Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bad News from the Stars...

"Bad news from the stars" was the title of a 1980's LP album by genius french song writer Serge Gainsbourg, but it's a good title for this article as some days the news are not that good.

Yesterday, Apple C.E.O Steve Jobs announced that he "decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June" because his "health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought...". Tim Cook, Apple C.O.O will, from now, take care of the day-to-day operations.

Frankly, i have a bad feeling about Steve's health. I do hope that he will recover soon and be really back next summer because not only Apple needs his visionary talent to create great products, but Disney too, and here is why.

First, we have to thank him for all the great Mac products, computers of course, not only beautifully designed - thanks to the great designer Jonathan Ives - but also working with the best reliable OS. Then there is all these tech revolutions that happened thanks to Apple - the IPod, the amazing IPhone, etc... But all Disney fans must not forget what Steve brought to the Disney world.

Think one minute: without Steve's clear vision of the future and his trust in digital animation, there would have been no Pixar Animation Studios. Now, remember how was going the WDC at the end of Eisner's era? Not very well, right? And at this time they did make a lot of money thanks to the distribution and merchandise products of Pixar movies! Can you imagine what would have happened to the WDC without them? Thanks god, the company have now Bob Iger, a C.E.O who understood that a right vision was more important than ego, and we know all the good decisions that he took since then. And Steve is part of the WDC administrators board.

But let's come back to Pixar. Thanks to Pixar existence, we had all these beautiful animated films created by the extremely talented Pixar artists leaded by John Lasseter. And now, John's vision for the Disney theme parks attraction developments is the best thing that happened for Disney fans since a looong time.

So, you see, without Steve Jobs first vision 23 years ago when he bought Pixar to Lucasfilm Computer Division, all the present - and the future - of the WDC would have been very different. That's why we all have to thanks Steve, and send him our best wishes for his recovery.

There is also another bad news today with the death of famous TV Irish American actor Patrick McGoohan. Two-time Emmy award winner, he is best known for the cult tv series "The Prisoner" - only 17 episodes, but always one of the best tv series ever produced. As we know, the main character spends the entire series trying to escape from The Village and to learn the identity of his nemesis, Number One. when it was released the Prisoner was a completely new, cerebral kind of series, stretching the limits of the established television formulas. Its influence has been echoed in Lost, Babylon 5, Nowhere Man, I-man, The Truman Show, The Simpsons, Reboot, even American Idol teaser ads.

McGoohan also worked for Disney on The Three Lives of Thomasina and The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh movies. He was one of several actors considered for the role of James Bond in Dr.No, but he turned down the role as well as the one of Simon Templar for The Saint!

In an 1977 interview, McGoohan said:

“I think progress is the biggest enemy on earth, apart from oneself… I think we’re gonna take good care of this planet shortly… there’s never been a weapon created yet on the face of the Earth that hadn’t been used…

…We’re run by the Pentagon, we’re run by Madison Avenue, we’re run by television, and as long as we accept those things and don’t revolt we’ll have to go along with the stream to the eventual avalanche… As long as we go out and buy stuff, we’re at their mercy. We’re at the mercy of the advertiser and of course there are certain things that we need, but a lot of the stuff that is bought is not needed…

…We all live in a little Village… Your village may be different from other people’s villages but we are all prisoners.”

Patrick McGoohan died at Santa Monica at 81 years old and i send my best thoughts to his friends and family.


IncrediBill said...

Yes, because of Jobs, Pixar was created and, in turn, Disney catapulted into new dimensions of animation.

Like Walt, Steve has a vision but also the ability to organize and empower people to make it all happen. I really hope he has the time (and desire at some point) to input and steer, from his board position, that kind of discipline and structure into the Disney parks division.

I feel his ability to hone in on a singularity of purpose and organize people towards an ideal could go a long way in realigning places like EPCOT and Tomorrowland; creating an atmosphere where new attractions on par with the Haunted Mansion and Horizons can be imagined and built.

So instead of singularly using the parks to market the Disney name and its properties, the parks can once again be used to market an ideal, upheld by the Disney name.


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