Thursday, September 03, 2009

My thoughts on the Marvel/Disney merger

I am sure that by now, you, my readers have heard about the Marvel/Disney merger, and I've kept silent about it for a few days to let things settle down, but somehow, it seems like the blogging village had a collective panic over this issue.

I don't have a vested interest in either company. I mean, I enjoy the Marvel: Ultimate Alliance games, and I love Dr. Doom, but that is the extent of my enjoyment of the Marvel properties, and I can take or leave Disney, so clearly I can be impartial in all this.

From all the griping I've been reading about this deal, there is a particular subject that I haven't seen come up as of yet (though I have to admit that I haven't been looking hard to find it either).

I am of course talking about Miramax.

You know, that company that put out so many of the movies which defined the 1990's and I am willing to wager that those bemoaning this merger have at least 3 or 4 of those Miramax films on their list of favorites.

Did Disney wreck any of those films? Did Disney make Pulp Fiction or Kill Bill into PG movies? Did Disney tell Kevin Smith he couldn't have his donkey show scene in Clerks II? Did they say that Danny Boyle couldn't make a movie about Scottish heroin addicts?

No. There was a lot of freedom for expression in the post-Disney phase of Miramax, even after the Weinsteins left.

Do you know who was doing all the cutting, slashing and various other misdeeds against films during the decade and a half that Miramax was run by the Weinsteins under Disney's financial control? The Weinsteins, not Disney... a practice they continue with at their independent company.

And the other common thread I've seen on a lot of forums is the fear that suddenly everything the two companies do together is going to be full of cross overs and such. But given the Miramax example, I think that this again will not really be an issue. Until something, I don't know, actually happens, there isn't really any reason to mess yourself over it.

Marvel is likely a much more profitable entity with a hands-off approach, and the pursuit of profits is likely a much better barometer for its relative independence than any of those conspiracy theories people are spinning.

Before you ask, yes, I would still be saying these if, say Take Two/Rockstar Games was the party Disney had acquired.


Arjan said...

I did laugh at some of the cross-over drawings I saw though.

SamuraiFrog said...

Well said. People really overreacted to that one. Disney didn't ruin Pixar or the Muppets, either, and I think as long as Marvel keeps bringing in money, Disney's not going to care too much about what they do. It's really a better deal for Marvel.

MC said...

Arjan: Yes, they are funny.

SF: The thing that I think might be worrisome is litigation on Disney's part re: the use of Marvel images outside of their strictly defined parameters, so I foresee a lot of C&D letters going out.

Dalton J. Fox said...

I mentioned some of the things you pointed out here, but I was totally joking. I honestly don't think Disney will fuck with Marvel much, if at all.