There were some talented Disney talent who had the opportunity to speak to graduating students from universities this year. Those who graduated from two Southern California colleges were treated to that wisdom that was surprisingly not about Disney magic and “pixie magic,” but real-life applicable advice.
This past Saturday, Graduates from the California State University in Fullerton, CA had award-winning screenwriter and alumnus Linda Woolverton speak on her desire to change the film industry by changing the stories that were being told.
She wrote the screenplays to many Disney animated classics including 1991’s “Beauty and the Beast,” in which she told graduates that her contribution to the world was allowing female characters to become the heroine. “We won,” she shared about the battle between her and Disney leadership to get Belle to be the lead character. “We changed the culture. Disney never again put the victim heroine in the world…because we were fearless and creative enough.”
Later on that same day, Woolverton’s colleague and the producer of “Beauty and the Beast” Don Hahn spoke to the graduates of the Dodge Film and Media Arts College at Chapman University just down the street.
He spoke to students about how your life can be a great story that can inspire and change the world. “As a storyteller, life doesn’t end at your skin,” he said. “You are the ones that will make sense of the chaos we live in.”