The Mouse wants to own the House of Ideas. On Monday the Walt Disney Company announced a deal to purchase Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion. If approved, Marvel would benefit from Disney’s extensive distribution network and Disney would have access to Marvel’s iconic characters and more importantly a venue to attract
more men and boys to its brand. Both corporate leader said glowing things about the deal. Reaction on the internet is mixed.
Fears of Marvel being “Disney-fied” seems to be the loudest concern from fans. Marvel already has deals in place with various Hollywood and video game studios. So the effects
of this purchase will not immediately be felt by movie goers and gamers. I’m less certain about Universal Studios (and its Marvel attractions) and the Disney parks (visit The Coaster Critics site for more info). But if you think about it, Marvel has made recent moves in the kid-friendly direction. On the big screen, Wolverine is a PG-13 hero and much less the gritty, brooding, loner from the comics.
The latest animated series, Spectacular Spider-Man and the Iron Man Adventures, are younger versions of their comic book counterparts. It makes sense from a business point of view as Marvel tries to lock in the next generation of boys.
Longtime fans like myself can only hope that Marvel doesn’t forget about us. The direct-to-video Marvel animated movies, The Wolverine and the X-Men animated series, and the upcoming Wolverine and Iron Man anime series in Japan tell me that they won’t. But we will see.