Tinker Belles and Evil Queens: The Walt Disney Company from the Inside Out

By Sean Griffin | Go to book overview

Introduction
Whose Prince Is It, Anyway?

In the summer of 1988, I was hired by New Wave Productions as a courier, production assistant and general all-around “go-fer.” New Wave Productions functioned in the film industry as a “trailer house”— a company producing theatrical trailers and TV and radio spots for feature films. New Wave worked exclusively on projects for the Walt Disney Company, making ads for all of its feature films, both under the Disney label and under its newer logos Touchstone Pictures and (beginning in 1990) Hollywood Pictures. Although New Wave wasn't the only trailer house working exclusively for Disney, and New Wave was not a subsidiary of the company, for all intents and purposes, I was working for Disney.

Disney had become a major force in the film industry by the summer of 1988. Over the preceding Christmas season, the studio, under the new management of Michael Eisner, Frank Wells and Jeffrey Katzenberg, had released its first film to bring in over $100 million domestically at the box office—Three Men and a Baby. Only a few weeks later, Good Morning, Vietnam was released, which also made over $100 million. That summer, Disney would surpass all of the other Hollywood studios in box-office share, with the Tom Cruise star-vehicle Cocktail, the re-release of Bambi (1942) and the top summer hit Who Framed Roger Rabbit? It was stunning to begin work for a studio that was riding on a crest of energy, ambition and measurable success.

As I continued my career at New Wave, I was gradually promoted up the ladder—first as an all-around assistant to a producer of spots, then, more specifically as the assistant producer overseeing the sound mix of the TV spots, and finally as a producer myself. The success of 1988's summer releases were followed by the next summer's Dead Poets' Society and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, then the Christmas 1989 release of

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