This is not the first time there has been a strike against Disney, and I doubt it will be the last. The origins of the first strike, back in the ‘40s, take some time to unpack but basically the whole thing boils down to a combination of Walt’s daddy issues and the fact that he still kind of expected his employees to think of him as kindly Uncle Walt, who would take care of them provided they didn’t get out of line. Since the animators weren’t actually children, they wanted to be involved in the decisions about how they were treated. Since they were artists, their striking was creative.
What we’re seeing now is not dissimilar—when writers are on the picket lines, picket signs are creative. When animators were on the picket lines, picket signs were exquisitely drawn. Now, the situation was different then—the strike came at one of those times when Walt was on the verge of bankruptcy, and the studio certainly isn’t now. But the basic fact that artists use their art when they strike remains the same.
I don’t think I’m an influencer. Certainly I don’t have enough of a following (though as always I’m grateful for those of you supporting my Patreon or Ko-fi) and can barely influence my own children. And the consensus seems to be that we should all keep consuming product and prove that demand remains, but we shouldn’t hype specific things in any prominent way. I actually have kind of a full slate for Year of the Month next month, but for now, I’m expressing my solidarity with the striking writers and actors—and frankly encouraging animators and VFX people to join them—by leaving you with an assortment of images from Disney history.