Roy E. Disney

Animation Executive


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his two-and-a-half hour plus Archive interview, Roy E. Disney (1930-2009) describes the early history of the Disney company and the role that his father, Roy O. Disney, and uncle Walt Disney, had in its creation and early years. He relates his childhood recollections of some of Disney's work including the company's first feature-length animated film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. He talks about his first job out of college, in guest relations at NBC. He then describes his work as an editor, starting with his apprenticeship on the 1950s television police drama Dragnet. He chronicles his work from assistant editor to producer/director of Disney's "True-Life Adventures" series, explaining the approach to these documentary films. He recalls the opening of the Disneyland theme park and its coverage for television. He outlines Disney's entrance into television series with Disneyland on ABC, and touches on a number of the projects he worked on under the show's banner. He describes the turmoil in the executive suites at Disney in the 1980s and the company's return to glory in animated movies, for which he played a large part. He talks about his efforts in 2003 to change the direction the studio was headed and the 2005 appointment of Robert A. Iger as President and CEO. Finally, he expresses his views of both his father and Walt Disney's legacy to the Walt Disney Company. Jennifer Howard conducted the interview in Burbank, CA on November 5, 2007.

"There are three important things about film: story, story and story. If you don't tell the story, boy, they've got someplace to go pretty quick."

Highlights
Roy Disney on realizing the power of animation when seeing a rough scene from Snow White
01:42
Roy Disney on the concept of Disneyland
01:50
Roy Disney on the transition of Disney's True Life Adventures nature features to television
04:44
Roy Disney on ABC's part-ownership of Disneyland
01:50
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early years 
On his father Roy O. Disney, his uncle Walt Disney, and the beginnings of the Disney company
On his early interests, seeing TV for the first time, his education, and his first jobs as an NBC page and as an apprentice editor on Dragnet

Chapter 2

Continuing on his brief work on Dragnet
On his work on Disney's True Life Adventures nature feature films

Chapter 3

On Walt Disney's management and his public persona
On working on Zorro before beginning to produce his own shows
On producing "An Otter in the Family", "Mustang", "Call it Courage", and "The Flight of the Grey Wolf"
On the death of Walt Disney
On the completion of Disneyworld and on the toll it took on his father, Roy O. Disney
On the fate of Disney company after his father's death; leaving the company and founding Shamrock Holdings

Chapter 4

On Shamrock Holdings and his feature sailing documentary Pacific High
On resigning from the Disney board in 1984 and the change in leadership at the Walt Disney Company
On becoming the head of Walt Disney Animation and some of the projects and technologies produced during his tenure

Chapter 5

On the Disney company and the animation department after Frank Wells' death
Roy Disney on Disney's acquisition of ABC in the 1990s
On some of his projects including The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit, Fantasia 2000 and Destino
On the attempt to oust Michael Eisner from the Disney board, the acquisition of Pixar, and his then-current feelings about the company's future

Chapter 6

On Disney's acquisition of Pixar
On the Disney legacy and then-current state of the company
On summing up his career
Shows

Disneyland

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Roy Disney on the transition of Disney's True Life Adventures nature features to television
04:44
Roy Disney on the opening of Disneyland and the beginings of Walt Disney on television
09:06

Dragnet

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Roy Disney on his job as an apprentice film editor on Dragnet
01:23

Wonderful World of Disney, The aka Magical World of Disney, The

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Roy Disney on Walt Disney's management and his public persona
03:32
Roy Disney on producing "An Otter in the Family" (airdate: February 21, 1965) for Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color
02:48

Zorro

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Roy Disney briefly on writing two episodes of Zorro
01:27
Topics

Media Consolidation

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Roy Disney on Disney's acquisition of ABC in the 1990s
02:41

Network Creation

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Roy E. Disney on the formative years of the Disney company
11:59

Pop Culture

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Roy Disney on the opening of Disneyland
09:06

Studio and Network Management

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Roy Disney on the continuation of Walt Disney Studios after the deaths of Walt Disney and his brother Roy O. Disney
07:28

Technological Innovation

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Roy E. Disney on seeing television in 1939 and his uncle Walt Disney's embracing of the new technology
02:42
Roy Disney on becoming the head of Walt Disney Animation and some of the projects and technologies produced during his tenure
14:29
Professions

Animation Executive

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Roy Disney on becoming the head of Walt Disney Animation and some of the projects and technologies produced during his tenure
14:29
Genres

Animation

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Roy E. Disney on the formative years of the Disney company
11:59
Roy Disney on realizing the power of animation when seeing a rough scene from Snow White
01:42
Roy Disney on becoming the head of Walt Disney Animation and some of the projects and technologies produced during his tenure
14:29
Roy Disney on his preference for feature animation as opposed to animation for television
03:53

News and Documentary

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Roy Disney on Disney's True Life Adventures nature documentaries
17:01
People

Roy O. Disney

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Roy E. Disney on his father (and Walt Disney's brother), Roy O. Disney
01:56
Roy Disney on his father, Roy O Disney taking the reins of the company after the death of Walt Disney
12:43

Walt Disney

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Roy E. Disney on his uncle, Walt Disney, and his early years in animation
07:37
Roy Disney on Walt Disney's management and his public persona
03:32
Roy Disney on Walt Disney's legacy
01:45

Michael Eisner

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Roy Disney resigning from the Disney board in 1984 and the change in leadership at the Walt Disney Company
08:32
Roy Disney on the death of Frank Wells
02:50
Roy Disney on the Disney company after Frank Wells' death
02:37
Roy Disney on the attempt to oust Disney's Michael Eisner and the acquisition of Pixar
09:11

Leonard H. Goldenson

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Roy Disney on ABC's part-ownership of Disneyland
01:50

Winston Hibler

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Roy Disney on Winston Hibler's role on Disney films
02:52

Bob Iger

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Roy Disney on the attempt to oust Disney's Michael Eisner and the acquisition of Pixar
09:11

Ub Iwerks

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Roy E. Disney on Ub Iwerks contributions to Disney animation
02:36

Steve Jobs

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Roy Disney on Disney's acquisition of Pixar
03:06

Jeffrey Katzenberg

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Roy Disney on becoming the head of Walt Disney Animation and some of the projects and technologies produced during his tenure
14:29
Roy Disney on the Disney company after Frank Wells' death
02:37

John Lasseter

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Roy Disney on becoming the head of Walt Disney Animation and some of the projects and technologies produced during his tenure
14:29
Roy Disney on the attempt to oust Disney's Michael Eisner and the acquisition of Pixar
09:11
Roy Disney on Disney's acquisition of Pixar
03:06

Ron Miller

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Roy Disney on the continuation of Walt Disney Studios after the deaths of Walt Disney and his brother Roy O. Disney
07:28

Michael Ovitz

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Roy Disney on the Disney company after Frank Wells' death
02:37

Joe Roth

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Roy Disney on the Disney company after Frank Wells' death
02:37

Frank Wells

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Roy Disney resigning from the Disney board in 1984 and the change in leadership at the Walt Disney Company
08:32
Roy Disney on the death of Frank Wells
02:50

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