Disney is a multimillion-dollar corporation, owning everything from amusement parks around the globe to movies and TV shows. Disney has created characters that are known to generations and are still prevalent in today’s society. For example, Mickey Mouse has been a household name since it was created in the late 1920s. Now Disney also has the rights to other movies and TV studios other than its own creations. In 2009 Disney bought the rights to Marvel Studios and catapulted the studio into not only movies but also TV shows and video games. With the release of Avengers Endgame, this Marvel movie became the biggest grossing movie of all time, surpassing James Cameron’s Avatar and Titanic. In 2012 Disney also bought the rights to Star Wars (Lucasfilm) which has been a generational phenomenon. Star Wars also has more than TV shows and movies, now adding video games, collectible toys and so much more.
Disney does not just own the rights to Star Wars and Marvel Studios but many other companies as well. They have 80% claim to ESPN, own ABC, Pixar, Hollywood Records and many more. There are still many independent channels, but it seems like the majority of big-time TV is owned by Disney. Now, as the company enters the streaming service, it seems to some like it will be a total takeover. To others, seeing all of their favorite characters and stories being brought together by the same creative minds does not sound all that bad.
There are many people who like the idea of all these amazing stories being brought to life under the same studio, but there are others who disagree. Brian Williams is a fan of Star Wars but told me that he preferred it under George Lucas rather than Disney. “I’m not the biggest fan of the new Star Wars movies that have been made by Disney, it feels like some of the story has been watered down for their younger audience. I love Star Wars; I’ve read a lot of the books and comics. Star Wars was my childhood. I still watched all of the movies, but the new movies just didn’t have the same feeling as a Lucas Film.”
There are others who think that having these studios under the same name has given the characters more of a spotlight. Kelly Harrington thinks that with the new streaming service, characters who are less important will still get a chance to shine. She told me, “Personally, I’m excited for the WandaVision show that is going to be streaming and also the new show with the Winter Soldier and Sam Wilson (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier).”
The big question is if Disney is ready to go up against big streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. There are also competitors like Amazon Prime and Apple TV. Netflix and Amazon Prime have been nominated in the Emmy’s and the Oscars. This past award season’s shows and movies by Amazon Prime ended with almost 50 Emmy nominations for Amazon Originals. Chloe Brown thinks that Disney will fall short because there is so much going on. She shared with me, “I think that Disney is a little late to the streaming race, all of the other platforms like Netflix have been doing this for years. Maybe they won’t fall short because they not only have Disney shows on there, but I feel that when it comes to all of the stuff that they have planned, they’ll just be overwhelmed.”
With conflicting viewpoints, the outcome of Disney+ seems to be uncertain. Some think that Disney being able to artistically control characters and their stories all under one company looks promising. Others believe that Disney should not have access to some characters because of their fear of lack of attention or watering down plots and storylines. Then, there are others who fear that with all Disney+ has in store, the streaming service will fall short and not be able to deliver what they have promised to customers and fans, meaning that they might have the shows or movies they have promised but not with the writing or editing that the characters deserve.