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Thread: Walt Never Said It

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    Walt Never Said It

    Walt Never Said It by Jim Korkis

    Jim reflects on the misquotes attributed to Uncle Walt.

    Read it here!


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    This is a most interesting effort. I have to wonder how one classifies things Walt said that were written for him by his personal speech writers. I once had the pleasure of meeting Jack Speirs who wrote for Walt Disney on a few television shows, including "Disneyland" and "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color." It was pretty certain that if Walt said it on one of these shows, Jack wrote it. I am sure the same held true for other filmed appearances and other speech writers.


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    Jack Speirs point of view

    Quote Originally Posted by goaskal View Post
    This is a most interesting effort. I have to wonder how one classifies things Walt said that were written for him by his personal speech writers. I once had the pleasure of meeting Jack Speirs who wrote for Walt Disney on a few television shows, including "Disneyland" and "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color." It was pretty certain that if Walt said it on one of these shows, Jack wrote it. I am sure the same held true for other filmed appearances and other speech writers.
    Jack Speirs was another of the amazing and unrecognized talents who worked at Disney. While Jack did write many of the early introductions to the show (Jack Bruner wrote many of the later ones when Speirs decided to leave), he always emphasized that Walt controlled what was written and what he said. It was not uncommon for him to add, eliminate or shift around things and several people I talked to who directed those introductions like Jack Hannah and Ron Miller told me that Walt would often ad-lib even though the dialog had been written AND storyboarded.

    Here is what Jack said:

    He (Walt) seldom used fancy or uncommon words but he would not talk down to his viewers either. For one of his nature shows featuring ants, he refused to change mandibles to the more familiar word jaws. Theyre properly called mandibles, Walt said. Lets stick to that.

    The secret in writing for him was to keep the dialogue simple and in character. He wouldnt be shy to tell me what he liked or didnt like. He was actively involved. He didnt just parrot what I wrote.

    Walt had many speech writers including famously Marty Sklar but they usually were transcribing and formalizing what Walt wanted to say. Marty told me that while it got to the point that Walt sometimes let him write the first draft like for Walt's introductions to the stockholders' reports, Walt would always take a red grease pencil and make changes. So, my opinion is that if it is credited to Walt during his lifetime...like those article by-lined by Walt but obviously written by the publicity department...that Walt approved them before they went out under his name.

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