It’s As If Millions of Shrill, Asthmatic Voices Cried Out From Their Parent’s Basement In Terror…

August 31st, 2009 by Kyle

Dave here,

So, normally, I would wait until the weekend to discuss the House of Mouse buying the House of Ideas. And we will go over it in the next podcast, believe me. But something this big deserved some immediate analysis an commentary. And the message boards and fan sites are providing no end of commentary. The general consensus of the fan gestalt being that this is the Seventh Seal opening and Hell is now unleashed on Earth. Which I’m sure one day will be brought to both visual and literal reality by some kind of Michael Bey/Roland Emmerich film collaboration…

Fans are understandably upset over this. Disney has a well-earned reputation for being a soulless, joyless, corporate entity that churns out children’s entertainment in much the same way as a meat grinder churns out ground beef. Disney also has an equally well deserved reputation for ruthless censoring of any subject matter that smacks of mature or adult content. So yeah, quite understandably, more than a few people have a problem with this buyout.

Please note that while I say I understand the negative responses, I don’t necessarily agree with them. That’s because there are two men that give this buyout the hope of being something greater.

John Lassiter and Robert Iger.

As part of the deal where Disney purchased Pixar, John Lassiter was made the head of creative development at Disney. Robert Iger was brought on as the president of Disney in the wake of the shareholder revolt lead by Roy Disney a few years ago that ousted Michael Eisner. These two men effectively run Disney from both a creative and business standpoint.

John Lassiter has never shied away from mature themes in his stories. He also is willing to take big risks; none bigger in my opinion than basing a rather expensive project around the hope that film-goers would identify with a movie where there was little human dialog and humans were portrayed in a generally negative light. He has the clout to stand up to the ‘morality censors’ and ensure that topics like Tony Stark’s alcoholism and Northstar’s homosexuality remain intact.

Robert Iger has shown a commitment to moving Disney into the forefront of the new media revolution. He’s been a staunch advocate of doing simultaneous releases in theaters and on DVD, much to the dismay of theater owners. He sees the trends that the entertainment industry is taking and he wants Disney to be in the lead. Iger has also staved off the morality police in terms of ABC’s programming, giving us shows like ‘Lost’, ‘Desperate Housewives’, and (for better or worse) ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

So yes. There is the potential for this to be the biggest disaster in comics since the publication of ‘Seduction of the Innocent’. But there is also hope. And for what it’s worth, John Lassiter alone has earned the right for this cynical fan to give him that hope.

Just so I don’t totally spam the screen with one ginormous entry, I’m going to post 2 follow-up entries: one on why this is a good match and one on why this can herald the end of civilization.

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