Saturday, April 4, 2009

Disappointed with Disney

Sigh. I love Disneyland. For me, it truly is at least one of the happiest places on Earth. And I love museums. And like John Frost at The Disney Blog, I really, really wanted to like the new Walt Disney Family Museum, but without having even visited (it doesn't open until October), I already have my doubts.

These doubts stem largely from the motivations behind the museum--Disney's daughter, Diane Disney Miller, wanted to found the museum as a response to unflattering biographies about her father. What's more, rather than founding the museum near where he lived and worked and founded his empire in Southern California, instead she chose the controversial site of the former military base cum National Park (and home to LucasFilms' Letterman Digital Arts Center) the Presidio in San Francisco--apparently because it is close to where she lives.

Add to this the fact that the Walt Disney Company owns Walt Disney's name and image and that Mrs. Miller has had to buy or borrow most of the artwork in the museum and I begin to wonder why this museum really needs to exist, now that the Disney archives have become much more open about lending out materials to museums. What truly makes this museum special? What story does it tell that the "A Walk in Walt's Footsteps" tour at Disneyland doesn't tell? I think instead of planning a trip to this museum, I'll just save up my pennies for another visit to the Magic Kingdom.

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