Disney buying Marvel

Woah: Disney's buying Marvel:
Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney on August 28, 2009, Marvel shareholders would receive a total of $30 per share in cash plus approximately 0.745 Disney shares for each Marvel share they own. At closing, the amount of cash and stock will be adjusted if necessary so that the total value of the Disney stock issued as merger consideration based on its trading value at that time is not less than 40% of the total merger consideration...

Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Marvel including its more than 5,000 Marvel characters. Mr. Perlmutter will oversee the Marvel properties, and will work directly with Disney's global lines of business to build and further integrate Marvel's properties.

Disney to Acquire Marvel Entertainment (via /.)


  1. But will they Disney-fy the Marvel universe like Times Square? Will Disney censor or block Marvel releases due to protests the way they have with Miramax?

  2. I think it’ll be a good move for both The House of Ideas and The House of the Mouse. It’ll give Marvel the kind of corporate umbrella that has kept DC secure for a while, and licensing opportunities abound for Disney, with loads of great characters to play with in film and TV, among other things. I think it’s pretty exciting, all around.

    Now, let’s get John Lasseter heading up some rad new flicks!


  3. I can’t help thinking that characters and stories that are already bland will eventually become “family friendly” dull.

  4. As least Disney is a more fastidious licensor than Marvel ever was, which can only be good news.

    (Seriously… Spider-Man eau de toilette. It exists.)

  5. I always thought of Disney as more of a DC kind of company.

    Mickey Mouse, Superman, you can’t get more American that that. Marvel is angsty and complex. It just doesn’t fit.

  6. Coming this Summer…

    (Magical music)

    A mysterious young boy…

    “Dad…why am I different from the other children?”

    “Different? No James…you are special”

    (Fade in young James climbing a tree)

    With a magical gift…

    (James falls out of the tree, breaking his leg)

    “Someone! Help!”

    (James’ leg suddenly heals good as new)


    The Adventures of Wolverine

    Summer 2010

  7. Now we can look forward to YouTube video clips of some poor slob dressed as Wolverine getting kicked in the nuts by kids at Disneyworld.

    Everybody sing: “S-P-I … D-E-Y … OMFG!”

  8. Is there a more telling comment on our times than:

    “We believe that adding Marvel to Disney’s unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation,”

    Hulk smash capitalism!

  9. The crossover rights alone….

    High School Musical: Xavier’s School for the Gifted

    You should really see the dance number with Charles.

    But yeah, I’ll bet this is just a deal to grab a slice of the movie profits. Marvel will retain rights to it’s content with little creative oversight from Disney. But thing will happen like Buena Vista will handle all distribution of Marvel DVD’s and reap a portion of the profits.

  10. Errrfff! Buckskin Barbies and Family Friendly Wolverines? Not sure I can see how this will be an improvement.

  11. Makes you wonder if Disney will scrap all of the Marvel characters with dark or mystical/Satanic seeming references… I agree they should have bought DC…

  12. Howard the Duck can wear pants, Jack Kirby and Carl Barks can roll over in their graves in unison.

  13. not trying to be mean love them both, but popular culture is formed by popular media, hence the ridiculous claims of c.i.a. involvement with Disney, perhaps less incredulous considering the logic of controlling with media. so what/who are your role models? they are probably vanilla, sacharrin, anthropomorphic caricatures with strong Amerikan ‘values’, no? just sharing sobriety. disneyfication.

  14. Admittedly I’m biased, but I think it could have some horrible consequences for some of the marvel properties. I worked for a contract software developer in the 90’s and worked o. Multiple Disney software products and saw first hand how they work. The Evil Mouse is a menace. Workflow is insane.

    They will not hesitate to compromise Marvel’s intellectual properties if it means better margins. They’ll idiotize many of the properties in order to create a greater mass appeal.

  15. I’m just watching “Bolt”, Pixars first film under the Disney banner and its a VERY impressive affair. If this acquisition results in some animated Marvel films of this sort of quality I’ll be very happy!

  16. Well, maybe it’s time for Pixar to do something nasty– and Howard the Duck would be the alien waterfowl who could make it happen.

  17. I think it is good news, as long as Disney treats Marvel like Pixar. Pixar gets to make their films on their own terms with the funding coming from the very deep pockets of Disney.

    Marvel clearly knows what they are doing when it comes to story and their IP within the context of comics, movies and animation.

    Marvel studios, as a film making company, is self financing their films- but all on the back of some huge loans. They don’t have a big margin for error. Having Disney as a backer for production costs and a built-in distribution parent is a HUGE boon to the film making division.

    And, say what you will about Disney’s lack of modern story telling ability (abysmal). They are masters of merchandising and marketing- neither of which are Marvel’s strong suits. Marvel has tended to over market their IPs on garbage, low quality stuff like the Spiderman Eu De Toilet mentioned earlier. They stand to make far better and more profitable deals for their IP through the Disney machinery.

    I have no fear that Disney will change the direction at all of the comic division unless it flies off the rails. This merger is all about the IP and how it can be used for profit outside of the print comic realm.

  18. The important question is whether the Marvel universe is going to be Disneyfied like Times Square? Will Disney censor or block controversial Marvel releases the way it did with Miramax?

  19. #11–That’s what I was wondering about. I wonder how long the existing contracts are and whether Universal will re-theme everything when the expire. Easy with some rides like the Incredible Hulk Coaster, difficult with the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man.

  20. I’m against this. IMHO, one of the big problems of the world (that affects US) is that the rich people and companies are getting too big. They can at whim drive out smaller ones by operating stores at a loss for decades, force wages lower, prices higher, “Scab” the workforce by illegal labor and outsourcing.

    This Disney/Marvel merger is pure “Monopoly”. A Monopoly is not 100% share of the market, it is as low as 17%, it is the level where you can force your will outside of the “Laws of Supply and Demand”.

    And then Disney is rabid at defending it’s “Copyrights” and is a large part of the grotesque copyright abuse of today, including the laws the RIAA built it’s lawsuit machine on. Not to mention that only a handful of its characters are “Originals”, most are from “Public Domain” works, or rather they wouldn’t be in the public domain if Disney’s laws had been around back then. Marvel and DC are of course protective of their interests, but they look liberal compared to Disney.

    One notable story of interest is Disney sending armed guards with black paint to a daycare center. They’d painted a few Disney characters on the walls and Disney sent people to “Paint it black”. Yes, a place of business, but really look at the “Free Advertising”… Warner Bros scored a propaganda victory by sending it’s own artists to re-paint, free of charge, their characters…

    So I’d hate to see classic “Marvel” characters under Disney. They’d file off all the “Rough Edges” and set lawyers on fans like rabid wolves for fanfiction and blogging complaints on having the Punisher going back to “Mercy Bullets” and such.

    They are two seperate visions. Disney has worked itself to be “Family Friendly” to be “American Culture” and it’s had an influence, most notably that we don’t have an animation industry anything like Japans. Kids stuff, “Family Movies” or the once or twice a decade “Underground” thing.

    Marvel, on the other end, has been defying culture for decades. I don’t mean “Anti American”, but quite the opposite, championing free speech and new ideas. Stan Lee is a legend to those into the comic book field for he “Cracked the Code” by publishing a “Drug” story without code approval. As soon as he cracked the code, he put out comics that had been forbidden for years, Marvel’s “Horror” line of characters. And Marvel even now with 40+ years of plots they have to account for or re-hash still manages to make entertaining stuff.

  21. Hey, Kid! Wanna draw a cool picture of Spiderman on the cover of your notebook? Well, you just violated copyright law, punk! We’re gonna have to take you downtown.

  22. this whole Disney + Marvel thing makes me very uneasy. Disney = anthropomorphizactory. Marvel = Spiderman. Animals with human characteristics * humans with animal characteristics = a negative times a positive = a negative.

  23. Since nobody’s said it yet: This is just ripe for that Mickey/Deadpool crossover we’ve all been waiting for.

  24. I wonder how much Stan Lee, the soul of Marvel until the lawyers pushed him out will make from this deal. Unfortunately I don’t think Stan will be getting as much as he deserved for creating so many beloved characters & nurturing Marvel through the decades.

  25. If they make a live-action film with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, I’m joining al-Qaida.

  26. I don’t think this necessarily signals that Marvel will be stuck making “family friendly” films from now on. “Kill Bill” was made by Disney-owned Miramax, and that easily had as much slashing action as any Wolverine comic.

  27. DC is more or less safely in the hands of Warner Bros. – has been since 1969.

    It’s a common misconception that DC characters are tamer, brighter, more family-friendly, and Marvel’s are dark and angsty. Both have a wide range of characters and titles with different tones.

    Just like many of those posting here, I hope Marvel’s books doesn’t become homogeneous, and that they, well, keep publishing books!

  28. I have similar concerns about the Disney-ification of Marvel, but overall, I’m waiting before I count Spidey and company out for good.

    I don’t think something like Civil War or the death of Captain American would have happened under Disney’s watch, but we’ll have to see if they let the writers and artists keep their creative spark.

  29. I agree with the earlier comment about media concentration and Disney getting bigger, it’s tough on smaller companies and what with Disney’s history of copyright bullying. Frankly I wish they hadn’t bought Pixar because that would have meant more competition in the field of computer animation.

    Will Disney dumb down Marvel characters? They might modify some slightly to work with a larger project, but chances are if they want family-friendly superheroes, they’ll just create new ones, and they’ll be as obnoxiously popular as Hannah Montana.

    Disney will probably keep it all under the “Marvel” label, and if they want to produce films then they’ve got a whole bunch of their own studios to do it with (Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, Miramax).

    Actually what we’ll probably see is more marketing and branding, manipulating images with ideas. For example, the image of the lion standing regally on a rocky mountain outcrop, from The Lion King – echoed in the trailer for the first Narnia film with Aslan doing the same thing. Disney excels at this. Marvel characters we’re familiar with will start showing up everywhere, certain characteristics emphasized, to get ’em into our brains so we know they stand for something, and when products come out we’ll have this image in the back of our minds fully associated in advance.

  30. @25/Anonymous, er, Pixar didn’t produce Bolt. John Lasseter (Pixar head honcho) did however replace the director. But it was not a Pixar film.

  31. After the abomination of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I really think anyone “worried” about Disney dumbing down Marvel IP is barking up the wrong tree – Marvel/Fox was doing a far better (worse?) job of it already. Marvel, RIP.

  32. “I can’t believe no one has said this: Only Superman can save us now!”

    Not if DC loses the copyright battle. Superman could wind up as a Disney property too.

  33. @25, Bolt isn’t a Pixar movie. It’s a Disney film. It was, however, the first Disney feature produced under the oversight of John Lasseter as Chief Creative Officer of Disney. Confusing, yes :)

  34. “Marvel characters we’re familiar with will start showing up everywhere, certain characteristics emphasized, to get ’em into our brains so we know they stand for something, and when products come out we’ll have this image in the back of our minds fully associated in advance.”

    @47, This has already been happening by Marvels own hand for decades. Marvel just hasn’t been very good at it. You can’t tell me you haven’t wandered through a Target or the like and not seen images of Spiderman, Wolverine and Iron Man adorning toothbrushes, party hats, school supplies, beah towels, t-shirts, etc. Marvel has typically licensed their IP out to low quality merchandise, with ugly designs. It is largely cheap and not, in my opinion, helpful to the brand. Disney are indeed experts at this and may actually improve the quality of the licensed material.

  35. Disney is a shrewd business corporation and with Marvel it just got interesting. Games, clothing, action figures, and more with a Disney/Marvel relationship will be amped to the highest. I keep hearing all this is bad and such but think it over Marvel has got a great deal with this merger. Disney just put the whole film and theme park deals on notice. I think in the weeks ahead Disney will unveil the list of what we can see coming from this deal. I expect that through this Disney will air all Marvel films on ABC Family, Disney Channel, Disney XD, and ABC which will be huge plus the reairings will generate loads of cash. I also expect all Marvel’s rides will move to Disney most likely to Disney Studios Park. They will also pop up more heavily in retail stores, Disney stores, and the theme park stores too. I see $$$$$ in the millions or more for this deal and with the House of Mouse building more to its cruise line, family resort hotels in Hawaii and D.C. plus I expect a Marvel theme hotel too soon. The whole thing is a win-win for fans. Marvel would never allow the dumbing down of its brand give them credit. I mean look at Disney and their characters I mean they are everywhere and the licensing alone gives Marvel a base to spread to ends DC comics could never get. Disney is a smarter people than some credit them for I mean look at their parks, cruise ships, hotels and all then toss in Marvel and Pixar plus the fact that DreamWorks just inked a deal makes it even sweeter for Disney. Spielberg’s deal will soon end with Universal which means Jaws and Jurassic Park may leave too for Disney. Folks I smell a huge swell with Mickey surfing a money wave only Uncle Scrooge could love. The House of Mouse just put Universal, Paramount, and other studios to notice Marvel is ours and now you got to deal with us which means distribution, licensing, dvd’s, video games, etc. are Disney to decide what is done. Some may think this may be bad news but has Disney ever done anything they have done half ass —- Answer: Nope!

    Disney will make Marvel films that they couldn’t have done and spin a web of gold the whole way to the box office.

  36. Anon@55:

    Marvel would never allow the dumbing down of its brand give them credit.

    You realize that after the deal, Marvel properties are no longer Marvel’s, do you?

  37. #6 posted by Jasonclock, August 31, 2009 8:29 AM

    As I understand it, Disney bought Pixar.

    That’s the way the story goes, but where the rubber hits the road it’s just Disney’s marketing and distribution helping Pixar’s production. That is, Disney’s role in Pixar’s world is decidedly non-Disney, and Pixar has assumed the role of a creative force that previously was the domain only of Disney itself. That aspect has been completely marginalized in their relationship with Pixar.

  38. This news would have really gotten to me when I was eighteen. Now I can’t care enough to put down this here Krazy Kat anthology.

    Now, if they come after Fantagraphics…

  39. All brands/properties will stay the same,,,until they start losing money. That goes for Pixar as well as MArvel..Once the sales slump, they’ll send in the “marketing experts”.

  40. Uncircle the wagons everyone – I think everything will remain status quo at the House of Ideas. Just a larger parent is now skimming from the till (and footing the bill). Disney knows a thing or two about brand recognition and fan base. It’s why they shelled out 4 billion for Marvel. They’re not gonna go in and mess with that 4 billion. It seems everyone is afraid they will make it Disney, but Disney itself admits the purchase is to diversify their demographic wallet-share. Besides, Marvel already makes a kid-friendly line of comics called Marvel Adventures. They already do a good job themselves of separating the meatrial between adult and kids.

    This could be a GOOD thing too. With deep pockets from Disney, a great series like Captain Britian and MI13 doesn’t have to be canceled before its time. And money might be freed up to try more short run or experimental titles.

  41. To guys talking about family friendliness, Disney has a long history of making other things on the side. They just tend to do it under different brands, in order to maintain the connotations of the word “Disney”. If they keep Marvel things under “Marvel”, they won’t necessarily change them, at least in that particular direction.

  42. I’m not sure which set of stereotypes here is the more hysterical: that Disney is kidified and dumbed-down, that Marvel is a creative powerhouse, or that DC Comics is more family-friendly. Have people just not seen Pirates of the Caribbean, X-Men Origins: Wolverine or that DC’s latest crossover thing is meant to deal with the fact that they keep killing their superheroes off all the time?

  43. So Disney will give the same treatment to the X-Men and the Punisher as they gave to Tarzan. Grrreat.

  44. You know, initially I found this news disturbing. My brain instantly turned anti-Disney due to conditioning (self-imposed). Oh no! Disney’s going to suck the life out of Marvel’s characters! Then I realized that a majority of the terrible movies I’ve been subjected to in the past 10-15 years have been Marvel projects. And I remember my brother’s collection of comics portraying men as MEN and women as masturbatory objects. I say Disney’s got it right. Now I’ve got one target to despise instead of two.

  45. I predict:
    – Marvel themed rides (to compete with Six Flags, since they already do DC themed rides)
    – Pixar Marvel movies
    – Less racy female characters
    – The Disney profit machine getting bigger

    I’m sure it will be a “success”, but it doesn’t feel right. Picture the Catholic church purchasing the Baptist church. Two puzzle pieces that sort of fit, but don’t quite look right when placed side by side.

  46. At the end of the day, does Marvel’s comic-making business have any real value, or just the intellectual properties they hold?

  47. i have about 500 marvel comic and cards does that mean my comics will be worth more or less now that it has the disney stamp THIS IS NOT GOOD IF IT IS LESS

  48. I sence that this might not go so well. Who ever heard of Spider mouse or The Incredible Dulk? It kind of bumbs down on the hero average don’t you think?

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