Or, even Walt himself.
A good guy who got a lot of terrifically unfair flak for being the son-in-law.
Walt Disney’s son-in-law Ron Miller, who supervised the development of Touchstone Pictures, the Disney Channel, the Epcot theme park, and a number of Disney movie classics, passed away on Saturday, at 85, The Hollywood Reporter has revealed.
At the time of his death, he was the president of the Board of Directors at the Walt Disney Family Museum, which was established in 2009 by his late wife, Diane, Walt Disney’s eldest daughter.
During Miller’s tenure as Disney’s president from 1978 to 1983 and CEO from 1983 to 1984, he pressed for more mature and bold films from the company. He signed off on the computer animation movie Tron (1982) and obtained the rights to Gary K. Wolf’s 1981 mystery novel Censored Roger Rabbit?, which ultimately became Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988).
He also produced the Disney classics Freaky Friday (1976), Candleshoe (1977), Pete’s Dragon (1977), and The Black Hole (1979), and was executive producer of Escape to Witch Mountain (1975), The Rescuers (1977), The Fox and the Hound (1981), and The Black Cauldron (1985). He also won an Emmy for his work on The Wonderful World of Disney.
Touchstone’s first film was Ron Howard’s Splash in 1984, featuring Daryl Hannah and Tom Hanks. The movie made around $70 million and was the 10th-highest grossing film of that year.
Imagine that. Unlike the spectacle-mongers of today, Miller believed in making real movies. He even helped to branch the company in that direction and not rely solely on regurgitated Disneyiana.
What they have there now are overpaid bean counters with not a clue about content needs or how to meet them. All they care about in their jargon-addled world is the means of delivery. The more convoluted and expensive, the better.