Marvel is now Disney. Ten years later, can't we all get along?
Yesterday, Disney and Marvel announced "new themed areas" based on Marvel Super-Heroes at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland. Technically, these new experiences were already announced for Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland, but this was the first time anything substantial had been announced for the Disneyland Resort. Now we know that new themed land will be at Disney California Adventure and will occupy where "A Bug's Land" currently stands anchored by Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: Breakout. This new land will open in 2020.
Of course, I am completely excited for this, but, there was part of me that winced knowing that the Internet would be filled with complaints and I'd hear another round of how Marvel isn't Disney and doesn't belong in the parks. And, sadly, I was right.
So, I'm going to rant for a bit...
Part of the reason why I decided to start this blog was to hopefully bridge a gap between Disney fans and Marvel and Star Wars fans. I wanted people to know that Marvel didn't just start recently, but that some of us have enjoyed the characters from the comics to televisions shows all of our lives. Marvel was purchased by Disney in 2009. It's been almost 10 years and I hear the same thing. I'm not going to say, "get over it." But, I am going to say that 10 years should have given you enough time to have gotten used to it.
Seriously, for those not thinking Marvel is Disney-like, have you ever stood in line to meet Captain America with a myriad of kids dressed as various Marvel Super-Heroes? Have you seen their faces that are as excited to meet them as they are any Disney Princess?
And, what's hilarious is the same people who hold up their noses at Marvel love Pixar's The Incredibles and Disney's Big Hero 6. I hate to tell you, but both of those are inspired by Marvel with the latter actually being based on an actual Marvel team. Are these not Disney enough?
Marvel may not be what you're used to, but there are many children who have now grown up with Marvel through the movies. Think of this, a 10 year old child would not have lived in a world without a Marvel film coming out at least once (or more) a year.
I have admitted that, before I was a Disney fan or even a Star Wars fan, I was a Marvel fan. For me, they were my fairy tales. Yes, they might have been set in New York or in outer space or maybe even another dimension, but they were like gods in battle. There were knights like Captain America and wizards like Doctor Strange and even talking animals like Rocket Raccoon. They are just not the fairy tales you're used to. So, knowing that kids, these days, are exposed to Marvel characters in a way even I wasn't has been a dream. And much of this has to do with the Disney acquisition.
On the flip side, I hear the traditional Marvel fans who have a chip on their shoulder about Disney. Even almost a decade later, you hear people grumbling about how Disney is going to ruin Marvel.
Let's see. Almost every Marvel Studios film has been under Disney and most would admit that even the worst of the films are really just mediocre and those films are far fewer than the successful ones. Many of the films, including one currently in the theater featuring Black Panther, have made more than a billion dollars each.
Disney has worked to increase visibility of these characters we love through merchandise, through synergistic collaborations, and through theme park experiences. Perhaps there is a fear of something that had been traditionally revered by a set group of people like myself (aka comic book geeks) being milled out to the masses. But, this doesn't ruin Marvel. It makes it competitive in this global economy.
Some decry that Disney is going to sanitize Marvel, but I'd like to see where the proof of this happening in the 9 years Disney has owned Marvel. If the movies are not dark enough for you, check out the Marvel Netflix shows which I assure you are dark. With the impending acquisition of 20th Century Fox, Disney CEO Bob Iger said there is room for an R-rated brand for Marvel. So, I don't see this as sanitization.
Anyway, the point is that now that we're almost a decade past the point of Disney's acquisition of Marvel, can't we just all get along? If it isn't your cup of tea, go ride Haunted Mansion or, for the Marvel fans, read your favorite Marvel book. But don't take away the excitement for those of us who can't wait to see our Marvel dreams become a reality.