Disney CEO Says Storytelling Is “The Most Important Thing We Do”

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Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf in 'Frozen II'

Credit: Disney

Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek has his hand in almost every cookie jar at The Walt Disney Company. He oversees everything; theme parks throughout the world, Disney and Pixar movies, Disney+, and more.

Credit: Disney

Chapek recently sat down with Don Yaeger for his podcast, Corporate Competitor. On the podcast, they spoke about topics ranging from Chapek’s childhood Disney memories, to leadership at Disney, and what Disney does best — storytelling.

On the podcast, the Disney CEO said:

“The key is to take what’s a good story and make it a better story. And to some extent, that’s letting creative people do what they’re best at, and then gently shaping it to make sure that, from a variety of standpoints, it achieves your commercial goal… So you’ve gotta give lots of degrees of freedom to the people that are the experts at this and not get in the way of what their expression is, but at the same time, understand that this is something that needs to work commercially for our shareholders.”

Two men on a stage
Credit: Disney

Not only is the Walt Disney Company at the top of its game when it comes to delivering for their shareholders, but they are at the top of delivering movies that people love and truly connect with. Chapek stressed that he as the Disney CEO — as well as The Walt Disney Company as a whole — realizes how important that connection is.

“You have to make a connection with people. Often times that connection is done through music. Sometimes it’s done through a character. But it really is always done through a story…It is about personal connection.”

Perhaps one of the best examples of that is the 2013 Disney phenomenon Frozen. People loved the powerful story of the strength of sisterly love and many could not get enough of the film’s signature song “Let It Go.” The film has since become a franchise and the global phenomenon of Elsa, Anna, and the rest of the Frozen characters continues to live on.

Disney movies 2019
Credit: Disney

Chapek acknowledged the Frozen theme song’s power, saying:

“Take Frozen. Look what something like a song “Let it Go” did. It created a fabric, a matrix, throughout the world of a unified experience, a unified idea permanently burned into the zeitgeist.”

Disney knows that the love of family and family connection is important to their viewers. More recently, they have come out with the sequel to Elsa and Anna’s story with Frozen 2, which premiered in 2019. In 2017, fans were introduced to Miguel and his family in the smash-hit Coco. And in 2020, Onward showed the length’s family will go to be together.

Barley Lightfoot Onward
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Which Disney story is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

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