"What exactly is it that you DO do?" The birth of Disney Weddings @ 13 February 2009 10:54 AM

Disney Weddings began with a short memo from Michael Eisner to then-Disney Resorts VP Bob Small with little more than the words, “Change the way everyone looks at weddings.” A nine-minute video presentation was created to showcase how the weddings might take place, using a progression of slides featuring Jim Henson's Muppets, Disney Characters, Disney film stills and Disney Resort images as the song, “Somebody’s Getting Married” from The Muppets Take Manhattan was heard.

Ironically, this video was created before -- and presented after -- the untimely passing of Jim Henson. The writer/producer of the video, upon hearing the sad news over the car radio, drove for several minutes in stunned shock before realizing his car was on the wrong side of the street. He survived and so did the video, which was screened privately to the reported delight of Michael and Jane Eisner, along with Disney executives. The weddings program was launched.

The writer/producer of the video, a bald, thirty-something yet remarkably tanned and athletic-looking man who co-wrote a book about Disney Records, was not invited to the presentation. A young, eager junior executive had taken control of the project and did the presentation herself (she at one point wished to scrap the Muppets concept as too show-bizzy, un-businesslike and trivial in favor of her own Martha Stewart-style vision, but time and good sense prevailed). She is no longer with the company. The weddings program continues to flourish.

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