Disney buys MARVEL COMICS

Move over Uncle Scrooge!

Disney will now compete with Hollywood (and in particular, Warner Bros. the owner of DC Comics) buy purchasing Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion dollars, according to Variety.

What will this mean for our favorite comics characters – and the animation studios Disney controls? Will Donald meet Howard The Duck? Will The Incredibles cross over to fight The Fantastic Four? Will Disney Feature Animation do an Inhumans movie? Will Disney character comics be published by Marvel? How will this affect the theme parks? Disney XD?

Due to prior deals (for example, Iron Man is sown up at Paramount for years to come) nothing will happen right away, but lots to think about, and lots of exciting possibilities.

Image of Mickey above drawn by Jack Kirby for Craig Yoe’s book The Art of Mickey Mouse. See the full length image at Yoe’s new I.T.C.H. blog


  • http://invaderpetblog.blogspot.com Brandon

    You know… since the animation titles for “Trail of the Pink Panther” and “Curse of the Pink Panther”, were done by MARVEL studios, does that mean Disney owns that animation now?

  • Inkan1969

    I thought Disney was an ailing company. I didn’t expect it to have $4 Bil lying around to expand.

    Trivia: Disney used to have some comics based on their TV series. They originally were published by Disney themselves, but then they they published them through Marvel. So Disney has had a history with Marvel before.

    I had forgotten about the “Howard the Duck” controversy. Isn’t it ironic. :-)

  • Seni Oyewole

    God help us.

  • http://gagaman.blogspot.com Gagaman

    One things for sure, it will certainly stir up the Orlando parks such as the marvel area in Disney rival park Universal. Fans of the Spiderman ride there might want to get one last go in before it’s turned into Transformers (so I’ve heard)!

  • startend

    Growing up, Marvel never struck me as Disney at all. Then Hollywood started to make Marvel adaptations,…… then MORE. And it all changed.

    Actually, Disney’s own tv shows aimed at boys were the closest they’ve made to Marvel… you know, what Disney XD airs now.

  • http://hand-drawn-animation.blogspot.com David Nethery

    So, here comes that “Howard the Duck” remake everyone’s been waiting for ?

    http://members.tripod.com/Howard_the_duck/Howtheduckgothispants.htm

  • Doofus

    Is it April 1st? REALLY? WHat the?!

  • http://checkeredgeekcartoons.blogspot.com Zach Cole

    What will happen to BOOM Comics’ Muppet and Pixar series? What about Gladstone?

    I hope they don’t inject Marvel characters into Roger Rabbit’s Car-toon Spin at Disneyland…

    At least Marvel won’t have to worry about going bankrupt again… or will they?

    Disney… likes to own stuff…

  • Tom

    Wow, Marvel really is a Mickey Mouse company now.

  • http://mayersononanimation.blogspot.com Mark Mayerson

    And once again the value created by Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, et al will make money for somebody else. Why does somebody who owns a share of Marvel deserve more compensation from this deal than the people who made the company valuable in the first place?

  • PeterF

    I think this deal is all about Stan Lee being able to be frozen forever in Walt’s fiendish Disneyland catacombs…

  • http://bwhitecartoons.blogspot.com Bill

    When will we see the first drawing of Mickey Mouse dressed as Spiderman? It should be any minute now…

  • Kalon S

    Well since Disney bought Marvel, that means that Movies, Cartoon Shows, and probably comics will be rated G instead of the regular PG-13 and rated R. Unless Disney do what Warner Bros. did with Eyes Wide Shut (First R rated movie for Wanner Bros), Marvel Will lose most of there fans.

  • Andre

    Zach— Boom recently acquired the rights to the Mickey and Duck comics, as Gladstone folded. I think Slave Labor also has some Disney properties, though they’ve finished much of their planned Disney comics, which had collections co-published through Disney’s Hyperion Books [Wonderland, TRON, Gargoyles, Haunted Mansion].

    Disney also already owned Marvel’s pre-00′s animation catalogue, as they bought Saban a few years ago, which is why they recently released the 90′s X-men animated series in dvd boxsets and airing old Spiderman cartoons on Jetix.

    Also, just read in the Orlando Sentinel that two of Universal’s rides- Spiderman and Hulk Coaster- are good to go so long as they’re kept running. Not sure what all this means for the rest of the Marvel theme park there though, and I imagine Disney is free to build rides of characters not used in that park [IronMan is probably the most prominent- with X-men, Universal has a Storm themed ride, so no idea how that'd affect the mutant franchise overall], or new rides with the same characters, depending on the details.

    Marvel has a lot of existing animation and movie contracts, so I imagine it’ll be awhile before we see all of their propertines under Disney’s complete control, but there’s still TONS of characters Disney can exploit, and they’d probably just take over Marvel Studios involvement in those existing project [or develop concurrent projects, since animation and liveaction rights are often seperate with Marvel- Warner Brothers handled X-men Evolution's distribution while Fox handled the X-men movies in the early 00's, and the new X-men cartoon is on Nickolodeon [though I could see Disney putting reruns on Jetix once it's done running on Nick]]

  • Dapper Jim

    Geesh, look at all the negative comments so far [and I expect more]. See? This is why we cant have good things, because all the negativism around here shoots it down before it even tries anything.

    I thought that animators had an open mind about new situations.

    Anyways, Myself? Im delighted! As a former Disney Employee [and curiously enough, Now working with Marvel Animation] I cant wait to see what kind of new things the future will bring.

    …And seeing how Disney also owns ABC, ESPN, Miramax, Buena Vista, TouchStone… I am pretty sure that they will not alter the Marvel comics that much [In a "Oh God No, Disney will make Marvel kiddie!" perspective].

    Just give it time people…

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com FP

    The possibility of Marvel characters done in the style of THE INCREDIBLES makes this acquisition very interesting.

  • JMatte

    Bill : if not Mickey as Spidey, how about Mickerine? XD
    http://manarama.deviantart.com/art/Mickerine-135414638

    …Well, the Kingdom Hearts game suddenly would have a huge catalogue of characters to use.

    First reaction was “Whut?” Hard to say at this point where that whole deal will go. Time will tell. I’m bad at making predictions.

  • http://www.animationapocalypse.blogspot.com Baron Lego

    At last! My dream fight between the Incredible Hulk and Super Goof can finally be realized!

  • Jim Carlin

    This is just another sad day to me…it reminds so much of the Ford deal buying out Jaguar …. Ford still couldn’t compete in the market and Jaguars looked uglier than ever…

  • Robert Barker

    Disney doesn’t have $4 Billion to spend on Marvel because they are stupid. The trend in superhero movies is for them to be a little edgier than they have been portrayed in the comic books. Maybe we can finally get a coherent, believable Hulk movie. Of course it will take a little time to figure out how this affects all the upcoming films that culminate in an Avengers movie. I’m hoping Disney looks through their new properties and realizes Sub Mariner has been totally overlooked.

  • http://ramapithblog.blogspot.com David Gerstein

    From “Spider-Mouse” in Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #635 (2003). Story by Pat and Carol McGreal, art by Paco Rodriguez.

    [Amid or Jerry, can you fix this so it displays that image, if it doesn't already]

  • http://www.onanimation.com Dan Caylor

    Crrraaaazzyyy. I didn’t know Warner’s owned DC.

    Remember when Autodesk bought up the competition?
    And Adobe?

    Nothing really changed there…It’ll be exciting to see if something does happen right away.

  • Robert Barker

    I think I’m going to be sick. I just read the story on the acquisition. Stan Lee is the only person mentioned as creator of the Marvel characters. Gee, what exactly did he have to do with Captain America? Or Sub Mariner? And they have a picture of him front of a mockup of Amazing Fantasy 15, (first Spiderman appearance) and note that Stan is standing in front of his drawings. Sigh. Poor Ditko. Poor Kirby. Poor Bill Everett.

  • http://www.thexbridge.com Jeff Harris

    I want to know which Marvel franchise Pixar gets their hands on first.

    Please let it be the Fantastic Four.

  • Mandy

    Kalon-
    Disney will probably just release it under Touchstone and years later after they find out everyone loved it. They’ll put they’re name on it. cough* Nightmarebeforechristmas* cough

  • Tom Heres

    Marvel is the Paris Hilton of media giants. Who HAVEN’T they courted or been courted by in the last 20 years?

    Both companies are just too big for their own good, making them clumsy, and slow to react to changes in the economy or in the zeitgeist. I predict some lousy movies, some awful cartoons, and some major cutbacks to the comic production arm of Marvel. This is really big, ultimately really uninteresting news.

  • Jason

    I doubt Disney will “sanitize” the Marvel characters. This isn’t a case of Disney buying the rights to characters (such as Mary Poppins) and then putting its own spin on it. No, that would be too CREATIVE.

    And creativity has nothing to do with this purchase. It’s all about bucks.

    Still, the idea of Marvel superheroes joining forces with the Incredibles in an upcoming movie does have merit. (Perhaps that’s why Lasseter was meeting with Marvel execs in the first place?)

  • vzk

    “Movies, Cartoon Shows, and probably comics will be rated G instead of the regular PG-13 and rated R.”

    They can always release Marvel’s properties thru Touchstone or Hollywood Pictures.

  • doop

    Wow, kinda left field…
    But are you guys actually worried this will change anything? Don’t worry about the content changing, because if that were the case, neither ABC or Miramax would be able to do anything above a PG rating! Let’s keep our over-reactions within reason. Disney wouldn’t tamper with the properties that are worth 4 billion. If they lose the fans, they lose the money, and it’s one giant loss.

  • http://jessicaplummer.blogspot.com Jessica Plummer

    @ Bill: probably gives a break to all the caricaturists in their theme parks being asked over and over again to draw kids with Spider-Man costumes and not being able to. Likewise when I worked at Universal I couldn’t draw either or, technically. At least…that’s the only good thing I can see of this.

    Now as to this whole purchase…is there really some sound, ethical philosophy as to why this is a good business move? I mean business is business…but does this push aside the nature of this particular business: the healthy competition between creatives? At what point does this send red-flags of a monopoly? Or is it just wishful thinking that someone up at the top must know what they are doing???

    =(

  • Christopher Cook

    Somehow I envision Spiderman doing a duet with Hannah Montana. If that ever happens, I’m destroying the TV.

  • http://MrFunsBlog Floyd Norman

    …and now your host, Stan Lee.

  • Gobo

    I’m curious about all the Marvel rides over at Universal; will they still be licensed? What a strange situation.

  • http://checkeredgeekcartoons.blogspot.com Zach Cole

    Kalon S:
    Don’t worry about that stuff. Disney has Touchstone and Miramax. Miramax has released Dogma and Bowling for Columbine. The Marvel characters probably won’t go family friendly.

  • http://gagaman.blogspot.com Gagaman

    Kalon S: Don’t be daft. Who published Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction, No Country for Old men and Gangsters of New York? Oh yeah, one of Disney’s many publishing pies.

  • http://drgrantz.deviantart.com/ revned

    Inkan: Disney ailing? Ailing? Disney makes more money while you sleep than you’ll ever see awake. Disney makes $2 billion a year on Cars merchandise ALONE. Personally, I think Disney bought Marvel with all the money they’ve made from Winnie the Pooh.

    Kalon: Brush up on your movie history, please.

  • Boris

    If a cat vomit poster were posted today, things would have been different?

    NAAAAAH!

  • a reader

    They’ve been obsessed with creating “content” for boys for ages now. This is obviously their brilliant master stroke at doing it.

    However, on any planet in this solar system that’s way too much dosh for Marvel. 4 billion? REALLY? Time-Warner-AOL anyone?

    And what further cuts/excuses for cuts will be made at FA to cover this nonsense? Were the recent painful ones made for animation done in anticipation of this deal?

    Does Disney even have a board anymore?

  • http://animationinventory.blogspot.com/ Teodor Ajduk

    please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please,
    please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please,
    please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, no more men in tights.

    comics were nicer before them.
    Jack Kirby were beter before marvel

    we need another harvey eisenberg and jack bradbury

  • TheGunheart

    You know the Pirates movies were all rated PG-13, right?

  • Skip

    I will admit that I would love to see an animated Feature film with marvel characters produced at the quality level of what Pixar did with The Incredibles. If Disney can pull that off, while remaining faithful to the essence of what made the Marvel characters the characters that people have grown to love.

  • http://www.animatedbeaver.com AnimatedBeaver

    Found it, Bill — http://mikemayhew.deviantart.com/art/Spider-Mickey-135407133

    I’m not too worried about the content changing markedly; Marvel’s clearly found its niche. I’m seeing this as a means to get Disney-character comics mass-marketed (a Little Mermaid or Tinkerbell comic-series would be cheaper to produce than yet another Direct-to-Video feature), reduce royalty-rates with airing Marvel cartoons, get all sorts of TV-special stuff in with upcoming superhero films, etc..

    Or maybe they’re out to create a grittier Darkwing Duck reboot.

  • troy j. reyes

    this is gonna suck in so many ways! first off i refuse to support disney in any way shape or form! no longer is that company involved in anything creative, they just suck up some other company who is doing better, more profitable work and slap their name all over it! has anyone forgotten how disney tried to pull a fast one and buy up all the muppet properties while the henson family was greiving over the death of jim henson who died only days before!?
    the company is now a black hole..literally! it still parades itself as family entertainment which is their code word for mind numbing crap! they pretend to care about families and entertainment while laughing at all the “suckers” who consistently buy up their dried up concepts and characters, and now they go after marvel, dikto, lee,kirby, probably get nothing, nor will any one working there now, but those c—k sucking shareholgers will laugh all the way to the bank! R.I.P MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT!

  • http://daryl-rhystaylor.blogspot.com Daryl T

    Well, this came as a bit of a shock. I don’t know what to expect now.

  • Steve Gattuso

    Rob Liefeld’s “Uncle Scrooge.”

    That’s all I’m sayin’…

  • Dock Miles

    I can’t imagine Disney putting much effort into creating iconic comic-book characters. So I worry what will happen with the Marvel classics after the brand name cools off. Disney’s past treatment of the works of Carl Barks and Floyd Gottfredson does not inspire optimism.

  • http://tomboycomics.blogspot.com Emily

    This is HUGE.

    I could be wrong, but I think the biggest impact this will have is on Marvel products. You will see action figures, backpacks, in even more stores than ever before! Just a guess.

    Some of my comic-loving friends hope that under Disney, Marvel comics might break away from the monopolized comics distributor Diamond and become more widespread, available in stores…sort of like Archie comics are today.

    We shall see.

  • Bluenowait

    Actually Kalon S, Disney actually produces R-rated movies through their imprint studios Miramax and Touchstone. Which means they own the rights to films like Clerks and Pulp Fiction. As for Warner Bros, they’ve made R-rated movies way before Eyes Wide Shut; such as Bonnie & Clyde and The Exorcist. My thoughts; I hope this doesn’t result in a crossover between Hannah Montana and Deadpool. No wait a minute, I DO! >:)

  • Kyle Maloney

    Kalon, well what did you think about the content in the Incredibles? I thought they pushed it pretty far for being only PG, and it was comparable to Spiderman 2 despite being animated. I think the line between pg and pg 13 has been blurred so much it doesn’t even matter at this point. as long as we don’t see superhero movies that end up like “sky high” in terms of adult content I think we’ll be okay.

  • ST

    The acquisition is a good thing. Most of the overly negative folks like to imagine some worst case doomsday scenario where Disney’s going to get their hands all in Marvels business and somehow alter the Marvel Universe. Not going to happen guys. Put on your reality goggles and stop the dramatic nonsense about it being the end of the world. It hasn’t been a day yet and it’s already tired.

  • http://none Zack Mays

    Why not, sence Warner owns DC !!!!

  • Diane

    The MPAA created the R rating in 1968, Kubrick’s ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ was released in 1999.

    The Disney releases of Marvel feature will probably be distributed on their Touchstone Pictures banner along with the other PG-13 and R rated films in the past, or generate a new specialty one.

  • Ben

    I Hope they would have Yin Yang Yo comics

  • http://thejack-slashhalen.blogspot.com/ Slash Halen

    God, the only thing I could imagine stupider than a Marvel-Disney crossover would be some lame-ass video game concept where Disney characters join forces with people from some Japanese RPG.

    Oh, wait…

  • http://blissfulignorance551.deviantart.com/ A.J.

    Im fine with this, but crossovers in features, shorts, televised programs, or THEME PARKS(especially) is OUTRAGEous, the two don’t mix and i am not happy. If the let spiderman loose at Disneyland, they can count on me not attending annual visits.

  • http://childoftv.blogspot.com Brent

    “Well since Disney bought Marvel, that means that Movies, Cartoon Shows, and probably comics will be rated G instead of the regular PG-13 and rated R. Unless Disney do what Warner Bros. did with Eyes Wide Shut (First R rated movie for Wanner Bros), Marvel Will lose most of there fans.”

    Why would you think that? Disney has released PG-13 and R rated films in the past through their Touchstone, including Spike Lee’s “Miracle at St. Anna.” Just because the Disney Corporation owns it doesn’t mean it has to become Mickey Mouse clean.

  • http://amymebberson.blogspot.com Amy Mebberson

    Absolutely what AT said.

    There are plenty of Disney-owned subsidiaries which continue to produce adult, mainstream entertainment. Ignore the hard-core comic fans who refuse to see Disney as anything other than ‘evil corporate entity that sanitises things’.
    Disney are a business like any other and if the rumours are true, Lasseter and the creative execs at Disney are excited as hell about this.

    I am very interested to see what Disney do with Marvel and excellent things could come of this with the right strategy.

  • Brannigan’s Law

    Spider-Man is still owned by Sony and Iron Man is locked in. So this just means the Avenger movie isn’t happening…. and honestly who cares, it’s not DC. That would upset me. THIS REALLY JUST MEANS get ready to see a Marvel section at the dwindling theme parks.

  • creepy

    Universal IOA is screwed!

  • http://www.animationinsider.net/ Aaron H. Bynum

    Sounds like fun.

    I can’t wait for a couple of years to pass and possibly find a well-scripted MARVEL-branded series produced by Disney Television Animation. MARVEL has titles produced by Starz and Sony, among other places… and I still prefer then pencil artists at Disney’s television division.

  • Ross W

    This makes as much sense to me as Disney acquiring Miramax, but the World of Disney came out no worse for wear after that one. I can’t see how this will change things much at either company as the major Marvel characters are all locked up with other movie studios and theme parks, and Pixar and Classic Disney characters are now licensed to Boom Studios comics. Disney should continue to deal with these licensees to insure they deliver quality products and to avoid legal entanglements that would make the characters unavailable to anyone.

    So… where could some immediate synergy take place?

    1) Raid the talent- Attention Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker and other Marvel writers/artists… got any scripts laying around that could be good movies/t.v. shows? Dust ‘em off!

    2) Some of Disney’s most valuable properties ARE NOT currently licensed for comics: Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place, Jonas, etc. If Disney/Marvel can figure out a way to market these to girls (manga style paperbacks?) it could be HUGE.

    All in all, I think Marvel should do just fine in Disney’s hands.

    However, the fact that Disney now owns Howard the Duck blows my mind.

  • http://lovehatecartoons.blogspot.com Ted

    “Why does somebody who owns a share of Marvel deserve more compensation from this deal than the people who made the company valuable in the first place?”

    Because the people who made the company valuable in the first place were paid for their work at the time. The same reason why a homeowner deserves more compensation from when they sell their house than the construction workers who made it in the first place…

  • Marc Baker

    I knew something was up when the former Toon Di$ney started aquiring Marvel cartoons for the last few years, and this is what i expected. Di$ney, stop gobbling up things you have no business owning! Why the heck did you buy Power Rangers? They’re a crap franchise that’s way below the quality you use to be about! Just because Time Warner owns DC doesn’t mean you should own Marvel! Don’t you own Gemstone publishing? Stop gobbling up companies, and go back to making good cartoons! Miley Cyrus won’t stay 16 forever, you know!

  • http://www.sandboxworld.com tone

    The Jim Henson properties are doing great with Disney. They really pushed them. Right?

  • James E. Parten

    Ah, I can see it now! Mickey whistles, yells “Hey, Pluto!” and is bowled over by Lockjaw (of the Inhumans)!
    Of course,i it all boils down to the money! But will it change things. Probably not in the short run.
    Marvel has a history of trying to do kiddie comics, going all the way back to Timely. And don’t forget Star Comics in the 1980′s, with things rangig from “Planet Terry” to “Thundercats”.
    Will it fit? We can only watch and wait, and leave bitten-off fingernail clippings all over the place.

  • http://www.sibsy.blogspot.com/ Sabrina

    I enjoy seeing how everyone is angry at Disney for buying Marvel, but no one seems to stop and think that Marvel LET THEM. For a reason, no doubt…maybe because Marvel doesn’t have the funds to continue? It wouldn’t be the first time.

    Publications of regular comics won’t be changed, I don’t understand why people are coming to this, and jumping to many other conclusions. Nobody truly knows what will happen, but everyone still expects the worst.

    I just don’t get it.

  • http://pittsburghartistregistry.org/jeffreymcandrew Jeffrey T. McAndrew

    It’s slightly off the subject but lets talk about The Muppets for a second.

    Disney has owned the Muppets for a few years now. What have we gotten? That terrible made for television movie last christmas “Muppets Letters to Santa”?

    Disney needs to give some creative control to the people who have actually made the muppets great to begin with. Where are Frank Oz and Brian Henson? Brian Henson did an amazing job with both the Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island for Disney.

    Maybe Disney should try to do something with their old property buyouts before they get new ones?

    We could now potentially see the Jay and Silent Bob/Muppets/Roger Rabbit/Howard the Duck/Hannah Montana/X-Men crossover movie get made.

  • http://www.clownalley.net Pat Cashin

    My sincere wish is that Disney buys up all the Marvel themed rides at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and uses them to bolster the “still-sucks-after-all these-years” Disney Studios theme park in Orlando.

  • http://pittsburghartistregistry.org/jeffreymcandrew Jeffrey T. McAndrew

    I just saw a vision of the Bluntman and Chronic property getting the Marvel treatment. It could be huge. Please Disney?

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Kind of a shame a Japanese company didn’t buy out Marvel as I hoped!

  • Andy

    I’d be curious to see what Marvel could do with “Kim Possible”.

  • MattSullivan

    No. Oh no, no…no.

    Shit.

  • Lucy

    I’ve heard “the sky is falling” so many times today from comic book fans that my head is about ready to explode…

    Really, Marvel on its own was producing a Spider-Man musical with a villain named “Swiss Miss” in it, that ended up folding… After having spent $45 million on it. Really, how much worse do they think it’s going to be with Disney at the helm?

    Honestly, I think it’s not a bad idea at all. Out of left field? Hell, yes. But not a bad idea. I wish people would just quit thinking that Disney starts and ends with Mickey Mouse :\ It’s shallow thinking. Disney’s another company, just like everyone’s been saying, and they’re not looking to give the Punisher Mouse ears. At least I’m 98% percent sure.

  • http://jedaniels-adventures.blogspot.com jpox

    Actually, Marvel has already published comics featuring the Disney characters during the 80′s. DC Comics has been owned by Warner Bros. since 1969 too, and we’ve already seen Superman meet Bugs Bunny.
    Spidey & Mickey can’t be too far from meeting now.
    Perhaps an actual Spider-Ham cartoon could be possible?

  • http://jedaniels-adventures.blogspot.com jpox

    whoops, I meant Marvel published Disney-related comics in the 90′s…

  • Danny R. Santos

    Just like the comic book that Marvel put out back in the 90′s about caricature varsions of Marvel characters…..”What Thah!?” now I wonder if Disney would show interest in making a T.V. animated series of Sergio Aragones “Groo the Wanderer” or better yet Peter Porker in “Spider Ham” any how it would be interesting to see where
    Disney Co. would do with the buyout of Marvel.

  • Donald Benson

    I expect them to be very, very careful about putting the Disney name on Marvel properties — not so much to protect Disney’s family image, as to preserve whatever coolness remains at Marvel. How seriously could any male teenager take a Punisher movie that opened with the Disney logo, unless they actually blew up that CGI castle?

  • http://www.cementimental.com Tim Drage

    This is why we cant have good things, because all the negativism around here shoots it down before it even tries anything.
    No the reason we can’t have good things is because companies like Marvel and Disney exist in the world, not because some animation fans whine about stuff on some blog.

    T.V. animated series of Sergio Aragones “Groo the Wanderer”
    I always thought it’d be cool to do a stop motion version of Groo…

  • http://childoftv.blogspot.com Brent

    Troy J. Reyes wrote: “has anyone forgotten how disney tried to pull a fast one and buy up all the muppet properties while the henson family was greiving over the death of jim henson who died only days before!?”

    I think someone has his time lines mixed up. Jim Henson himself was negotiating the sale of Henson Associates – the Muppet properties – to Disney nine months before his death. Disney canceled the deal after Henson died in the belief that the property would be valueless without its creator. I have little doubt that most buyers would have done the same thing. They eventually bought the Muppets 13 YEARS after Jim Henson’s death. Hardly “only days” after Henson’s death.

  • John A

    If they put the Marvel characters in the parks I hope they build their own separate “comic book land”. I know some people that would love to design one.

  • Jason

    Jeffrey, an Angel from On High couldn’t do anything with the Muppets. They are a dead franchise, appealing only to nostalgia addicts. And FYI, Disney didn’t write the script for that Xmas special, anymore than it did for the horrendous Oz movie. The stench you smell is from a dead frog, not a meddling mouse. While I’m not crazy about Disney buying up characters instead of creating its own, at least the Marvel deal makes financial sense. The Muppet deal never did. Eisner had his head firmly up his fundament when he bought those characters. People seem to have the idea that Disney, out of the goodness of its heart, should keep the Muppets going JUST BECAUSE. Nuts to that. Dead is dead. The comic sucks too.

  • Mark McD

    Such negativity! Disney can sure do better than to try and create movie franchises from their theme park rides! Sure, they want some long-underwear types to appeal to young boys, now that they’ve gotten the girls’ market sewn up. And why not latch onto a familiar property rather than trying to create their own (“Condorman,” anyone?).

    With so many contracts involving the big Marvel characters already in place, it’s bound to be business as usual for quite a while. But maybe Disney will go paging through Marvel’s portfolio of characters to find something else they can play up until they can finally secure movie rights to Spider-Man. So yeah, maybe the Sub-Mariner will get the big movie treatment after all. Who else might be looked at: Ant-Man and the Wasp could make a good fx-movie. Doctor Strange might be between movie deals. Son of Satan… erm, no. And I think some of the ancillary characters in an existing movie, like the Silver Surfer, might be available, the same way “Catwoman” was spun off the Batman franchise. Okay, bad example.

    But I see I’m not the only one who thought, even in jest, that finally Pixar can do “Howard the Duck” right!

    And who gets MADDER? The Hulk or Donald Duck!

  • ST

    Jason-Muppets aren’t dead. New movie coming out and much Muppet filming going on at Disneyland lately.

  • Brad

    Ugh, now they’ve sunk their fangs in, never to be extricated. Once the poison fully seeps in after a few years there will never be an independent or semi-independent Marvel again. Must everything be owned and polluted? Next up, Pixar Avengers movies with implied fart jokes. Hilarious.

    Ah well, comics are dorktastic anyway, and everything else Marvel has been doing is just constantly re-inventing the same old stories. Maybe we’ll at least get more of the animation back catalog on DVD now.

  • Marc Baker

    Oh no, i’m getting images of Miley Cyrus Singing ‘Howard The Duck’ with a synth keyboard, bad 80′s hair.

  • http://www.spiteyourface.com Tony Mines

    Great. Now build a dome around the whole thing and seal it off from the rest of the world.

  • Carmine Kurtzberg

    Disney is missing a bet if they fail to market a cheap replica of STAN LEE’S TOUPEE in every theme park. This rug could be bigger than the raccoon cap. And they would pioneer making a buck off comic book legends who are actually still alive.

  • Jason

    ST – the Muppets are dead as far as the public is concerned. I’m not saying Disney won’t TRY to revive them. Disney is, after all, stuck with them. I’m just saying it’s probably futile. Who cares about them anymore? Now Spiderman and company – Disney won’t have to do a thing but let Marvel be Marvel. It’s pretty much a guaranteed moneymaker. And Spidey et al are characters that are still in demand.

    Still can’t say I like this much though…

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Thanks for bringing things into perspective Jason, like we didn’t notice (the worst that could happen is the comic book industry continuing to slide downhill even further in the next few years).

  • http://voyagesextraordinaires.blogspot.com Cory

    Marvel should be so lucky as to have Disney shut down production, reorganize the lines, sweep out 70 years of detritus and reboot the whole kit and kaboodle into something coherent, appealling and interesting to read. There’s a reason I haven’t picked up a Marvel comic in 20 years.

    Of course, it’s not about the comics. It’s about the movies and spin-off possibilities… But the fact that Spider-Man 1 and 2 and Iron-Man somehow sifted out of the steaming piles of X-Mens, Wolverine, Daredevil, Elektra, Hulks, Ghost Rider, Blades, Punishers and Fantastic Fours smells to me like they were accidents. I’ve read so much over the last two days complaining about Marvel losing its creative integrity… WHAT creative integrity?! Disney’s just buying into the same teenage summer movie crowd that somehow keeps franchises like Underworld and Final Destination going.

    The thing that I find most interesting is that Disney thought Marvel was worth buying.

  • http://socata.net Dana Gabbard

    I wonder if Disney paid too much, especially given the limitations of all the deals that lock up the key characters with other studios for years. Although the royalities for those now will fill Disney’s coffers.

    Plus Spider-Man and X-Men may have run their course, at least for a while. Some in the business press have said much the same thing.

    http://www.laobserved.com/biz/2009/08/marvels_14b_hero.php

    It wasn’t that long ago Marvel was a mess. Anyone else remember the Heroes World distribution debacle? After the top talent left to form Image, Marvel for a time had a practice of only using no name talent because they thought the characters themselves sold the books and they didn’t want anyone to become a star creator — sales stalled until they started recruiting top talent. If you get a chance to read it Dan Raviv’s “Comic Wars” gives a good blow by blow of Marvel’s low point, with a coda about when things started to reverse as after years of frustration they finally hit gold with movie licensing (Spider-Man, X-Men).

    http://www.randomhouse.com/features/comicwars/index.html

    Interestingly Gerard Jones in the splendid “Men of Tomorrow” notes merchandising and film royalities have from the earliest days of comic book publishing been a key factor in profitiability. The books have been less about how they sell so much as their ability to showcase new creations that can then be turned into tee shirts and TV shows.

  • Annonymous

    Remember the guy at the Marc Davis lecture who called Milt Kahl “The Pheonix”? I guess he knew what he was talking about!

  • http://www.johnbludwick.com john ludwick

    It’s real funny. The Nineties saw the collector market pummel comics quality into mashed potatoes, and simultaneously the commercial success of Lion King chew up 2D animation. What do they have in common? In both cases, you have left-brain bean counters viewing an industry in the moment, rather than having the nuts to give a damn about the larger vision, a freaking twitterpating of planning that says, “this is SO GOOD because as this art form grows IN THE FUTURE WE COULD….”
    I wonder how many finance news stories that Brad Bird quote (so prominently displayed on the Brew front page) applies to? This is one it applies to, fer sure.

  • http://www.johnbludwick.com john ludwick

    BTW – worst case scenario… imagine Spidey singing “Will I Ever Weave a Web of my Own?” in the first act of his 2D film…. makes ya wanna puke, eh?

  • Boris

    The negativity here is so disgusting! Why don’t we all wait and see what happens?

  • Dock Miles

    I do think a mash-up of “Doctor Strange” and “Fantasia” has very strong potential.

  • http://allenpov.blogspot.com Enoch Allen

    Pixar handling Marvel is the greatest mash-up, possibly ever.

    Now <that’s potential!