Supersizing the Mouse House: The Eisner Era


STORY: “Supersizing the Mouse House: The Eisner Era” tells a tale of the movers & shakers behind The Walt Disney Company, which grew in size and stature after Michael Eisner was appointed CEO and Chairman in 1984.

The documentary is being told in bite-size episodes (averaging about 2 minutes each) presented daily on social media beginning February 22, 2020.

DISTRIBUTION: Exclusively through the Smartphone Series, which can be accessed on Twitter at Smartphone Series or by clicking on the links here:

Episode #1—Introduction
A tale that demystifies the movers & shakers behind The Walt Disney Company, which grew in size & stature after Michael Eisner took the helm in the mid-1980s.
(2 minutes, 6 seconds)

Episode #2—Arriving at the Bus Station
Tom Hanks and Michael Eisner discover a studio past its prime.
(1 minute, 51 seconds)

Episode #3—Eisner Makes His Bones
With “Happy Days” behind him, Michael Eisner learns the ropes from Barry Diller at Paramount and meets Jeffrey Katzenberg.
(2 minutes, 5 seconds)

Episode #4—Eisner’s Manifesto
When Michael Eisner talked singles & doubles, it meant he didn’t like playing ball with Hollywood’s heavy hitters.
(1 minute, 46 seconds)

Episode #5—Keep Your Friends Close...
Michael Eisner’s friendship with producer Larry Gordon frays when business intrudes.
(2 minutes, 22 seconds)

Episode #6—Eisner & Ovitz
Michael Eisner & Michael Ovitz meet at a game show, dine at the Palm and climb the Hollywood ladder together.
(1 minute, 58 seconds)

Episode #7—Escape from Paramount
Gulf & Western’s Charles Bluhdorn dies and his successor, Martin Davis, chafes at the attention his studio guys are attracting at Paramount. (2 minutes, 19 seconds)

Episode #8—Miller Woos Eisner
Walt Disney’s son-in-law, Ron Miller, sees Michael Eisner as the answer to what ails the Disney studio.
(2 minutes, 20 seconds)

Episode #9—Castle Coup
Ron Miller makes a “Splash” and other changes, but they’re not enough for Roy E. Disney, who agitates for change in the C-suite.
(2 minutes, 19 seconds)

Episode #10—Trust Issues
Michael Eisner leaves Paramount with a few dollars in his pocket but can’t get that table at Morton’s anymore.
(1 minute, 46 seconds)

Episode #11—A Case for Ron Miller
Ron Miller was heading Disney in the right direction, but the divisions within the Disney family came home to roost.
(2 minutes, 20 seconds)

Episode #12—The Dynamic Duo
Michael Eisner & Frank Wells hit the campaign trail to win over powerful shareholders, one of whom would end up behind bars.
(2 minutes, 20 seconds)

Episode #13—Vector Graphics Machine
The future of animation makes a cameo at Disney early in Michael Eisner’s tenure, but Frank Wells isn’t impressed.
(2 minutes, 4 seconds)

Episode #14—2%
The backend deal that Jeffrey Katzenberg negotiates at the inception of his employment at Disney would later haunt Eisner and the company.
(2 minutes, 20 seconds)

Episode #15—The Imagineers
Michael Eisner’s & Frank Wells’ lack of theme park experience help Disney’s crack creative team stay in play.
(2 minutes, 10 seconds)

Episode #16—The Black Cauldron
The first animated film to be released during the new Eisner regime draws scorn from studio head Jeffrey Katzenberg.
(1 minute, 46 seconds)

Episode #17—Saving Animation
Despite an emphasis on live-action films, Michael Eisner puts several projects into development to keep the Eisner occupied.
(1 minute, 56 seconds)

Episode #18—Pixar
Disney learns an expensive lesson from Steve Jobs.
(2 minutes, 20 seconds)

Episode #19—Dinners at Locanda Veneta
It makes total sense that Jeffrey Katzenberg founded Quibi, a platform for short-form content. He’s always had an affinity for brevity.
(2 minutes, 16 seconds)

Episode #20—Steve Burke and the Lore of the Disney Store
Steve Burke is now the chairman of NBCUniversal, but it was a company contest at Disney in the 1980s that put him on the road to the C-suite.
(2 minutes, 20 seconds)

Episode #21—Home Video
Disney’s annuity—its collection of animated classics—is dusted off for the VCR revolution.
(2 minutes, 20 seconds)

Episode #22—Stars on the Cheap
Disney roots around Hollywood’s bargain bin of movie and TV stars as it ramps up live-action film production in the 1980s.
(2 minutes, 20 seconds)

Episode # 23—Rabbit Leads to Rupture
Jeffrey Katzenberg rides “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”—another Ron Miller holdover—to victory in 1988, but it comes at a cost.
(2 minutes, 14 seconds)

Episode #24—Pretty Woman
Disney lightens up a dark tale and hits the jackpot. However, who gets the credit is subject to debate.
(2 minutes, 20 seconds)

Episode #25—Katzenberg’s Memo
Jeffrey Katzenberg tried to breathe new life into Michael Eisner’s moviemaking manifesto, but the old formula wasn’t working anymore.
(2 minutes, 19 seconds)

Episode #26—Leaked Memo
The fallout from Jeffrey Katzenberg’s criticism of Hollywood’s power players drives the wedge deeper between him and Michael Eisner.
(2 minutes, 20 seconds)

Episode #27—Eisner Bigfoots Katzenberg
A power struggle erupts at the wrap party for “Beauty and the Beast.”
(2 minutes, 3 seconds)

Episode #28—Euro Disney Crunch time
Euro Disney scrambles to open on time in 1992, but it doesn’t come cheap.
(2 minutes)

Episode #29—Disney Riding High
Disney’s success in animation hides the studio’s live-action misses and problems at Euro Disney.
(2 minutes, 20 seconds)

Episode 30—Euro Disney Woes
European culture intrudes on Disney’s attempt to invade the continent.
(2 minutes, 5 seconds)

Episode #31—Fear & Loathing in L.A.
Michael Eisner and Barry Diller fight over cartoons. And Frank Wells hits the wall at the UCLA track.
(2 minutes, 20 seconds)

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