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At Corporate Pep Rally, Disney CEO Pitches Warmer, Fuzzier Side

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Every few years, the Walt Disney Company stages a colossal pep rally for its most-ardent fans. The three-day event is called D23 Expo, and roughly 140,000 people pay anywhere from $79 to $899 for the chance to see Disney stars, preview upcoming movies and learn about new theme park rides.The message, as is often the case with Disney, is not subtle: Keep buying our stuff!At the latest D23 Expo, which took place over the weekend near Disneyland in Southern California, there was, however, another item on the company’s agenda. It was an opportunity for Bob Chapek, Disney’s intermittently embattled chief executive, to try to close a difficult chapter — a political imbroglio in Florida, executive firings, theme park fans in open revolt — and focus attention on Disney’s plans for the future. It was also an opportunity to work on a brand reboot for himself …

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