Back to the Eighties at Disney

You could call this time travel. Yes, let's return to the Walt Disney Studio in the early eighties. That's a long time ago, isn't it? Michael Eisner and Frank Wells were busily reinvigorating what had just been renamed, The Walt Disney Company and there was an energetic buzz we hadn't felt in decades. I had left animation to become a member of the Disney Publishing Group located in the Roy O. Disney Building. I remember this being a very exciting time.

Someone snapped this photograph of a much younger me working away at my desk. Notice the Macintosh Computer on my desk. The Disney Company had no idea why anyone would need a computer so I brought mine in from home. I even wrote scripts and stories on this little machine. Many people thought it odd that I used this device. A young Disney executive named Steve Burke actually got it. No surprise that he eventually went on to run a company called, Comcast.

There were other exciting things happening back then. We were having meetings in the Disney Commissary with a charming, talented young gentleman named, Jim Henson. We were collaborating on a number of fresh new ideas and there was even talk of Henson selling his company to Disney. Michael Eisner was eager to get into Saturday Morning Television but there was no television division at the time. We were charged with developing two new shows called, β€œThe Wuzzles' and "The Gummi Bears.” We wrote scripts and designed characters for both shows that eventually got on the air. Naturally, we did this along with our regular jobs without any additional compensation. This was Disney, after all.

No matter. The eighties was a very exciting time and I can't help but look back with a degree of fondness for this period at the Disney Company. Giving the devil his due, Michael Eisner was busily pushing the company forward and in spite of all our misgivings about the way things were often run, it remains a time of energy, excitement and growth. However, another division across the way was also being rebuilt and restructured. Walt Disney Feature Animation was getting ready to break out and become a hit maker and the envy of the cartoon business. However, that's a story for another time.