containing the roaring, toxic egos of the numerous barons of the magic kingdom. But in the end, it was Eisner's own ego that swamped and infected Disney.
— The Washington Post
Janet Maslin
The book describes an Eisner-dominated atmosphere of nonstop conflict and bickering, punctuated by the occasional stinker ("Pearl Harbor"), gold mine ("The Lion King") or missed opportunity ("The Sopranos"). It tells a messy, fractious story complete with its own Seven Dwarfs: Sneaky, Screamy, Pushy, Greedy, Grabby, Nasty and Snarky. Snow White is nowhere to be seen.
— The New York Times
Library Journal
Trust Stewart to find the Blood Sport in the toppling of Michael Eisner, once king of Disney's hill. A six-city tour. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780684809939
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
02/22/2005
Pages:
592
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.70(h) x 1.70(d)

Read an Excerpt

The fusion of chief executive Michael Eisner's identity with that of Disney— L'état, c'est moi—is hardly a rare phenomenon in either business or history. It has traditionally led to the downfall of nearly all absolute monarchies. A familiar tragic character in Shakespeare-Lear, Henry IV, Richard II, Macbeth, Richard III-is the ruler whose power is such that he bends the truth itself to suit his will. When Eisner himself sometimes referred to the ongoing drama around him as "Shakespearean," he might well have been describing Shakespeare's many explorations of this very theme, in which a monarch forgets his subjects and answers to the demands of his own ego.
—from DisneyWar

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