America's Corporate Art: The Studio Authorship of Hollywood Motion Pictures

By Jerome Christensen | Go to book overview

7 The Conscience of a Corporation
Toys United the Disney-Pixar Merger, and the
Assertion of “Cultural” Authorship (1995-2010)

i. Corporate Speech, Corporate Liability

At the end of Walt Disney’s 1939 feature Pinocchio, an animated, artificial person, proven to be a money machine for the gypsy impresario Stromboli, becomes, thanks to the intervention of the Blue Fairy, a real boy. In 2006 Pixar, the little company that had demonstrated its capacity to be a money machine to new Disney CEO Robert Iger, became, thanks to the negotiating skills of Steve Jobs, CEO of Pixar, a real conscience for Walt Disney Productions. I shall argue that the terms of Disney’s acquisition of Pixar (consistently called a merger by the two parties), terms that commit Disney to “help maintain Pixar’s corporate ‘culture,’” reflect Pixar’s reading of Pinocchio as an allegory of corporate transformation and the development of something very much like a theory of the function of “culture” as a creative technology within Disney.

To pursue this argument requires a revision of the studio authorship thesis, which is anchored by two claims: (1) an adequate understanding of the historical development and contemporary importance of the Hollywood entertainment business demands an understanding of what still remains its preeminent product, motion pictures; (2) many of those motion pictures cannot be fully understood without interpreting them as corporate texts. The thesis unfolds as a series of entailments: no interpretation without meaning, no meaning without intention, no intention without an author, no author without a person, no person with greater right to or capacity for authorship than a corporate person, no corporate person who can act without an agent, whether executive, board of directors, or employee.1 This chapter adds a clause formulated to fit the circumstances of the transformative Disney-Pixar merger in 2006: the agent of a corporate principal may be its “culture,” acting as the conscience of the corporation.

The critical issue for corporate theory is no longer whether a corporation may speak as freely as any other person, just as Pinocchio magically does when first touched by the fairy’s wand. The U.S. Supreme Court has settled the question with its judgment for the plaintiff in Citizens United v. Federal Election

-314-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
America's Corporate Art: The Studio Authorship of Hollywood Motion Pictures
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 390

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.