2014-11-26 11:37:48 UTC
THERE is a saying in Hollywood, attributed to Katharine Hepburn, about
why the pairing of Fred Astaire and Gingers Rogers worked so well: “He
gave her class, and she gave him sex.” Two familiar names in
entertainment that are teaming up for another pas de deux may not be
Astaire and Rogers, but they are giving each other something each wants.
The Turner Classic Movies cable channel is joining with two divisions of
the Walt Disney Company for an agreement, to be announced on Wednesday,
that underlines how media giants are increasingly collaborating on
TCM will help the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts division make changes to
the Great Movie Ride, a long-running attraction at the Disney’s
Hollywood Studios section of Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
In return, TCM will receive “Presented by” credits at the attraction on
posters, banners, display windows, marquees and the like, which will
also display the TCM logo.
In the other part of the deal, another Disney division, Walt Disney
Studios, will provide TCM with vintage movies, cartoons, documentaries
and episodes of TV series like “Disneyland” and “Walt Disney’s Wonderful
World of Color” for a periodic programming block on the channel under
the banner of “Treasures From the Disney Vault.”
The block will be offered by TCM “roughly four to five times a year,”
said Charlie Tabesh, senior vice president for programming and
production of TCM.
“Disney films and other programming have been seen a little bit on TCM,
but not much,” he added. “It will be exciting to dig into the vault and
see classic Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, ‘The Wonderful World of Disney,’
” he said.
The initial block of Disney programming by TCM is to run from 8 p.m.,
Eastern time, on Dec. 21 through 5:15 a.m. on Dec. 22. “It’s a Sunday
night,” Mr. Tabesh said, “a perfect family night and getting close to
Among the nine scheduled items from the Disney archives are “Santa’s
Workshop,” a 1932 cartoon; “The Disneyland Story,” in which Walt Disney
himself describes in 1954 plans for the park named Disneyland that he
opened in Anaheim, Calif., the next year; “Davy Crockett, King of the
Wild Frontier,” edited from episodes of a “Disneyland” serial about the
frontiersman; and “The Vanishing Prairie,” a nature documentary.
The changes for the Disney World ride are scheduled to be introduced in
the first quarter of 2015, perhaps in the early spring. What visitors
see as they wait for the ride and watch as part of the finale will
receive a reboot under the aegis of TCM, playing on its reputation as an
expert in classic film.
Among the new elements will be a video featuring Robert Osborne, the
host who has been the face of TCM since the channel began operations in
1994; he will identify himself as “from Turner Classic Movies.”
The idea is to “inject TCM brand authority” into the ride, said Pola
Changnon, vice president for brand creative and on-air promotions at
TCM, and “pique the curiosity” of visitors, encouraging them to explore
the world of classic film once they are home.
TCM is part of the Turner Entertainment Networks division of Turner
Broadcasting System, which is owned by Time Warner. The agreement
between TCM and the Disney divisions, for undisclosed terms, expands
upon a relationship between TCM and various parts of Disney.
For instance, the fourth TCM Classic Cruise, held last month, was the
second aboard the Disney Cruise Line ship called Disney Magic. And a
highlight of the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival, held in April, was a
50th anniversary screening of the Disney Studios movie “Mary Poppins” at
El Capitan Theater, which is owned by Disney.
“We’re looking at this as a strategic alliance that brings together two
very strong brands, both with a core in the business of entertainment,”
said Carlos Castro, vice president for corporate alliances of Disney,
“and complements Disney’s commitment to great storytelling and
delivering quality family entertainment.”
“Part of our process in vetting all our partners is making sure their
brands align with the Disney brand,” Mr. Castro added, “and both brands
are a natural fit.” The TV initiative “lets us share more classic Disney
stories with TCM audiences,” he said, and “the refresh of the Great
Movie Ride” will “enhance the guest experience by showcasing TCM content
Jennifer Dorian, general manager of TCM, echoed Mr. Castro in describing
the “multifaceted creative collaboration” called for under the new
agreement as “truly a natural fit.” That is important in content
marketing, she said, lest TCM viewers and Disney World guests deem the
Disney World, Disneyland and El Capitan are examples of what is known as
experiential marketing, which gives consumers a chance to experience
brands in tangible form. TCM has been delving into experiential
marketing with steps that include, in addition to the cruises and film
festivals, guided tours with classic-movies themes in Los Angeles and
New York; auctions of film memorabilia by Bonhams that are “presented by
TCM”; and annual screenings of “Miracle on 34th Street” outside the
Macy’s Herald Square store that is key to the movie’s plot.
According to TCM executives, the agreement began with an administrative
assistant, Amanda Tymeson, who returned from a visit to Disney World and
suggested “that TCM and Disney would be great partners” in revamping the
Great Movie Ride, Ms. Dorian said. Ms. Tymeson has since been promoted.