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Why We Made "Walt Disney"

July 30, 2015 in History

July 30, 2015 3:54 p.m.

Mark Samels, Executive Producer of American Experience, has wanted to make a biographical documentary of Walt Disney for many years. As Samels says, the iconic animator’s pervasive influence on American culture made him “a perfect subject for American Experience.”

“The challenge is, Disney is both a person and a brand,” Samels says, “And for 50 years, the Disney corporation has really been controlling of his image.” In this short video, Samels explains how American Experience‘s and PBS’s trustworthy reputations paved the way for filmmakers to gain unprecedented access to the Disney archives in order to tell the in-depth story of Walt Disney — without any editorial input or oversight from The Walt Disney Company.

Walt Disney premieres September 14 and 15 at 9/8c on PBS.

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