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Sklar joins Braverman, out at Walt Disney Imagineering

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Published: February 16, 2006 at 9:41 PM

And now, the other shoe drops.

Marty Sklar's out at Walt Disney Imagineering, about three weeks after Disney installed Pixar Animation guru John Lasseter as chief creative officer. This follows the recent layoff of Barry Braverman, father of the California Adventure park.

Sklar will get a ceremonial post as WDI Ambassador, but today's move sends a strong message that Eisner-era thinking about theme park design is over at the Walt Disney Company. Let the Lasseter era begin.

Readers' Opinions

From Anthony Murphy on February 16, 2006 at 10:13 PM
Sklar was a legend! He did the podcast for Disney!
From Scott Seal on February 17, 2006 at 6:15 AM
What is this Lassater all about? Don't take this the wrong way, but the PIXAR movies aren't really hitting on all cyliders. I mean, the Incredibles is fine, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find a young girl, even today, who prefers Mrs. Incredible (or Nemo, or Jane, or Boo) to Ariel, Belle, etc. Even with their successes, PIXAR never attained the quality of Disney at it's best. Is that same attitude going to be bombarding the parks now? Will they replace fairy tales and magic with talking trees and toys and that kind of entertaining, but ultimately hollow junk?

I hope not.

From Robbie Banks on February 17, 2006 at 7:01 AM
I think the people who made bad choices (DCA, Pooh @ DL, etc) are now being held responible for those choices. I think this is a great move.. it's a win-win. They didn't fire Sklar, so if they still want his feedback on rides or attractions, they can go to him.
From Andrew Swanson on February 17, 2006 at 1:05 PM
Sklar has been since pre-WDW; certianly not everything he's created is lousy. Obviously Braverman's DCA was (and still is) a flop, but it seems like Lasseter might be going to far here
From Robert Niles on February 17, 2006 at 4:03 PM
Sklar was a loyal employee to the Walt Disney Company, and, obviously, deserves the company's consideration and respect.

As for the public, it is one thing for an employee to proclaim loyalty to a business doing first-class work. But when an employee loyally promotes the less-than-stellar work of a company going through the motions, that employee is gonna lose credibility with many among the public.

Among those theme park fans who care enough to learn these guys' names, that's what happened to Sklar. He stuck by his company, promoting even the worst of what Disney put up in DCA. But Sklar's Imagineers did great work before Eisner closed the pursestrings. I hope that he again will have much better attractions to promote, under this new regime.

From George Jackson on February 17, 2006 at 6:14 PM
Hasn't Sklar been with Disney for approximately 50 years? Couldn't this symbolic promotion with its commensurate lessening of responsibility be coincendental? Maybe the guy is just ready for a break.
From Anthony Murphy on February 18, 2006 at 6:56 AM
Though I have high hopes for Lasseter, he is definatly inexperienced in this kind of job! I am suprised they would be so quick to rid themselves of Sklar for Lasseter. I really do not think Lasseter is the "savior" of Disney. Yes, his Pixar has made Disney rich, it doesn't mean that he alone brought all the suscess. I wish Lasseter luck on his new promotion, but I feel that getting rid of Sklar was inappropriate!
From Jason Moore on February 19, 2006 at 10:23 AM
Sklar is like 70 years old people. He's ready to move on to a less day-to-day position. I suspect that this change is more coincidence than punishment. Perhaps even he sees the new regime as worthy to be trusted with something he's cared so much about all these years. Besides, he's not completely gone, and he's respected enough for his many decades of work that his opinion will still be asked for on some things.

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