In promoting next week’s American Experience event, Executive Producer Mark Samels said, “Well, first of all, there is a person. You know, a lot of young people don’t even know there was a Walt Disney – it’s just the name of a company, an enormous company – but there actually was a man.”
That thought was staggering to me but it rings true. Disney, the company, seems omnipresent in American culture with four-fingered gloved hands in everything from television and film to comic books and video games. Is it possible that some younger generations – millennials, say – don’t know there was a Walt Disney? I can believe that, even as I’m saddened by it.
That’s why I can’t wait for Walt Disney, a new two-part American Experience that airs Monday and Tuesday on UNC-TV. As someone who has loved and studied animation and filmmaking, I am well aware of Walt Disney’s legacy but I am less than familiar with his life. This four-hour documentary will explore his work, his legend and his creative genius. Let’s hope it also familiarizes those unaware of the man with just who Walt Disney really was.
Watch a PREVIEW at PBS.org and set your recording devices for American Experience: Walt Disney, premiering Monday night at 9 on UNC-TV.