Monday, August 31, 2009

Spider Mouse

I've been reading quite a bit 'round the interwebs today about Marvel fans crapping their pants over the recent news. Like Galactus consuming a planet, Marvel was purchased by Disney for 4 BILLION FREAKIN' DOLLARS. Disney is hoping they can get their money off the deal by grabbing a demographic that was harder for them to reach before. Boys, teens and 45 year-old over weight dudes.
At the risk of losing my fanboy card I'll go ahead and say it. . .


I'll give you an example. Disney bought Pixar in 2006. Since then has Pixar made crappier movies? Has Mickey Mouse been in every Pixar movie as the staring character? No and no. Disney bought Pixar because they were a creative powerhouse and using those characters has brought in a significant amount of revenue in demographics they didn't have before. In fact John Lasseter (the main hombre behind Pixar) makes quite a few creative decisions in Disney because they recognized the man's talents. I would also venture to say that without Disney's marketing, distribution and consumer products divisions to back up Pixar, it would not be the recognizable brand that it is today.

I've seen posts on social networking sites claiming that Disney will ruin Marvel characters. However if people want to worry about Disneyfying things I would first look internally at Marvel before going after Disney. The Wolverine Origins movie that was just recently released was terrible. The Superhero Squad brand isn't exactly aimed at the hard core comic reader. I can list lots of terrible licensed products and movies that Marvel has signed off on but that doesn't mean it's all bad and this is where I think Disney buying them is a good thing.

Movies: Disney has access to their own movie studio. Marvel Studios recently made Iron Man and Hulk which were arguably the closest to canon Marvel movies. This means that Disney can let Marvel make all the creative decisions and let Disney distribute bringing all the revenue into Marvel/Disney, as opposed to Paramount getting some and giving the rest to Marvel for example. This is also a win for Disney because they get licensing royalties from products that are mid contract.

Comics: Unless Disney goes under Marvel will never go bankrupt again. Disney also has a huge publication backing and could get Marvel into places around the world it couldn't reach before. I would also argue that content in comics won't be touched by Disney. Disney owns brands like Miramax and Tochstone Pictures which have released mature themed movies like Inglorious Basterds, Clerks 2, and Doubt. If those got released I doubt comic content will be filtered.

Video Games: Contracts with Activision (Who did a GREAT job with Wolverine and pretty good with Spider-Man Web of Shadows), Sega (Meh on Iron Man and Hulk) and others are still going through. Which means it's on Marvel's shoulders to make sure these games meet brand and creative standards through these developers. It was recently said that Disney will "Reexamine Marvel Video Game Deals As They Expire" so Disney may not even develop any of the Marvel I.P.'s for quite sometime. If anything, Marvel has shown a commitment recently to making better games with their license attached to it.

In essence: Don't be scared. Things will be fine. I doubt much will change. In fact feel free to leave comments warning of the impending Dr. Doom with iron Mickey ears threat.