by Peter C. Kunze
Rutgers University Press, 2023
Paper: 978-1-9788-2781-3 | Cloth: 978-1-9788-2782-0 | eISBN: 978-1-9788-2783-7
Library of Congress Classification PN1995.9.M86K86 2023
Dewey Decimal Classification 384.806579493

In the early 1980s, Walt Disney Productions was struggling, largely bolstered by the success of its theme parks. Within fifteen years, however, it had become one of the most powerful entertainment conglomerates in the world. Staging a Comeback: Broadway, Hollywood, and the Disney Renaissance argues that far from an executive feat, this impressive turnaround was accomplished in no small part by the storytellers recruited during this period. Drawing from archival research, interviews, and textual analysis, Peter C. Kunze examines how the hiring of theatrically trained talent into managerial and production positions reorganized the lagging animation division and revitalized its output. By Aladdin, it was clear that animation—not live action—was the center of a veritable “renaissance” at Disney, and the animated musicals driving this revival laid the groundwork for the company’s growth into Broadway theatrical production. The Disney Renaissance not only reinvigorated the Walt Disney Company but both reflects and influenced changes in Broadway and Hollywood more broadly.

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