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Friday, June 17, 2016

Jeffrey Katzenberg - choice number number 45 as a Disney Legend

Jeffrey Katzenberg is my 45th choice as a Disney Legend. Granted he left Disney Studios in a squabble with other executives in 1994. Still, I go back to the Art Babbitt principle who was named a legend posthumously. Maybe that will have to happen with Katzenberg as well.
No one can can deny his part in the Disney Renaissance, taking charge of Disney's motion pictures during a down time and leading it into its second golden age during the eighties and nineties. The animated films released during this period include The Little Mermaid (1989), The Rescuers Down Under (1990), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), The Lion King (1994), Pocahontas (1995), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), Hercules (1997), Mulan (1998) and Tarzan (1999).

He focused the studio on the production of adult-oriented comedies through its Touchstone Pictures banner, including films such as Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986), Three Men and a Baby (1987) and Good Morning, Vietnam (1987).

After leaving Disney he became part of the formation team of Dreamworks Studios and has been an active part in many of their successful films. The thing that hurts Katzenburg's chances of being named a legend is that he sued Disney Studios over his contract. Katzenberg's lawsuit, which could have been settled for $90 million, wound up costing Disney nearly $270 million -- not counting tens of millions in legal fees.


So while he may very deserving and was a huge creative and organizational force behind some of the best Disney movies ever, his chances of being named a Disney Legend are quite slim at the moment. Still, laying aside the personal drama, he is a deserving candidate.

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