Disney Using Professor Ludwig Von Drake to Show ‘How to Vote’ Ahead of April’s Shareholders Meeting, Advises Viewers Not to Vote for Trian & Blackwells Nominees

Disney has called upon one of its own characters, Professor Ludwig Von Drake, to inform shareholders how to vote as the proxy battle between the company and Nelson Peltz’s Trian Group rages on, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Disney Shares Video of Professor Ludwig Von Drake Teaching Shareholders ‘How to Vote’

Archival animation of Professor Ludwig Von Drake in the "How to Vote" video from Disney.
Image Source: VoteDisney.com

Disney has released a video on VoteDisney.com comprised of animated footage of Professor Ludwig Von Drake, in which he helps inform the viewer on how to vote in the upcoming Disney board election. In the Disney canon, Drake is the scientist uncle of Donald Duck and a self-proclaimed genius.

A narrator explains that shareholders will soon receive their white proxy card by mail, which is where shareholders will mark their votes for the board nominees. Guests can also vote electronically by scanning the QR code on the proxy card or by following the link in their email.

A graphic of the Disney white card for shareholder voting.
Image Source: VoteDisney.com

The video also implores that shareholders “only vote for Disney’s 12 nominees,” and directly states “do not vote for the Trian Group or Blackwells nominees.”

The Muses from "Hercules" holding up five "X" cards.
Image Source: VoteDisney.com

The white card on screen then shows each of the non-Disney nominees receive red “X” marks in the “Withhold” section of the white card, followed by imagery from “Hercules,” in which the Muses hold up five cards with large black Xs on them. The video also includes imagery from “The Rescuers,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Alice in Wonderland,” and “A Goofy Movie.”

The video goes on to say that voting this year is critical, no matter how many shares one may own.

A graphic that reads "Do not use the blue or green cards."
Image Source: VoteDisney.com

After asking what voters should do with their blue and green proxy cards from Trian Group and Blackwells, the video’s narrator says that shareholders “may simply discard” them. The video then repeats its plea to not vote for the nominees from Trian Group or Blackwells. This messaging is also present on the VoteDisney website.

If a shareholder votes with a blue or green proxy card and wishes to nullify that vote, they can cancel by voting again using Disney’s white proxy card. Only the latest dated vote counts toward the final tally.

Shareholders who have questions about voting or their shares are encouraged to call the company’s proxy solicitor, Innisfree M&A Incorporated, at (877) 456-3643 (U.S. and Canada) or +1 (412) 232-3651 (all other countries), or visit VoteDisney.com.

All electronic votes have to be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern on April 2, 2024. Shareholders looking to attend the Annual Meeting of Shareholders on April 3 must also register in advance no later than April 2 by 10 a.m. Pacific.

A two-photo collage with Nelson Peltz on the left, and Jay Rasulo on the right.

Peltz of Trian Group is currently embroiled in a proxy fight to gain two seats on the Disney Board of Directors, and seeks to replace Maria Elena Lagomasino and Michael Froman with himself and former Disney CFO Jay Rasulo. Peltz recently published his white paper detailing recommendations for changes at Disney, and has been quoted as saying that he and Rasulo will be “Batman and Robin” if elected to the board.

Disney has previously stated to shareholders that the opposing nominees “do not possess the appropriate range of talent, skill, perspective and/or expertise to effectively support.”

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