"Whatever You Do, Do it Well."

Walt Disney

We invite you to be our guest! HAKUNA MATATA and the Bear necessities WILL ALWAYS BE OUR GUIDE to infinity and beyond. WE LET IT GO with a bibbidi bobbidi boo and always whistle while we work because there may be something there that wasn’t there before. The ocean choose us for a reason, SO WE JUST KEEP SWIMMING because life is always better under the sea. A DREAM IS A WISH YOUR HEART MAKES, all it takes is faith, trust and a little bit of pixie dust. Remember you’ve always got a friend in me which MEANS NO WORRIES because when you wish upon a star your dreams come true. At NCI, WE DO DISNEY!

Do YOU Do Disney?

Founded in 1929, the company which has come to epitomize happiness and childhood dreams as well as dominate the global market, had surprisingly humble roots (1).

Since 1929

Disney's Early Start

Beginning his career as an animator for the Kansas City Film Ad Company in Missouri in 1920, Walt Disney soon teamed up with friend and animator Ub Iwerks to found the Laugh-O-gram Film studio – a business venture that ended shortly after the production of their first film, Alice in Cartoonland, with the company’s bankruptcy.

Moving to Hollywood, Disney used the profit from the short film (which turned out to be a surprise hit) to start over in California with the help of his brother and lifelong business partner, Roy. In 1927, Disney created his first series of fully animated films and the iconic Mikey Mouse made his debut appearance in 1928 (1).

The Vision Grows

By 1934, emboldened with the success of the company which had continued to grow, Disney took a risk and began production on a feature-length animated cartoon, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, which was released to much acclaim in 1937 (1).

The film served to revolutionize the industry, and ushered in a new era (and new audiences) of cinematography. Pinocchio (1940), Fantasia (1940), Dumbo (1941) and Bambi (1942) followed in quick succession (1), and despite a major setback in 1941 when the studio’s animators went on strike for three months (resulting in hampered production for the next decade), Disney continued to push forward, opening a new theme park, Disneyland, in Anaheim in 1955 (1).

Hit TV shows such as The Mickey Mouse Club and Walt Disney Presents continued to power the behemoth forward in the 1950’s and 60’s. Live action movies such as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) and Mary Poppins (1964) continuing to grow the company’s acclaim, with the latter winning 5 Academy Awards as well as a best actress award Oscar for Julie Andrews (in addition to nominations in seven other categories) (1).

Disney continued to grow, acquiring more and more stake in the film and entertainment industry as well as opening the Walt Disney World Resort and Epcot in 1971 and 1982, respectively. After a brief period of stagnation during the 1970’s and 80s when the company produced few films of note, Disney’s son-in-law, Ron Miller, revitalized the company by founding Touchstone Pictures which focused on producing films for adult audiences such as Splash (1984), Good Morning Vietnam (1987), and Pretty Woman (1990).

Disney Today

The success of these ventures, as well as a revitalized focus on animation, capitulated the company into the next century. Disney released a quick secession of hits in the 90’s including Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992) and The Lion King (1994) before launching to the forefront of the market with a renewed focus not just on films, but on monetizing everything that was (and was not) Disney.

Opening new theme parks in Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong, launching its first cruise ship (The Disney Magic) in 1998, and adapting its films for Broadway musicals, it seemed that Disney was everywhere. Expanding to include the ABC network, ESPN, Radio Disney and the Disney channel, the company gained significant control over the entertainment industry (1).

Taking over competitors such as Pixar, Marvel, Hulu, 21st Century Fox, Lucas Films (2) and most recently preparing to launch a streaming service (Disney Plus) designed to rival Netflix, Disney has continued its relentless growth and shows no signs of stopping.

Which begs the question, Do YOU do Disney? Given the wide scope of the company’s reach, it can be hard to find an area not under its branches – which may be why it has and continues to experience such phenomenal success.

Disneyworld and Disney Land appeals both to the youngest toddler and the whimsical bride-to-be, the teenage Marvel Superhero or Pirates of the Caribbean fan and the life-long Star Wars junkie.

Disney’s films contain heartwarming life-lessons which continue to teach and inspire both children and adults, and motivate students to become animators themselves and dream of something more.

References
  1. The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. (2019). Disney Company. In Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/Disney-Company
  2. Disney News. (2019, April 15). Important Disney Acquisitions Over Time | Disney History. Retrieved from https://disneynews.us/important-disney-acquisitions-time-disney-history/

You Dream It

Engineers Make It Happen

Jordon

Disney, Dreams and Design

Catching the Disney bug at a young age, civil engineer Jordon Grant became a passionate fan and collector of all things Disney. While he may have ended up designing bridges and not the next Disney hit, Jordon’s love for Disney’s magic has continued through adulthood. Read on to learn more about Jordon, his path to civil engineering and how Disney has become a huge part of his life.

What are your interests/hobbies?

My biggest interests are anything involving technology, such as movies, video games, and entertainment, but I also enjoy drawing on occasion.

In addition to movies, video games, and drawing, I also like imagining and writing stories. I have always had this wilder imagination since I was a kid, and it has always needed to come out every once in a while. I have written stories about warriors fighting great battles, time travelers, animals, you name it. I actually once wrote a story in high school about a teenager running for president that won a school contest.

Where are you originally from/how did you end up in Michigan?

I was born and raised up in Midland, where the majority of my family still lives.

What is your family like?

I am an only child, but I have plenty of aunts, uncles, and other family members to make up for it. I have always grown up in a family that taught me strong ideals and pushed me to never stop working toward what I wanted in life. I also was raised very country-style. In fact, most of my mom’s side of the family is a group in the Midland/Sanford area known as The Troubadours, a classic country and southern gospel band, mainly involving my grandma and grandpa, which they have been doing now for over 50 years.

Do you have any pets?

I have a two and a half year old Shiba Inu named Maya Angel. People think she was named after Maya Angelou, but when she was just born, she was placed in the Christmas litter and her code name was Christmas Angel. She is an incredible ball of energy who keeps me on my toes and who will no doubt prepare me for whenever I start a family.

When did you first want to become an engineer?

When I was a kid, I didn’t necessarily have a specific job or career that I wanted to do, but I did have a specific goal: whatever I did, I wanted to make people forget about what they were going through in life and help to just make their lives better, even if it was just for one day. Engineering seemed to be the best fit because I was always good with numbers, I was always looking into how things were made, and of course, I would crush what every engineer starts with: Lego’s.

Favorite Projects?

One of the first projects I ever worked on was a two-and-a-half mile stretch of freeway when I was working for MDOT. This project is always a special one for me because it was my first experience in the world of professional engineering. Not only did I get to design and layout every major aspect of the project, but it also gave me first-hand (though not exactly wanted) experience on a project scale becoming much greater and having to try and add a lot of changes.

One of the more recent projects that I enjoyed working on was a section of I-94 near Hartford because I was able to do a lot more work with roadway modeling, which is something I have really enjoyed doing. It always feels like I’m that kid again setting up his Lego bricks, they’re just much bigger builds.

Did your desire to become an engineer stem from or compliment any of these hobbies?

Because of my imagination for seeing things in my head and my head for numbers and Legos, engineering seemed to be a pretty easy and well-understood fit for me.

What is your favorite thing about your job? Least favorite?

My favorite thing about my job is the fact that I have so many different projects and areas that I work on, which give me a lot of variety so it never gets boring. I also love the challenge of being put on tasks that I have never done before, which not only gives me experience, but a wider range of what I can do and a greater understanding of how all these elements involved in engineering come together.

Plan. Design. Create.

A Passion for Disney

Jordon first fell in love with Disney as a kid, and with the exception of a “Blue Period” in middle/high school ( when he felt that Disney was only for kids and stopped appreciating it as much), has been an avid fan ever since. Learn more about his favorite movies, characters, collections and everything Disney in his life!

Grand Total

I have my collection pretty much split up between my house and my parents, where we each are storing quite a few items. I would say that during my life, I have collected over 500 Disney items, including movies, games, pictures, figures, decorations, souvenirs, and the like.

Theme

My Disney collection is basically just an extension of my love for all things Disney. I felt that it not only showed my passion, but it can even hold as a small investment as well. It involves everything to do with Disney and its affiliates, but a majority of the collection does revolve around Mickey Mouse.

First Collection Item

My very first Disney collectible was actually a graduation present from some family friends: an embroidered blanket and a Mickey Mouse statue with a light-up lantern. These two items really started me on wanting to take my love for Disney and start collecting everything to do with it, Mickey obviously being a large aspect of it.

TOP PICKS, FAVORITES AND MORE!

Most Overrated and Underrated Movies

Overrated: I might make a few people mad, but I think Frozen. I would not say it is really the most overrated, and it was a very good movie, I just did not personally foresee the gigantic following happening.

Underrated: Toss up between Atlantis and Treasure Planet; two well-made science-fiction-esque greats with wonderful animation, great voice acting, and plenty of wonderful effects.

Favorite Sidekick

Timon and Pumbaa because they always reminded you not to worry about the big things and enjoy life.

Favorite Disney Movie

Mary Poppins because it is my first memory about Disney; I was four years old, up in my room, dancing along with Dick Van Dyke to Step In Time, action for action.

Best Disney Hero

Mickey Mouse because he has stood up to and done everything throughout his 90 years of life.

Worst Disney Villan

Gaston; he was too full of himself and the Beast could easily destroy him.

Best Disney Villan

I would say Jafar from Aladdin and Scar from the Lion King, because they not only were genuinely well-planned villains, but their songs are excellent.

Favorite Marvel Movie

Captain America: The Winter Soldier, mainly because not only is it a superhero that my dad and I both love, but the theater my dad and I saw the movie in had new seats that acted like a ride: they interacted, moved, and jerked as if you were in the movie (i.e. they rumbled with the engine when the characters were in a car).

Favorite Pixar Movie

Toss up between Up and Toy Story.

Favorite song(s)

Any song from Mary Poppins, Hercules, a Goofy Movie, and the Mickey Mouse Club March.

Disney Collection

Favorite Quotes

Walt Disney has always been my idol, and he would give the best quotes about life, dreaming, and succeeding in life:

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”

“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”

“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”

“I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.”

“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.”

What is your most recent addition to the collection?

My most recent Disney collectibles are 9 Mickey Mouse Funko Pop figures that I picked up on my family’s trip to Gatlinburg.

What has helped your love of Disney carry on even to today?

The biggest thing that revitalized my love for Disney was when I was in college. Valparaiso University offers a very unique class which can be used for credits. The official name was “Creativity and Innovations in Engineering,” but let’s call it what it really was: The Disney Class. My school had a very special partnership with Disney where every semester, the students who took this class would get a trip to Disney World in Orlando or Disneyland in California. In addition to going to the parks and enjoying what they had to offer, we got behind-the-scenes opportunities; everything from going into the Haunted Mansion to see how a scene worked, to speaking with a representative from General Motors above Test Track, to talking with some Disney Engineers about what it is like to work on their projects. Since those trips (I took one during each of my junior and senior years), my love for Disney has skyrocketed!

What is the FIRST Disney movie/cartoon you ever saw?

Mary Poppins.

What Disney character would you like to meet if it was possible?

I would like to meet Stitch because he is my second favorite character and would be a riot at parties.

If you could star/swap places with a character in any movie, who would it be and what movie?

I would swap places with Mickey Mouse just because of everything he has done and everything he represents.

What are your thoughts on Disney’s acquisitions?

Marvel, Pixar, and the Muppets acquisitions make so much sense because they flow greatly with Disney’s goal of great imaginative and awe inspiring worlds. 21st Century Fox made a lot of sense because they had a lot of great material to work with, especially since they now complete the Marvel Cinematic Universe with X-men and Deadpool, as well as getting Avatar. Although, seeing Mickey Mouse and Bart Simpson on the same banner is going to take some getting used to.

My curiosity lies with the Hulu deal. I’m not sure how this deal could play out since Disney already has plans for their own streaming service Disney +. Now, if they plan to make their service from scratch, it makes no sense to get Hulu. However, if they were to buy Hulu and use it as a base template for Disney+, that saves them a lot of time. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Recommendations for Disney Theme Parks?

I think it is safe to assume that I have been to Disney World in Orlando once a year since I was born. What I love the most is that no matter how old you are, you can go there and feel like a kid! And in terms of what is the best, TRY EVERYTHING! But you definitely have to check out the Fantasmic! Show at Hollywood Studios and the Coral Reef Restaurant at Epcot, two awesome experiences for the whole family.

Jordon Grant, EI

Jordon Grant, EI

Design Engineer

BS Civil Engineering, Valparaiso University (2015)

(734) 454-7566

jgrant@nci-eng.com

Advice for Prospective Engineers

Engineering is a field that requires quite a bit of work and a lot of understanding as to how things work together and rely on each other. It is important to be able to not just focus on how to properly scale a projects needs and wants, but it is also important to understand how every change that you make to a design can have a lot of impacts to other areas. In engineering, you must be prepared to have a strong focus on both the little details and the grand scheme of whatever you work on.

Fact Check

Strange and Interesting facts about Disney World

Disney Quotes

Test your Disney smarts with this fun quiz!

Tips, Tricks, Travel and More!

A Disney fanatic’s guide to everything Disney

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