A MEMORY BY JIMMY MACDONALD
I was going through some of my interviews from the 1980s today, looking for cassette tapes that might be suffering from tape deterioration. I am attempting to digitize my 250 plus interviews before they are lost forever, and obviously starting with the earliest material (my two interviews from the 1970s having been already done). It is easy when listening to these, to get lost in the moment and be reminded of those glorious days when I was conducting interviews and oral histories.
It was a tape from 1988 with Jimmy MacDonald that most caught my interest this afternoon; and in particular, one very observant memory about Walt Disney. Walt's attention to detail is mentioned in every book on him, so much so it has become a bit of a cliche. Just exactly what are these details? Well, this afternoon Jimmy reminded me of one that I had completely forgotten. Moreover, it is a great example of Walt's compassion for children and their lives.
I'll let Disney Legend Jimmy MacDonald tell the story:
"Walt was a great man ... Walt had the greatest native intuitiveness of anyone, he could go into a sweatbox and spend an hour with us on something we spent many, many months on, and he would tear it all apart, and the first thing you know, it was a better show than anybody thought it could be. He had a great understanding for the youngsters. Once ... they had all the storyboards around and dialogue written underneath so Walt could see it and give it the go ahead. The storyboard director was out there with his little baton and said, 'At this point narrator will say, "When all the kids get a new bike ..."'. And Walt jumped up, and said, 'No! We won't get close to that. We'll just say when the kids get a bike, because there will be too many kids in this world that will never get a bike."
For more information on Jimmy go to: Jimmy MacDonald.