Saturday, May 19, 2018

20th Century Disney

With Deadpool 2 coming out this weekend, my thoughts have turned to the still pending acquisition of 20th Century Fox by the Walt Disney Company.  It boggles the mind to think that in a couple of years, a Deadpool film could be a technically Disney film.

With that in mind, I wanted to record a few random thoughts on the upcoming merger:

  • If this is for content for their upcoming streaming service, Disney really is buying the best of the remaining film libraries.  Of the classic big five studios (Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, MGM, RKO, and Paramount), the 20th Century Fox film library is really the only one that Disney could acquire.  Warner Brothers, through Turner/Time Warner, controls the Warner Bros., classic MGM, and RKO libraries, and would be unlikely to sell to Disney.  Paramount with its connection to CBS is in a similar position.  Likewise the mini-major Universal would never sell to Disney.  They, through Comcast, are Disney's greatest competitor for the 20th Century Fox library.
  • Fox seems also to be a good fit as it was one of the majors that did not have its own animation studio at the time.
  • Disney will be getting a heck of a film library.   Shirley Temple, Charlie Chan, Rodgers and Hammerstein, the Three Stooges, and Marilyn Monroe.  Alien, The French Connection, The Day the Earth Stood Still, M*A*S*H, Miracle on 34th StreetPlanet of the Apes.  In addition to getting all rights to Star Wars and the remaining Marvel films.  This plus all of the Disney, Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Marvel materials.
  • Hopefully, given the back catalog, the streaming service better dig deep and not just be the modern films.
  • Additionally, this gives enough material for a Disney Classic television station.
  • It really makes me upset that the Great Movie Ride is being replaced by Mickey's Runaway Railway.  I would love to see the Mickey ride added in a different location, but the Great Movie Ride could become something really amazing just focusing on Disney owned assets.  Could you imagine? Leave in Alien, Raiders of the Lost Ark,  and Fantasia. Add in Sound of Music (or any of the Rodgers and Hammerstein films), The French Connection, Young Frankenstein, Planet of the Apes, Cleopatra, The Robe, The Seven Year Itch, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and M*A*S*H.   Replace the Wizard of Oz section with an extensive Mary Poppins segment.
  • Further, it's a shame that the Streets of America are gone from Disney Hollywood Studios, as the New York Street could have an amazing Miracle on 34th Street overlay at Christmas.
  • And that was just film; Disney now owns an incredible television library. The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Daniel Boone, M*A*S*H, LA Law, Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Alien NationFuturamaThe Simpsons.  I'm determined to get a Firefly attraction of the ground now.
  • Adventures by Disney better include a 20th Century Fox Studio tour in the Southern California trip.  I would love to have a combined Muppets, Disney, Pixar, 20th Century Fox studio tour itinerary. 
  • Anastasia is now a Disney princess (after years of being mistaken for one).
  • I am very excited to have almost all of Marvel under one roof finally.  Just need to get Spider-man away from Sony, though I am at least glad they have worked out an arrangement.
  • National Geographic will be a valuable asset, especially for Animal Kingdom.  It's a natural fit, especially given Walt's interest in true life adventures.  Will be interesting to see how they pair it with Disneynature.
  • Glad they will be splitting out Fox News and the Fox Sports (beyond the Regional Sports Networks).  No need to have more redundancy than needed and this should help the FTC review.
  • Though it will be years before this could impact the parks, it is exciting to get nearly all of the attractions in the park under the larger Disney umbrella (the only oddball now is the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror).  After the Lucasfilm purchase, Avatar was the other major licensed property.
  • Beyond Avatar, it will be interesting to see what else might make it into the parks.  Planet of the Apes?  Maybe bits of The Greatest Showman?  I doubt we'll see anything Alien or Predator.

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