Behold, the power of Bob Iger
Let's hop back in the Wayback Machine here at Theme Park Insider, back to an ancient time when Pixar was looking to break from Disney
, DreamWorks was challenging both Pixar and Disney for kid-movie supremacy, and NBC was hooking up with Universal to take on Disney/ABC.
And then... Bob Iger replaced Michael Eisner.
Since then, not only has Pixar come back to Disney, but Pixar managers are now running the animation division at Disney. DreamWorks broke up with Universal, then left for Paramount, only to come back to Universal, and to then break up again.
So where's DreamWorks heading next?
Disney, that's where. Yes, Steven Spielberg's company is tipped to be entering a distribution deal with Disney, arch-nemesis of Universal (Spielberg's longtime professional home). If the deal is done, the man who gets a cut of every single admission ticket sold at a Universal theme park would be leaving the distribution of him films to... Disney. Wow.
(Let's not forget that DreamWorks Animation remains a separate company, thanks to a stock IPO a few years back. So don't go looking for "Shrek" and "Madagascar" characters to be moving into "It's a Small World" alongside the new Disney and Pixar toons.)
Still, let's give a tip of the hat to Bob Iger and his management team, who have managed to bring Steve Jobs and now, possibly, Steven Spielberg into Walt's house. That Disney and Pixar would get back together seemed unlikely in the last days of the Eisner era. That DreamWorks would end up at Disney would have been inconceivable back then.
So what could a Disney/DreamWorks marriage mean? Well, Spielberg and Disney are on speaking terms again, might we dare to dream of... "Roger Rabbit 2"?
Here's the story ...
To clarify (or reinterate): Disney's not buying DreamWorks. It would distribute DreamWorks' movies (similar to the arrangement, in concept, that Disney had with Pixar before Disney bought Pixar). A distribution deal creates a close working relationship, as well as a strong financial tie, between the studios.
It also means a lot of cabbage for the mouse.
True, but when Disney simply distributed Pixar films and didnt own them, not only did Disney make lots of money from the Pixar films, they also had the rights to merchandise products from the films, and use the characters and stories in their theme parks..right now Dreamworks' films are represented at Universal Studios: the upcoming Transformers ride, Shrek 4D, Madagascar character meet and greets, but thats because Universal was their distributor....now that Disney will be the distributor, its concievable to see Dreamworks characters at Disney parks, and rides based on future Dreamworks movies, however, I really hope that is not the case
Disney will own an animation monopoly of sorts. Kudos for them. Its a little strange that they are getting Dreamworks however being one of pixars main competetors.
This will be a good deal for Disney. However, the distribution deal for Transformers 2 is already in place so Disney will not benefit from that. Also, as Robert said, Dreamworks animation will still be separate. As far as Touchstone films goes, it has been pretty much rebranded as Walt Disney Pictures since the success of the Pirates films.
Corey writes: True, but when Disney simply distributed Pixar films and didnt own them.
Yes, but Pixar was still its own company...Disney was the Distribution Company and Pixar the Production Company....now that Disney owns them, the production and distribution are one in the same...the relationship with Dreamworks will be like the former relationship between Disney and Pixar...which means Dreamworks will be its own company, but as distributors, Disney will have some ownership in the films...which is why this pertains to the theme park industry...Disney could put future Dreamworks films in the parks, but not the Animated Films
Gotta love Bob.
Mr. Romberg writes: "the relationship with Dreamworks will be like the former relationship between Disney and Pixar."
Ok, thats sounds right. Im sorry, I just figured it would be the same, but that makes sense. As long as the relationship with Spielberg brings about a Who Framed Roger Rabbit sequel, I'll be happy
I would adore a sequel to Roger Rabbit. However, getting it off the ground would be a lot more complicated than just Spielberg's cooperation. Today, getting the rights to use all of the cartoon characters(including Warners) would be astronomical. They tried once and the preliminary price for the film made Titanic's production cost seem like chump change. I hope it can still get done, but I am not holding my breath.
It is official.
In 1995, Disney looked like it was done with animated films. Then along comes Pixar, John Lasseter, Steve Jobs, and a little film called Toy Story. And now, a little over a dozen years later, along comes Dreamworks and Steven Spielberg.
"..right now Dreamworks' films are represented at Universal Studios: the upcoming Transformers ride, Shrek 4D, Madagascar character meet and greets, but thats because Universal was their distributor.."
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