Director Fights to Get Musketeers in Theaters

Dismayed that his upcoming 2D animated feature, The Three Musketeers, will not be getting a big-screen release, director Donovan Cook is crusading to get Disney brass to reconsider. He has sent the following letter to friends, family and a number of people in the animation industry in hopes that Disney Chairman Dick Cook will be overwhelmed by e-mail petitions regarding the company’s decision to send the film directly to home video in August.

Written by David Evans and Evan Spiliotopoulos, the toon reimagines the famous French swashbuckler with Mickey, Donald and Goofy as the title trio.

In a press presentation last year, Disney CEO Michael Eisner commented that it was time for a new "mutation" of Mickey Mouse, meaning a CG version.

Donavan Cook’s letter:

Dear friends,

Would you like to see a great Mickey Mouse movie at your local theater? Well so would I.

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Donovan Cook and I recently finished directing The Three Musketeers, a Disney animated feature film staring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy. (You can see a short preview of my movie on the Lion King 1 1/2 DVD.) Sadly, because of misguided management, this movie is scheduled to skip a theatrical release on the big screen and go straight to DVD.

Mr. Eisner and his executives did not make this decision based on the content or execution of the movie. In fact, the three top executives at the Disney Studio have never seen the movie. Mr. Eisner has been quoted as saying that he doesn’t think there is a large enough audience for Mickey to be in the theaters. Bob Iger, the number two exec at Disney, has publicly added that releasing The Three Musketeers in the theaters is too big of a financial risk because it is not computer animation. High quality classic animation is a financial risk? Not a big enough audience for Mickey Mouse? If you are as confused as me, please read on.

A few weeks ago, I was discussing this very situation with a friend of mine who is in no way connected with Disney or the entertainment industry. "Who could I send an e-mail to at Disney about this?" He asked. I thought about it for a moment and said, "Well Dick Cook would probably be good." Mr. Cook, (no relation to myself) is the Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, which means he is the big cheese in charge of all movies, DVDs and TV shows that Disney makes.

My friend did send an e-mail to Dick Cook expressing his disappointment about Musketeers going straight to DVD. Now here is the really crazy part: two weeks later, Mr. Cook called my friend to discuss his concerns. Yes you read correctly, the Chairman of the Walt Disney Studios picked up the phone and called a regular Joe just to discuss the email he sent.

Now it is unlikely that Mr. Cook calls every consumer who sends him an email, which means that this particular issue is of great concern to him. I believe that if enough people express their desire to see Mickey Mouse on the big screen, Dick Cook and the Disney execs will reconsider.

So if you want to take your kids to see a high quality, classic and funny Disney movie staring Mickey Mouse and friends, send Dick Cook an e-mail at… [email protected]

For your convenience, a sample letter is provided below. You may simply fill in the blanks, then copy and paste it into a new email. Better yet, add your own personal concerns/complaints or best of all, write a letter in your own words.

A couple of notes about your letter: be brief (unlike me) or Mr. Cook probably will not have time to read it. If you are a Disney stockholder, be sure to include that info as it means a lot, especially now.

Feel free to forward this email to any friends who you think would be interested.

Thanks for your help.

All the best to you,

Donovan Cook

Sample Letter:

Dear Mr. Cook,

My name is (your name here) and I am a stockholder (if you do not own Disney stock, omit this) and an undying Disney consumer/fan. I am a parent of (enter number of children) children and our family happily supports Disney products. We see every movie, purchase the DVDs, go to (Disneyland/Disneyworld — pick one), watch the Disney Channel as well as purchasing a great deal of Disney products.

I was recently thrilled to hear that Disney is making a movie of The Three Musketeers staring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy. I was, however, very disappointed to see that this movie will be going straight to DVD.

I am very excited to introduce Mickey, Donald and Goofy to my (child/children) through this movie, but I do not understand why this movie is not being released in the theaters. These are the characters created by Walt Disney himself. They are what your company was founded on. My family and I would like to see The Three Musketeers the way Walt would have shown it, on the big screen?

Thank you for your attention. I look forward to your reply.

(Your Name)

(Your email address)

(Your phone number)