Marvel and Disney: Hopes and Fears

3 Sep

I faced one of the biggest shocks of my life Monday morning when I turned on my computer.  I’m assuming most people reading this did as well.  But just in case you have no idea what I’m talking about, I will explain.  The Walt Disney Company announced that they are purchasing Marvel Entertainment for $4 Billion, in cash and stocks.  Yes, I know.  I was shocked as well.  And this, albeit several days later, is my attempt to sort through my conflicting emotions.

I have been collecting comics since I was a very, very small child and a large chunk of my accumulated collection is Marvel.  In fact, I continue to buy several comics each month that are published by Marvel.  I am unequivocally attached to more than one or two characters in the Marvel Universe, and the idea that Disney now has control over these characters was frightening to me.  I mean look how they’ve handled their own characters.  How many terrible sequels to Cinderella are out now?

And while yes, this is a movie blog reporting movie news, I was not just concerned about the fate of my favorite characters in the realm of film.  Disney didn’t just announce they were buying all the film rights to Marvel characters.  They announced they were buying Marvel.  All of it.  Before this, I was unconcerned about the fate of my comic book heroes just because the film version was bad.  With Disney at the helm I am worried about each and every incarnation of all of my beloved Marvel characters.

Now, it’s important to note that Disney doesn’t automatically get the film rights to everything.  Paramount is still putting out 5 Marvel films (Thor, Iron Man II, Captain America, The Avengers, and one other that has yet to be announced), and a handful of other characters are currently owned by other companies (Fantastic Four, X-Men, and Spiderman).  But everything else is up for grabs.

So naturally I’m a bit nervous.  I think it would be impossible to love Marvel Comics as much as I do and not be nervous at this point.  But there is one thing that gives me hope.  Pixar.  My fears are similar to the fears everyone had when Disney bought Pixar- dumbed down stories, loss of creativity, and lots of crap produced because they were forced to.  But none of that happened.  Pixar is still allowed to tell stories about robots and fish and pollution.  They still release short films.  They still use short films as a way to train upcoming directors.  In fact, I would say Pixar has developed into one of my very favorite studios since Disney acquired them, and that gives me hope.  Pixar is one of the things about this buyout that excites me.

Apparently, John Lasseter, of Pixar, has already met with Marvel people to brainstorm ideas for future films.  If I could pick anyone to put out a Marvel movie it would be Pixar.  I trust them.  They obviously know how to do superhero film well.  And my Marvel characters can finally wear their spandex just like they do in the comics, without looking dumb.  No more leather for the X-Men.  If it’s animated we can get spandex.

Another aspect to think about here is Disney has theme parks.  And if this deal means I will get to walk through a real life Baxter Building or Avengers Mansion then I will learn how to deal with the parts I don’t like.

To sum up:  I am incredibly nervous about this buyout, but I am excited about the possibilities it brings to the table.  The film part of me is excited.  The comic book part of me is terrified.  Please Disney, just leave the comics alone.  I am on my hands and knees begging you.  Leave them alone.

crying into my Luke Cage comic,

David

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3 Responses to “Marvel and Disney: Hopes and Fears”

  1. Canada Chris September 3, 2009 at 1:41 pm #

    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2009/9/2/

  2. iamhrothgar September 3, 2009 at 4:49 pm #

    that’s awesome. that’s exactly what i’m afraid of. sort of.

  3. Brent September 4, 2009 at 2:11 am #

    yeah, i’m that brent.

    I’ve been reading and reading about this… why i am most attracted to this news from the states over all other bits right now, i don’t know.

    but i liked this blog about it… and it had good links… thought i’d share:

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2009/09/disney_marvel_and_the_tortured.html?ft=1&f=93568166

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