Glenn Beck, Donald Duck — one is a brainless cartoon character who’s always in the wrong and had wacky misadventures, and the other is Donald Duck. (Bet you saw that one coming a mile away.)
I was going to post this later, but as my source for this, Roger Ebert, tweets, better to put it up sooner before the Disney lawyers get to it — though I guess some believe there may be possible extra added first amendment protection as it’s overtly political speech. Anyhow, nice use of some great classic-era cartoons from the Walt Disney factory at its peak. You knew “The Three Caballeros” had to get in there at some point. Wonder what they’ll make of this at Breitbart’s Big Hollywood?
So, as I mentioned below, yesterday was Jean-Luc Godard‘s 78th birthday and now today is the 108th birthday of a very different and, like it or not, even more influential cinema visionary: Walt Disney. As I’m sure Godard would agree, among other things, Disney was a master propagandist and this Word War II era anti-Nazi cartoon is a striking piece of work indeed and, as things sadly turned out, ony a little bit exaggerated.
And here’s a far more effective piece of propaganda that crosses the line into hilarious art. The Oscar winning “Der Fuhrer’s Face.”
Okay, only the first part is true, but it’s pretty weird as it is — the House of Ideas and the Mouse House are likely to become one. It’s still quite early here on the West coast and all we have right now are mostly still the raw public facts as reported in the press release which is being carried this morning by Comic Book Resources (CBR), Variety and Nikki Finke.
Unless I’m missing something, the deal involves a massive buy-out of Marvel stockholders to the tune of $4 billion and it still may have to clear some antitrust hurdles. This is obviously my bias talking, but I hope the Obama administration’s regulators take a good look at this deal before allowing it to go through. In my opinion, Disney is already far, far larger than any single media company should be allowed to be. On the other hand, the deal with Marvel is obviously not on the scale of Disney’s past deal with ABC in terms of its size and scope and they aren’t a direct competitor.
Marvel’s real strength is the wealth of characters mostly created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and others. If it makes Marvel a healthier enterprise, perhaps it’s not such a bad thing. Finke is entirely bullish on the deal and praises Disney head Robert Iger for it, but I’m not sure we share the same exact priorities. We do both wonder if the association with Disney will somehow lower Marvel’s cool-factor among the young geeks. As for antitrust, I’m waiting to hear what the people who actually understand this stuff have to say, but I guess if we allowed the ABC deal to go through, this is nothing.
The word at this point is that Disney will allow it’s currrent licensing and third party deals — including fimmaking ones with the big studios it’s been working with up to now — to stand pat for the time being. It sounds to me, however, like the Mouse House might well be stepping in there at some point and a more recent item from Marketwatch definitely allows for that possibility. It also says that some lesser known Marvel characters might also be hitting silver screen. So, I guess Ant Man and Millie the Model might finally see their name in lights.
All I know for sure is that it’s feels almost like a sign of the geek apocalypse (the “geekalypse”?) to have Spiderman, the X-Men, Iron Man, and the Mighty Thor under the same roof as Mickey, Donald and Winnie the Pooh. On the other hand, the distance between the Mickey Mouse Club and the Merry Marvel Marching Society might not be all that great in some ways.
UPDATE: Thanks to BKS for sending this NY Times article with more info. A couple of quick lifts: Marvel characters will start popping up at some Disney-owned theme parks fairly soon and Paramount may have the most to lose as Disney gradually brings the Marvel film franchises in-house.