The Unwanted Marriage

14Sep09

There are a number of issues in the Disney/Marvel acquisition which hark to hidden perceptions and prejudices that society holds. I listen to The Business, which is a podcast run by the public radio station KCRW and it highlighted some points in the story (Disney/Marvel mash-up) which I don’t many people realised. Did you know that the acquisition was ten-years in the making? And that there are more than 7000 characters in Marvel‘s catalogue as opposed to the 5000 that are being punted by the general media?

Generally the attitude has been that Disney is entering a buying spree after emerging from the Pixar takeover with a little of change in the pocket and with the global economic crisis any company which doesn’t gross as much as they do is on a fire-sale. And not only that but the overall notion is that Disney‘s macro-managing stance might cause many of Marvel‘s un-PC characters to be numbed down for younger audiences.

But in all honesty the deal illustrates a clever and well thought out collaboration between two businesses which can do so much for each other: Disney with one of the largest marketing machines in the industry, and Marvel which has a number of characters that have to be put on film let alone TV. And at the same time Disney has promised to let Marvel be Marvel, so maybe the best strategy the industry can take is a wait and see option.

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2 Responses to “The Unwanted Marriage”

  1. 1 mediaorganizations

    And beyond content, there is the worldwide distribution network that Disney has in place which may now facilitate an audience for characters and titles that haven’t gotten the attention they might deserve.

  2. 2 Brian

    I’ve resisted commenting on Disney because my opinions are strictly empirical and mostly based on emotion, but:

    Working with/for Disney is a soul sucking experience. They’ve promised to let Marvel be Marvel? Now THAT is funny. My experience is they drag creatives down to their level. It’s been a while since I’ve worked with them, so maybe a wait and see approach is prudent, but leaving talent alone and letting it flourish has historically not been their approach.

    Perhaps you’re right when you say that their larger distribution network will foster new opportunities for creativity. It will certainly be interesting to watch.


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