With the launch of Disney+ on November 12, 2019, we’ve seen a collection of fantastic titles from The Walt Disney Company, including the superb The Imagineering Story, the entertaining Star Wars spin-off, The Mandalorian, and even National Geographic’s entertaining The World According to Jeff Goldblum. In addition to that, we’ve also seen the release of the Disney documentary, One Day at Disney, which highlights the work of the people who make the magic around the company, from Imagineers, to animators, editors, designers, and front-line Cast Members in the parks. Every role at Disney is important, and it’s wonderful to have a project that highlights their work on this scale.
While we didn’t feel that the Disney+ series held up as well as it should, the book that accompanies succeeds far more than its documentary does in showcasing the work of so many talented individuals. Truly chronicling what may occur on a regular day at Disney worldwide, the book highlights talented individuals and briefly discusses their unique roles, from frontline Cast Members to Imagineers, artists, writers, and more. The book is a reminder that it always takes the people to make the magic.
The published version of One Day at Disney works far better than it’s Disney+ documentary because it doesn’t feel like the corporate showcase that it certainly is. The stories feel personal, and the narrative is clear and shines a great light onto the people who make the magic but don’t particularly get recognized for doing it. It’s a wonderful look at though many of these Cast Members are scattered geographically across the globe, the work that they produce and share with guests and consumers around the world all share in a common goal. Disney reminds its fans that the company and its products are so revered and beloved and that its Cast Members are at the forefront of those experiences because of their belief in that shared goal.
Certainly, the book has a few faults, and spaces for some missed opportunities. In the book, unlike the documentary, several pages are saved for actors who contributed their acting roles in Disney movies. While these actors are greatly talented, Brie Larson, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet among them, their inclusion feels like an anti-thesis of the project itself. In highlighting the Cast Members who create the magic, it feels odd to highlight contracted actors rather than dedicate those pages to Cast Members involved in their projects. Brie Larson, for example, is a great actress, but performing a role in a Disney movie doesn’t truly constitute as a Disney employee. Larson is a big actress who will be the subject of many books and articles, and so it would have been nice to dedicate more time towards those Cast Members who were truly behind those movies and don’t often get featured in a globally distributed book, and not particularly the stars in front who do.
At the heart of the book, Disney would constantly like to remind you just how absolutely massive it is, and it is easy to forget just how much the company owns. Not to mention, this is prior to the company’s massive purchase of 21st Century Fox; and there are so many wonderfully talented individuals highlighted in this book that it’s a truly impressive feat. Anyone who has ever visited a Disney theme park knows of the dedication that Cast Members put into their work in creating an unforgettable experience for guests, and so the accomplishment of allowing Cast Members across the company share their personal stories is something that works for Disney fans and to serve the company’s public goals effectively.
While the Disney+ feat feels like a mixed result, the published version of One Day at Disney is an informative, entertaining, and inspiring read for any fan or employee of The Walt Disney Company or any of its subsidiaries. It’s a wonderful step in the right direction in truly showcasing the incredible work that makes the magic at Disney. Walt Disney said it best when he said “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”
One Day at Disney is now available to purchase