On January 27, 2006, Buena Vista Pictures (a division of the Disney Studios) will release ANNAPOLIS, a feature film that purports to be about life at the Naval Academy. This picture was made without the support of the Department of the Navy and the Department of Defense.
TWO SIDES TO THE STORY
1. Disney News Release - August 2004:
“Disney has abruptly canceled plans to film the movie Annapolis at the U.S. Naval Academy and government buildings in Maryland and will instead move the production to Philadelphia, the Baltimore Sun reported today.
“A spokesman for Gov. Robert Ehrlich indicated that Disney was wooed by Pennsylvania's tax incentives intended to attract moviemakers. “The governor and the administration will take a very close look at how to prevent this from happening again,” a spokesman for the governor told the Sun. “I would not rule out a legislative solution in the next session.”
“The newspaper also indicated that Disney's decision may also have been affected by the U.S. Naval Academy's foot-dragging in agreeing to allow scenes to be shot on its campus.
“The Sun reported that Navy officials have acknowledged that they were concerned about scenes in the film that involve a plebe's romance with a female upperclassman. But a Naval Academy spokesman remarked after the cancellation: “We're surprised by the news and disappointed that a movie about the Naval Academy would be filmed somewhere else.”
2. Excerpts from story in the U.S. Naval Academy’s Blue and Gold Officer info bulletin website - December 27, 2006:
“Various Navy offices have been approached by Disney and their publicity affiliates to participate in screenings and promotional activities of the film Annapolis. Our policy is that we do not participate in promotional events for motion pictures which we declined to provide filming support.
“The Navy Chief of Information (CHINFO) was initially approached for assistance with this production. In preparation of the script, the producers were given several research opportunities at the Naval Academy and were allowed to film the “I Day” induction of the Plebe Class. When the script was presented for support, it was reviewed by NAVINFO WEST and the Naval Academy. Extensive notes were provided to the producers - who provided additional drafts of the script to the Navy.
“Unfortunately, the story depicted in the script did not accurately portray the Academy, its standards for training, and its methods of shaping midshipmen mentally, morally and physically for service in the U.S. Navy. Based on this, the producers were not allowed access to the Academy grounds or provided with any other support for the filming.
“Navy personnel should avoid the appearance of support to the film as members of the Department of the Navy. Anyone attending a screening or promotional activity for the film should not attend in uniform.”