I just heard that Disney bought Marvel for four billion dollars and change.
I can see what Disney’s motivations might be. Marvel has demonstrated that its characters are capable of driving popular and profitable films. Take Iron Man, for instance, or the X-Men, or Spider-Man. And take the Fantastic Four and the Hulk– please. Seriously, though, some have compared Disney to a cultural Microsoft. Embracing and extending the public domain into films such as Aladdin, the Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Pocahontas, Beauty and the Beast, et cetera. So, from that admittedly disfavorable point of view, Marvel is simply a larder of fodder for the Disney machine. Of course, if you’re going to go down that route, you might as well claim that Marvel comics will be ruined forever, adulterated by pixie dust and wholesome girl-friendly family entertainment.
And many people are claiming that. But I don’t think that’s what will really happen.
Look at DC’s alliance with Warner Brothers. That did well, resulting in the live-action Batman movies and Superman Returns, and they’ve also got the classic Batman: The Animated Series, the Teen Titans, and Justice League Unlimited.
Aside from the movies I mentioned earlier, Marvel’s film and TV offerings haven’t been all that great. I could mention the 1990′s X-Men animated series, but I’m sure I remember that being much more cool than it really was. So perhaps Disney’s deep pockets will lead to some decent animated Marvel series. Let’s also hope that Marvel’s new benefactor gets the Avengers done right.
There could also be some other benefits.
I was at Disneyland just, er… yesterday. It seemed to me that Tomorrowland could use a bit of love. It’s great that they finally revitalized the submarine ride, but a lot of the attractions there are starting to look a bit dated (and not in the fun, retro, Populuxe way.)
An obvious idea might be to turn the carousel building into a Hall of Super Heroes. At the very least, they could replace Honey, I Shrunk The Audience with a new Marvel-themed 3D movie. That theater’s vibrating floor would be an excellent enhancement to a movie featuring the Sentinels… or Galactus.
Oh, and Stan Lee should get a statue.