Jan 26, 2018
As the 20th century drew to a close, Disney was reflecting on a roller coaster of a decade. Throughout the 90s, every division had experienced both dizzying highs and discouraging lows. The theme parks started the 90s in a rut when Disneyland Paris flopped, but regained its footing when Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom proved a big hit. On the other hand, the animated feature division struck gold early in the decade when Beauty and the Beast, became the first ever animated feature nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, but hit a major rough patch in the mid 90s when controversial powerhouse Jeffrey Katzenberg was fired, and his new studio declared war on his former employer.
By the time Tarzan was released in the summer of 1999, Michael
Eisner had been the public face of the company for more than ten
years. That was true when he worked in partnership with Frank
Wells, when he ran the company solo after Wells’ death in 1994, and
it would continue to be the case moving into the new millenium,
when former ABC President Bob Iger was appointed COO. For better or
worse, the buck stopped with Eisner.
Tarzan was a big hit, and the parks division was on a hot streak. As the 21st century dawned, Disney was optimistic that Eisner and Iger could continue creating magic together, riding the success they’d had throughout...the Disney Decade.
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