The Disney culture - as Michael Landon sees it
Today's top family-oriented television producer, Michael Landon (''Little House on the Prairie'' and ''Father Murphy''), narrates a special about one of the nation's most family-oriented producers ever: ''Walt Disney . . . One Man's Dream'' (CBS, Sunday, Dec. 12, check local listings).
''I never worked for Disney,'' Mr. Landon says on the phone from the set of ''Little House'' in Los Angeles. ''But once a year he used to have a small dinner party when they had 'Disney on Parade' at Disneyland, and I had the opportunity to meet him there.
''Disney is one of the giants of entertainment. Despite the fact that he is gone, I am not so sure that his greatest contribution isn't yet to come, especially with EPCOT (the $800 million futuristic addition to Disney World in Florida). It is unbelievable.
''Disney will be remembered for many years to come.''
For his films or for his ''theme parks''?
''More for the films, I would have to say. They are something we will never see the likes of again - the type of animation and beauty that he put on the screen. Nobody can afford it anymore. And I'm not so sure there are craftsman who can do it, either. ''
Disney was known as a perfectionist, just as is Michael Landon. Does that sometimes get in the way of completing things?
''I try to create an atmosphere of harmony wherever I work. I hope everybody on 'Little House' is happy to come to work. That's the way you do your best work. And the best is what I demand.
''But some weeks it works and I am happy with the show. On other weeks - well , I'm not so proud of the show.''
According to Mr. Landon, this is the last year for ''Little House on the Prairie.'' ''It's over this year regardless of ratings,'' he explains. ''This is the eighth year and it has been on long enough. NBC knows.''
What will Landon be doing after the show goes off the air?
''Well, I will continue to supervise 'Father Murphy,' and, in addition, I have several features and miniseries to do in an ongoing deal with NBC.''
Which Disney films are Michael Landon's favorites?
''For me 'Fantasia' is the best. For its overall brilliance and guts. At first it was the least successful of his films, but it has now become a cult success, a classic.
''However, I am a sucker for all of Disney's films. Just last weekend I sat with my family and cried over an old Disney.
''Would you believe a grown man like me could fall apart over the second half of 'Dumbo'?"