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How Disney Conquered the Entertainment Universe

Noon Lecture/Seminar

Wednesday, June 9, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0093
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
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Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World (Photo: Josh Hallett)

Over the last nine decades, the Walt Disney Company has transformed every facet of the entertainment business. It pioneered the creation of feature-length cartoons with Snow White, Bambi, and Pinocchio. “The Wonderful World of Disney” and “The Mickey Mouse Club” captured a huge television viewership and created Disney fans for life. Theme parks that span the globe and Broadway musicals based on Disney films pack in crowds. Disney is the owner of the greatest collection of franchise movies (from Stars Wars to Toy Story to The Avengers) under the control of a single studio in Hollywood history. And now the new streaming service Disney+ is challenging Netflix and other established providers.

What are the secrets behind the development of this still-growing powerhouse? Brian Rose, a professor emeritus at Fordham University who has written several books on television history, examines a remarkable story of creativity and media growth as he traces how the Walt Disney Company evolved from a small cartoon studio in 1923 to the most powerful force in worldwide entertainment today.

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