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Walt Disney was uniquely adept at art as well as commerce, a master filmmaker who harnessed the power of technology and storytelling. This new film examines Disney's complex life and enduring legacy. Features rare archival footage from the Disney vaults, scenes from some of his greatest films, interviews with biographers and animators, and the designers who helped turn his dream of Disneyland into reality.

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Walt Disney movie full length review - More Facts, More Life Story, Less Analysis

I was anxious to see a two-part program on the life of Walt Disney. This one shown on American Experience was a disappointment. Bits of his early life were tossed in as though you knew about them.

Elias was presented as a one-dimensional authoritarian figure without much love for his sons. Both Walt and Roy have disabused us of this. There are so many hundreds of hours of interviews from people who knew Walt from the early days, and these were not chosen to be included. Instead, we got the "talking heads" approach from those who have read about Walt's life.

Now, I was not expecting the Bob Thomas approach, but the first program wasted so much time with analyzing things that the facts of his life were jumbled and difficult to follow. Did Walt ever draw? When and why did he leave this and go to Laugh-O-grams? What was Elias 's attitude about this? Was Flora, his mother, supportive or critical? These things are knowable. Instead, we got more and more analysis. Then, Part One ended at a good dividing spot, but we were not prepared for the remainder of his life in the second program.

It's true, as has written another writer, that one might tell the story of Walt's life in a five part Ken Burns style mini-series and get all the interesting and necessary facts included. Given a bit less than four hours, things must be omitted. We didn't see and hear any of the Nine Old Men, or Roy E or Roy O Disney, or Diane or Sharon, or Lillian. Lillian was responsible, pretty much by herself, for *Walt* Disney Concert Hall, and Roy was responsible for the name *Walt* Disney World and not Disney World. Why was Walt interested in creating EPCOT? Did he suddenly become preoccupied with future building? We heard that Hazel was with Walt at the end but we never heard from the person who spent more time with Walt than anyone else. Of course, many of the primary sources are long dead, but video of them exists, and some of it should have been included in order to tell Walt's life story, at the expense of the some of the commentary and analysis.