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PBS Sets “American Experience: Walt Disney” To Premiere September 14-15

PBS Sets "American Experience: Walt Disney" To Premiere September 14-15

PBS’ American Experience will offer an unprecedented look at the life and legacy of one of America’s most enduring and influential storytellers in Walt Disney, a new two-part, four-hour film premiering Monday and Tuesday, September 14-15, 2015, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings). Executive produced by Mark Samels, directed and produced by Sarah Colt, and written by Mark Zwonitzer, the film features rare archival footage from the Disney vaults, scenes from some of his greatest films, and interviews with biographers and historians, animators and artists who worked on Snow White and other early films, and designers who helped create Disneyland.

Walt Disney includes interviews with artists who worked at the studio, including Rolly Crump, Robert Givens, Don Lusk, Floyd Norman and Ruth Tompson, Imagineer Marty Sklar, Disney producer Don Hahn, costume designer Alice Davis, composer Richard Sherman, son-in-law Ron Miller, and academics and authors who have written extensively about Walt Disney including Neal Gabler, Susan Douglas, Richard Schickel, Steven Watts, Ron Suskind, and Carmenita Higginbotham.


“Walt Disney is an entrepreneurial and cultural icon,” said American Experience Executive Producer Mark Samels. “No single figure shaped American popular culture in the 20th century more than he.”

From Steamboat Willie to Pinocchio to Mary Poppins, Disney’s movies grew out of his own life experiences. He told stories of outsiders struggling for acceptance and belonging, while questioning the conventions of class and authority. As Disney rose to prominence and gained financial security, his work became increasingly celebratory of the American way of life that made his unlikely success possible. 

Major funding for Walt Disney provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence. Additional funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers. American Experience is produced for PBS by WGBH Boston.

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