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What's Disney's Inspiration?

From Lost to Wall-E to Disney.com, the media giant proves itself an exceptional idea factory and hit maker. Where do its creative heads find inspiration? We peeked inside their offices to find out.

  • <p>From <em>Lost</em> to <em>Wall-E</em> to Disney.com, the media giant proves itself an exceptional idea factory and hit maker. Where do its creative heads find inspiration? We peeked inside their offices to find out.</p>
  • <p>"[Disney animation legend] Joe Grant, a personal hero of mine, gave me this pencil. Even though people look at Pixar as cutting-edge, we have one foot planted in the tradition of great storytelling. This is a way of holding onto that."</p>
  • <p>"When I came to L.A., I was an actor who wanted to write, but I would do anything to avoid it. After I tore three major ligaments in my knee playing softball, I couldn't work for six months. But that forced me to focus on my writing. So when I'm stuck on a script now, this glove is a reminder that sometimes the things that look the worst ultimately lead to the best."</p>
  • <p>"My father would read to me before I went to bed every night, and he would slip his glasses into this case. I have all these great associations with the stories--science fiction and genre and fantasy. My dad was an incredible storyteller and he always loved that I wanted to be a writer. He read a book a day, if that's possible, and he and I read to each other very often. All the Oz books, the Narnia books, the Alice in Wonderland books--we'd finish one and then just dive into the next one."</p>
  • <p>"This is my first electric guitar. If I'm blocked and need to empty my head for new ideas, I crank up the volume and play. Neil Young's 'Rockin' in the Free World' is good for frustration. Inspiration is a little more Velvet Underground. Everybody knows that if they hear music coming from my office, don't come in."</p>
  • <p>"At the quarry where Michelangelo chose the stone to carve David, I picked up this piece of rock. It rests nicely on my Apple computer stand, so I see it all the time when I'm writing. Michelangelo could see through the stone to what he wanted to sculpt. That, to me, is creativity on such a mind-blowing level. If he could do that, how hard could it be to write an episodic script?"</p>
  • <p>"If you walk into my office, this picture is the first thing you see: two icons together, at the beginning of their careers. It reminds me of what you can do, what the future can hold."</p>
  • 01 /07

    From Lost to Wall-E to Disney.com, the media giant proves itself an exceptional idea factory and hit maker. Where do its creative heads find inspiration? We peeked inside their offices to find out.

  • 02 /07

    "[Disney animation legend] Joe Grant, a personal hero of mine, gave me this pencil. Even though people look at Pixar as cutting-edge, we have one foot planted in the tradition of great storytelling. This is a way of holding onto that."

  • 03 /07

    "When I came to L.A., I was an actor who wanted to write, but I would do anything to avoid it. After I tore three major ligaments in my knee playing softball, I couldn't work for six months. But that forced me to focus on my writing. So when I'm stuck on a script now, this glove is a reminder that sometimes the things that look the worst ultimately lead to the best."

  • 04 /07

    "My father would read to me before I went to bed every night, and he would slip his glasses into this case. I have all these great associations with the stories--science fiction and genre and fantasy. My dad was an incredible storyteller and he always loved that I wanted to be a writer. He read a book a day, if that's possible, and he and I read to each other very often. All the Oz books, the Narnia books, the Alice in Wonderland books--we'd finish one and then just dive into the next one."

  • 05 /07

    "This is my first electric guitar. If I'm blocked and need to empty my head for new ideas, I crank up the volume and play. Neil Young's 'Rockin' in the Free World' is good for frustration. Inspiration is a little more Velvet Underground. Everybody knows that if they hear music coming from my office, don't come in."

  • 06 /07

    "At the quarry where Michelangelo chose the stone to carve David, I picked up this piece of rock. It rests nicely on my Apple computer stand, so I see it all the time when I'm writing. Michelangelo could see through the stone to what he wanted to sculpt. That, to me, is creativity on such a mind-blowing level. If he could do that, how hard could it be to write an episodic script?"

  • 07 /07

    "If you walk into my office, this picture is the first thing you see: two icons together, at the beginning of their careers. It reminds me of what you can do, what the future can hold."