A history of the Walt Disney Co., from Mickey to megacorporation.
Sichol folds in a highlights-reel profile of Walt Disney himself, noting that he started smoking as a teenager and died relatively young of lung cancer but avoiding any mention of racism, anti-Semitism, sexism, or other controversial topics. Her real focus is his commercial offspring—beginning with the failed Laugh-O-Grams Films and chronicling the subsequent, more-or-less continual string of spectacular successes and major acquisitions that has led to Disney’s contemporary status as the world’s largest entertainment company. Along the way she points to at least some things that make Disney products and properties distinctive, and she also introduces a basic vocabulary of business terms and concepts, including bankruptcy, mortgages, market value, branding, and (ironically, since Disney’s profound influence on current copyright law goes unmentioned) intellectual property rights. In common with the co-published From an Idea to Nike, the author also inserts a boilerplate section explaining the significance of “Going Public.” Jennings adds quickly sketched cartoon line drawings to the pull quotes, definitions, and lists of “Fun Facts” that punctuate the well-leaded lines of both sunny tales of corporate expansion.
Inspirational fare for uncritical younger capitalists and entrepreneurs. (bibliography, source notes, timeline) (Nonfiction. 8-10)