Disney’s domination of the entertainment industry has been longstanding, and is just increasing. Here’s why.
The Disney Company, founded in 1923 by the legendary artist, producer, and voice actor Walt Disney, was already a major part of Hollywood by the 1950s. In my personal taste for cinema, I believe that the era before 1970 was the true classical period for the company in which the studio produced some of its finest and fondest material. These were the years in which Walt Disney himself was still active and present in the studio’s productions.
Disney died in 1966, but the legacy he had begun lived on in his name. The Disney Company is even more powerful and influential than it was back in Walt’s days, and consumers love Disney products the world over.
It’s the company that makes animated sequels to the princess movies it released decades ago; then it decides to turn the old classic movie into a new live action version; then maybe turn the movie into a book or a traveling stage performance. I suppose the Disney Company really knows how to sell entertainment to people, and I guess they do a good job.
Disney has the Disney cruises and, of course, the 10+ Disneyland Parks all over the world. (Universal Studios has only four theme parks overall in the U.S. and elsewhere to give you a comparison).
The Disney Company has even bought the popular parenting website Babble. It seems as if Disney is striving to dominate not only the world of entertainment but of all forms of recreation.
As a result, many young people will be influenced for better or for worse by Disney’s movies and other media. In this article, I am going to point out four big ways in which Disney has become a bigger part of the entertainment market in the past or will become in the near future.
1 – The Disney Channel
Many, many years ago, Disney’s company produced shows for television such as the Zorro series (1957-59) and the Davy Crockett miniseries (1954-55).
Early Disney shows like these were often aired on ABC, but in 1983, the Disney Company created its very own channel for airing its own entertainment as well as other companies’ screen content: the Disney Channel – and it was a success.
The company went on to start additional media channels such as Disney XD, Disney Junior, Disney Cinemagic, Dlife, and Hungama TV. In this way, you can see the company has established itself quite well in the television industry. Disney even has a radio network known as Radio Disney.
2 – Disney’s ownership of Lucasfilm (and other big entertainment companies)
There are those who have been upset by the knowledge that Disney is owner or co-owner of many huge and even some of the most popular movie companies, including Lucasfilm, Marvel, and Pixar.
But there are quite a few others which are not commonly mentioned. For instance, Disney owns The Muppets and It’s a Laugh Productions. The company also owns the History channel, ESPN, A&E, and ABC (the channel which long ago served as the medium for Disney’s early television productions).
This gives you an idea of just how broad Disney’s control is over the world of entertainment.
3 – Disney Tries to Put an End to VidAngel
The previous two points I’ve made have to do with Disney’s past actions; the following points concern ongoing and futuristic actions.
VidAngel is a streaming service in some ways similar to Netflix, but it is more user-friendly and useful to families for the purpose of filtering out what may be deemed inappropriate material such as nudity, violence, or profanity. Well, VidAngel has been under attack by Disney, Lucasfilm (owned by Disney), Warner Bros., and 20th Century Fox via a legal debate for over a year.
What the situation boils down to is this. VidAngel is trying to give consumers the choice of eliminating undesirable or “offensive” movie material, and Disney and the three other big Hollywood corporations are considering VidAngel’s methods to be illegal.
VidAngel explains their position and values in this video. If Disney is successful in bringing VidAngel to its knees and then decapitating it as it were, then we can be assured of one thing: the world will be forced to watch WHATEVER Hollywood wants us to watch, and we know not everything from Hollywood is suitable for the family and children.
4 – Disney Streaming
As CNBC News put it, “Disney wants to own a bigger piece of the streaming pie.” Disney has declared that it plans to eventually remove all of its productions (including those from Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Marvel) from the Netflix streaming service.
Disney also proposed that the company would launch its very own Disney streaming network in the future. It will also create an ESPN video streaming service that will cover MLB, NHL, and MLS material.
All of these examples go to show you that Disney is monopolising the entertainment industry, and one of these days Hollywood might just be known as another Disneyland.