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What’s it like to be a Christian at Disney?


Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 09/22/17

Patheos has an interesting interview by Kate O’Hare with two veteran Disney animators, Tony Bancroft and Mark Henn, who offer insight from their experiences about having faith, and being believers, in a big secular media company (hey, I can relate!).


Bancroft: Here’s the thing, after I left Disney, I started my own animation company. We tried to produce “Veggie Tales”-kind of younger, faith-based content. We got into a conversation with Focus on the Family about possibly doing a project with them that was all animated. So we flew out to Colorado … and the very first question I got when I entered into the reception area of Focus on the Family was, ‘How could you have worked at Disney for so many years, being a Christian?” Because, this is back when the Baptists were boycotting Disney for some reason or another; there were a lot of boycotts going on. And Focus on the Family was supporting one of the boycotts. My response has always been two-fold, which is, one, we may be Christians, but the company is not. Disney doesn’t put themselves out there as Christian. But they do put themselves out there as family-friendly, but it’s from the world’s perspective. Their focus is on what the world sees as family values, which is changing all the time — and from a Christian standpoint, it’s not for the better. But the second part of that answer to “Why Disney?” and “Why do you work in entertainment if you’re a Christian?” is, “What better place to have an effect, if you’re a Christian?”You know, God asked us to be “not of the world, but in the world,” so that we can influence. I can tell you story after story about how Mark and I, as Christians, big or little, are responsible for changing the direction that we could have gone, spiritually, with some of the content of the films that we worked on.


There’s much more at the link about some of the controversies that have raged, and boycotts staged, and how Christians at Disney have formed a kind of community of believers.

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