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Why The Disney/Marvel Deal Is Good For Both Parties

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Disney, a company known for wholesome entertainment, has decided to purchase Marvel. This is real. Fans of the home of such fare as Spider-Man and X-Men are already nervous about what the House Of Mouse could do to their beloved characters.

The fear isn't completely unjustified, as I try to understand from the fans' point of view. While the two companies deal in entertainment, they are vastly different in their creative styles. What creative ideas would come out of such a partnership?

Since Spider-Man Four, Five and Six are currently in the works, it isn’t completely impossible to think that they wouldn’t, in some kind of insane way, incorporate a character from the Disney universe. It would be kind of funny, in a bad way, to suddenly see Mickey Mouse in animated form coming to help Spider-Man. Just Mickey’s voice alone would screw up the tone of any of the future SM movies.

When I remove myself from the picture as a fan, I see why Marvel accepting Disney's offer makes sense.

When young boys look at Disney, they think of it in terms of shows and movies associated with more girlish stories. Hannah Montana and That's So Raven are two examples that do seem to cater more to young women. Marvel, as some have stated, could give Disney back the young male audience that it so often in recent years has left behind.

Robert Iger, the CEO of Disney, has himself stated that the purchase of Marvel itself was also a matter of acquiring writers. I give kudos to Bob on that point — Marvel is known for making comic book characters a darker shade of gray in their psychological profiles. Perhaps we will see (jesting of course) a psycho version of Mickey Mouse, or a cool, suave Cary Grant-like Donald Duck.

Disney is also a huge powerhouse when it comes to advertising, which Marvel could certainly use in an age when very few are buying comics. When cooler heads begin to assess the situation from a different perspective, I think Marvel fans will see that this is a good move on the company’s part.

Time will tell if something creative comes from this endeavor as opposed to nothing (see Time Warner/AOL). I, for one, hope Spider-Man doesn’t start singing in his future sequels.

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About Matthew Milam

  • http://oakhaus.blogspot.com Bill Sherman

    I don’t see this having much effect on comic book sales myself. It’s not as if Disney comics are flying off the shelves, after all. But it could lead to some interesting movie and teevee projects . . .

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Why would there be any Disney elements in future Marvel comic books? They own ESPN and SportsCenter never featured dancing broomsticks.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    I don’t get your take on this.

    “it isn’t completely impossible to think that they wouldn’t, in some kind of insane way, incorporate a character from the Disney universe.”

    Considering those films are at Sony, it actually is completely impossible to think that would happen. What’s the incentive? And how would it happen? Is Uncle Scrooge going to buy the Daily Bugle?

    “hope Spider-Man doesn’t start singing in his future sequels.”

    There’s already a Broadway musical in the works and Spider-man has sung in the comics plenty of times. I vividly remember him singing Elvis Costello’s “Oliver’s Army.”

  • http://matthewmilam.com Matthew Milam

    El Bicho:

    “The fear isn’t completely unjustified as I try to understand from the fans’ point of view.”

    When I wrote that, I was writing it to lead into this:

    “it isn’t completely impossible to think that they wouldn’t, in some kind of insane way, incorporate a character from the Disney universe.”

    No, it would never happen from a realistic knowledgeable standpoint. Most fans of Marvel however are seeing that as a possibility — the incorporation of Disney elements into Marvel characters and into movies featuring Marvel characters.

    It’s all a world of fantasy, for better or for worse, if Disney was that stupid, they would probably do that. But I think they know that it wouldn’t make sense to infer in the Spider-Man universe with Mickey Mouse, singing and all that traditional Disney stuff.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Matthew, go back and look at the entire sentence. You were specifically referring the next Spider-Man trilogy, and since Sony, not Disney, is making those films, I don’t see how anyone who knew anything about show business could imagine in their wildest dreams, a competing studio would incorporate Disney elements.

    Whoever “most fans of Marvel” are, they may have a legitimate concern about future projects, but they don’t know what they are talking about in terms of the currently planned Spider-Man films, unless their is some buyback clause Marvel has in the contract.

  • http://matthewmilam.com Matthew Milam

    Maybe the fans don’t know what they are talking about — perhaps that’s the whole point. It’s like when Russell T. Davies announced he was leaving as Doctor Who executive producer, fandom thought that was the end for the show. Most fans tend to think in that sort of knee-jerk reaction.

    The Spider-Man movies, although made by Sony, are easily a reasonable concern for people since it does feature a Marvel character.

    I was kidding when I mentioned Spider-Man getting Disney elements. Chill out.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “The Spider-Man movies, although made by Sony, are easily a reasonable concern for people since it does feature a Marvel character.”

    No, it’s not a reasonable concern. From the website Deadline Hollywood, which is a great source about the business of show business:

    “Sony’s deal on Spider-Man motion picture right is unaffected by today’s announcement and not subject to renewal.”

    It’s “Most fans of Marvel” who need to chill out

  • http://nickleshi.blogspot.com Nick

    I just hope Disney does better with Marvel than what they’ve done with the Muppets. Jim Henson would weep.