Monday, January 13, 2014

Didier, Meryl and Walt (Oh My!) in the MCL

Diane Disney Miller
In today's Mouse Castle Lounge, we pick up where we left off last week with author/historian Didier Ghez talking about his new book Disney's Grand Tour. Didier is a consummate researcher: curious, inquisitive and relentless in his quest for answers. Disney's Grand Tour grew from a simple question posed to Didier by Walt's daughter Diane Disney Miller. Did Didier have a picture of her father receiving a medal from the League of Nations in 1935? As Didier began searching, more questions were raised about Walt's two-month trip to Europe and more fascinating stories were revealed. By following leads and refusing to give up when a trail went cold, Didier not only unearthed all the details of how Walt and Roy spent their summer vacation, but also how the entire Disney company operated in Europe before World War II. Sometimes you have to dig through a lot of clues before you discover what the prize really is.

Also in the Lounge, I give you my take on the whole Meryl Streep/Walt Disney kerfuffle that erupted last week when Ms. Streep made some ignorant and careless comments perpetuating unfounded urban legends that Walt was racist, sexist and anti-Semitic. The Disney fan and history community was quick to respond with the facts. And while it's unlikely Ms. Streep will ever issue a retraction, it was gratifying to see those in the know circle the wagons in defense of Walt. Here are three of the most carefully researched and eloquently written responses:

Fact-Checking Meryl Streep’s Disney-Bashing Speech by Amid Amidi
In Defense of Walt Disney by The Walt Disney Family Museum

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