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After Gobbling Up Marvel And Star Wars, Disney Is Now Hungry For Anime


What was Iger’s corporate strategy that made him feel like the safe choice for Disney shareholders? Expansions and acquisitions. In the late 1990s/early 2000s, Pixar was beating Disney at animation, the medium synonymous with the company since its founding. So, in 2006, Iger orchestrated Disney’s acquisition of Pixar. In 2009, when the Marvel Cinematic Universe was first taking off, Iger smelled money there too and bought Marvel Entertainment. In 2012, Lucasfilm was his next target. It was basic but shrewd business; buy brands (like Pixar, Marvel superheroes, and “Star Wars”), with built-in audiences and you can reap the rewards without diluting your own identity. People still think of “The Avengers” as a Marvel movie more so than a Disney one.

In 2019, Iger’s most ambitious acquisition was 20th Century Fox. While Marvel nerds mostly salivated at the thought of Marvel Studios owning the X-Men and Fantastic Four, reporting suggests Disney’s primary goal was to gain Fox’s near-century-deep library of movies to bulk up Disney+’s offerings and compete with Netflix.

This is not me worshipping at Iger’s altar. His leadership of Disney may have been profitable, but it’s a big reason why Hollywood currently serves as an IP recycling plant. He also shuttered Touchstone Pictures (Disney’s label for adult dramas) in 2016, further depriving the industry of needed original films.

Plus, by relying only on blockbuster franchises to go big or go broke, Disney may have kneecapped itself.

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