About a year ago, Disney made the ultimate purchase. One that made my dreams of seeing more Star Wars films on the big screen possible. They bought Lucasfilm. It was this purchase that has actually completed a project that I am now convinced was the plan from the time they bought the Jim Henson Company back in 2004 for an undisclosed amount somewhere around $200 million. It was actually a much longer journey as Disney had originally purchased distribution rights to all of the Jim Henson Company productions way back in 1991. It took until September of 2008 before Disney finally rebranded the Muppets Holding Company as Muppet Studios, and placed it under new leadership.
With phase one complete, it was time to begin work on phase two: the acquisition of Marvel Entertainment. This was a massive purchase costing $4.24 billion. Disney needed to get control of Marvel Productions, and this was one way that they could do so. They didn’t want to have any red-tape, even though they very likely had all of the rights they needed thanks to the acquisition of the Muppets.
Lastly, they needed the final piece of the equation. They needed the footage that was used from both Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises. And the best way to do that? Spend $4.06 billion on the purchase of Lucasfilm. That brought in both franchises.
With the total cost being about $8.5 billion, Disney is very close to being able to achieve their ultimate goal: the release of Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies on DVD and Blu-ray. I had been thinking about the overall purchases that Disney was making, and one day it dawned on me that all of these things were connected. And with a little bit of research, I found that I wasn’t the only one to think of this.
From what I can gather, the only thing left standing in their way is a simple licensing of some footage from Ghostbusters from Sony Pictures. Unless they plan on purchasing the rights to the Ghostbusters franchise (which I’d have no problem with, as they seem to just do everything right with the franchises they acquire). There are also bits from Star Trek: The Next Generation, which belong to Paramount, among a few other things. It seems to me that we’re as close as ever, and so is Disney.
That’s a pretty large investment so far, though, and I hope that the eventual release of this classic masterpiece of animation works out for them, and they make back the billions they’ve spent in gathering the exclusive rights to the series.
I’ve been waiting for a fourth Jurassic Park for years. When it was announced that it was finally coming, and Colin Trevorrow would be directing, I was excited that it was in the works. And now we have not just a name, but also a release date.
Jurassic World suggests a number of things. For one thing, it could be a theme park, with a name similar to Walt Disney World. The title Jurassic Park probably didn’t fit the type of attraction that they were creating this time. Rather than a guided tour of giant enclosures, which proved to be a colossal failure, perhaps this time it’s a place that includes rides, performances and shows. However, the name could also refer to the reach that the dinosaurs have gained since the first film, and how far they may have begun to spread. Perhaps there has been an attempt to use the plant-eaters as beasts of burden in parts of the world. It’s entirely plausible that, by this time, the safer herbivores were cultivated from the island and introduced to the rest of the world to serve a purpose. It’ll be interesting to see if I got anywhere close with either of these ideas.
Jurassic World releases on June 12, 2015. Director Colin Trevorrow wrote the screenplay with Derek Connolly. Frank Marshall and Pat Crowley are producing.
Today the poster for Transformers: Age of Extinction was revealed. It’s the same Transformers 4 logo that we’ve seen before, but it looks like a fossil from a dig site for dinosaur bones. This concept, plus the term “extinction” being in the title both seem to point toward the inclusion of some of my favorite characters: the Dinobots.
Initially they weren’t included because Michael Bay and his team couldn’t figure out how to incorporate them into the world that they’d created. I figured they might as well just do them the same way the cartoon did, with an Autobot building them. However, it seems they may have found a way, which hasn’t been confirmed or revealed. I am very excited at the idea of finally having the Dinobots join the adventure. As someone that’s enjoyed every film that’s been released so far, I am looking forward to this movie with great interest.
I’m hopeful that Grimlock is every bit as cool in live-action as I have dreamed he would be since they started making these movies about seven years ago. I just can’t believe it’s taken eight years to get to this point.
Transformers: Age of Extinction will be in theaters on June 27, 2014.
As readers of this blog may already know, I’m a pretty big fan of The Muppets. I thought the last film, 2011′s The Muppets was a return to form, and the first that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed since 1999′s Muppets from Space. With the sequel The Muppets…Again! in production now, they’ve been making more appearances. It’s a great way to keep them near front of mind when the trailers for the new movie start to appear.
On April 28, 2013, at 7:30 PM ET/PT, The Muppets are going to make one of those appearances: stopping by the Duncan family’s home on Disney Channel’s Good Luck Charlie.
Disneynature is a company that was launched in April 2008 to bring back one of the staples of Walt Disney’s career: True-Life Adventures. I’m a pretty big fan of the company, and their work, so it was with great interest that I’ve sought out more information about their projects on a regular basis.
I’ve seen most of their films, when they’ve had topics that have interested me, and so far I’ve only skipped one. Starting with Earth, which was kind of a summary version of the BBC’s Planet Earth, I’ve been captivated by this series of films. Oceans was a disappointment to me, spending too much time on climate change and not enough time on the strange and wonderful creatures that inhabit the deep. The narration was lacking as well, with too little talking when we needed some more explanation of what we were seeing.
Since the announcement that Disney bought Lucasfilm, there has been a wide range of reactions to it, from the very optimistic and positive, to the stunningly negative and outrageous. There are many reasons to be optimistic though, and I feel there are no valid arguments against Disney at this point. Within the few years, Disney has made some pretty smart moves with their acquisitions. Let’s take a look at that to see why Star Wars is safe in the House of Mouse.