Love Disney, But Iger Seems A Bit Douchy

Screenshot 2016-06-15 16.25.12I am a huge fan of Disney, not because of their characters–which for the most part I find cloying and treacly–than the business acumen of Bob Iger, who had the sense to see the value in LucasFilm, Marvel Studios, and Pixar, all of which he purchased; each of which are virtually licenses to purchase money.

Captain America: Civil War is still in the Top 10–that’s called ‘legs,’ baby–despite being released May 6–has earned  earned almost $1.5 billion at the box office, while Zootopia–via Disney Animation–has earned just over a billion.

And you have Finding Dory coming up next from Pixar, and estimates have it opening somewhere in the ballpark of $125 million.

That’s a lot of money.

That being said, what most people think of when they consider ‘Walt Disney’ is probably the theme parks, which is why I found his response to Bernie Sanders, who drew attention to the pay earned by people that work there.

In response Iger asked how many jobs has Sanders created, which is interesting, though sort of silly because that’s not quite how Government works.

Though more importantly, he didn’t respond to Sanders’ point because Sanders was talking about how much people earned who work at Disney’s theme parks, while Iger responded by attacking him for being a Democratic Socialist, on top of asking how many jobs he had created.

As I said, that’s not what Sanders asked.  He was referring to how much people earned at Disney theme parks, NOT to how many people they’re employing because Walmart employs a lot of people too, though the last I heard many of them rely on government programs to make the difference from week to week to pay the bills–because their take-home pay is relatively little–though how much they earn is just as important–if not more so–than how many people they employ.

Disney is making money hand over fist, and it’s about time that they send some love–by which I mean money; love is awesome, but it doesn’t pay the bills unless you’re sleeping with your landlord.  And your cable and telephone provider (though they’re probably the same)–their workers way because THOSE WORKERS ARE DISNEY, and should be treated as such.

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Finding Dory – Trailer 2

Before watching the latest trailer for Pixar’s Finding Dory I was prepared to not like it.

After all, I find Ellen DeGeneres’ voice irritatingly ingratiating and in this particular context so saccharine cute that if I were diabetic I’d be worried about falling into a coma.

That being said, the trailer is pretty captivating. The animation is oftentimes so life-like, the motion of the various sea creatures so fluid that the if it weren’t for their anthropomorphic tendencies they’d approach the photo-real.

As it stands I still think that DeGeneres overdoes it a wee bit, but the movie is filled with so much wonderfulness–typically of the CGI and voice-talent variety–that it’s easy to overlook relatively minor issues.

Finding Dory – Trailer

The quote “What goes up, must come down,” has been attributed to Issac Newton, though apparently no one told Bob Iger over at Walt Disney because two of his studios, Pixar and Marvel Studios, spend most of them time defying gravity, with releases that consistently break box office records.

Though maybe Newton got it right after all because the former had its first box office disappointment with The Good Dinosaur (some have responded more harshly, which is not only unfair, but a bit hyperbolic because it earned almost $314 million on a $200 million budget.  And while that doesn’t make it a success, I wouldn’t call it a Gods Of Egypt-level misfire either.)

And the truth of it is, both studios have done so well that a weak performance from either won’t make that much of a difference to their balance sheets.

So what does that have to do with Finding Dory?  I’m not sure.  The trailer is gorgeous–particularly the almost balletic movement of the stingray migration–but while I found Finding Nemo (which Finding Dory is a spinoff of) to be fun, when I look at this latest trailer all I see is Ellen DeGeneres.

Is that a good thing?  I don’t know, it depends on how you feel about DeGeneres.  If you find her voice a bit grating–as I do–then this trailer, despite the beautiful animation–might rub you the wrong way.

Somehow Star Wars: The Force Awakens Hasn’t Made As Much As Avatar

Star Wars: The Force Awakens–I’m starting to warm up to that subtitle, at last–is approaching the box office of Avatar and I don’t understand it.

What’s confused me is that I don’t understand how it is that Avatar was able to reach such box office heights in the first place.

Let’s be honest, it’s not a particularly innovative movie–besides how it was made, that is–and the story is essentially cowboys and indians (Cowboys & Aliens?) with an environmental twist.

(Though if I were honest, it lost me when they had an AMP–Amplified Mobility Platform–grab a knife).

It’s a battle suit.  Make the weapon part of it.  That way, it can’t drop it.

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Anyway, that’s not to say that the latest Star Wars movie is innovative either–it’s essentially Star Wars: A New Hope, which was mildly disappointing,  with some shiny new effects.

That being said, after Lucas’ machine-tooled prequels (which were as innovative as Avatar in their own way) Star Wars fans would have paid virtually anything to see a movie evocative of the original trilogy.

And if LucasFilm under Disney is capable of nothing else it’s creating audience-pleasing entertainment (if their Pixar, Marvel Studios and Disney Animation divisions are any indicator) for the greatest possible amount of people.

 

 

Business Insider Has Already Named Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur a Failure, Which Isn’t Quite True

According to Business Insider, Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur is the company’s first box office failure, though that’s not quite true (not yet, at any rate).

The reason being, the movie has only been out thirteen days, so it’s a bit too early to tell.  Ironically, the Variety article that the Business Insider article links to is closer to truth, which is namely that it’s underperforming, especially compared to past Pixar movies.

But that’s not the same as failure (despite the fact that some pretty huge movies, like Star Wars: The Force Awakens are preparing to suck all the oxygen out of the box office) though what it also isn’t is as dramatic a headline.

And that’s problematic because it’s not unusual for a person to not see a movie on the strength of whether or not they believe it’s going to be in the theaters in the next week or two.

Which is what makes what Business Insider did not so cool.

The Good Dinosaur – Teaser Trailer

Good Dinosaur posterThe teaser for Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur was released today, and it’s very Pixarian (not a word, but it ought to be) in that the backgrounds appear almost photo-real, while the creatures themselves (be they cars, planes, people or in this instance, dinosaurs) look relatively soft, doughy and not at all realistic.

Which makes sense considering that to do otherwise would run the risk of alienating all those children that will mercilessly persuade their parents into taking them to see it.

To say nothing of toy sales, after all, there are probably lots of realistic-looking dinosaurs still sitting on toy shop shelves, taking up space and getting dusty.

Though to be fair that’s alright–the state of Pixar animation, not the manipulation of adults by children–because today’s computer animated features are our cartoons (and I’m aware that they still hand-draw them, though typically not in movies made domestically) and cartoons aren’t known for characters that are anatomically exact.

And it will probably make a bazillion dollars.