Just a little bit over a year ago I posted a bit of a rant about how Disney & Pixar had no business engaging in productions of Marvel properties, despite the fact that Disney owns the lot. My position hasn’t changed but the fact that there is a supposed co-production in the works, has spurred me to re-post it below.
There I said it. Disagree if you must, but please hear me out before you judge me!
Two years ago, The Walt Disney Company agreed to buy Marvel Entertainment in a massive deal that cost so much money, I could very happily live for the remainder of my years on 0.01% of it. The question arose at the time and it still exists today in what will the company do with the new acquisition?
Many answers abounded with one of the most prominent being the possibility that the Walt Disney Company could use its superior animation skills and artists to create some wonderful new Marvel-related entities.
There are numerous problems with this approach and I suppose the fact that we are discussing it two years after the fact is proof enough. Firstly, Disney and Marvel do not see eye to eye when it comes to their content.
Who would a Disney-produced Marvel TV show/film appeal to? Oh sure the likes of the X-Men films can be theoretically suitable for kids, but I’d be willing to be that the Old Maestro would be spinning in his grave at the thought of the company he built putting out such stuff.
Disney is purportedly all about the family whereas Marvel is about the individual. Each approach tends to deal with very different approaches to the story and characters and there is little common ground between them save for the fact that individuals can enjoy family-orientated entertainment too.
Who would produce the content? Marvel has its own department for such things but Disney has all the necessary staff. Can you imagine Disney artists working under people accustomed to comics? I can’t and I doubt the artists can either.
Comic animation is also very different to what Disney is accustomed to. The current artists wouldn’t be able to work on it so new ones would have to be found. Besides that, Disney has never done a comic-style film or TV show. Tron is about as close as they got and even then that was technically live-action.
On a related note, would Pixar take up the challenge? According to head honcho John Lasseter, no:
No, not at Pixar. We have The Incredibles, so we’ve done superheroes here ourselves and so we have that kind of history with Brad Bird doing The Incredibles.
Arguably the best situation is to run both companies independently. There is little common ground so why exert all the effort to merge for no real benefit. Unlike TimeWarner, Disney has no need for excuses when it comes to keeping its comic department separate from its animation one.