Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Mickey Mouse operation

Disney's latest earnings were better than expected largely due to the strength of ESPN and attendance at Walt Disney World.

Still, if you're a shareholder -- especially if you're a fan of Disney -- you can't feel too good. Testimony at the shareholder lawsuit was a scandal. And the January 11 New Yorker article was even worse.

While everyone is caught up in the Eisner vs. Ovitz soap opera, the damage has been done to Disney's heart and soul. Time magazine once characterized Mickey Mouse as having an "unconquerably chipper American spirit" and I think this is true of everything Walt Disney created. It's hard to recognize any of that today at Disney. The closest thing may be Pixar and Eisner has already driven them away.

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