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Olav Bakken
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Joined: 15 June 2014
Posts: 214
Posted: 30 May 2020 at 11:12pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Just something I was thinking about. Most are probably aware of the facts, but it's fun seeing how connected much of it is.

Not sure how much history Disney and Fox share, but most of the others seems to have been connected with Disney through particularly George Lucas somehow.

When George Lucas made Star Wars, he said he wanted to make it a "Disney kind of movie". One of his quotes; "I can't even begin to tell you how much of an influence Disney has had on me." Apparently Jar Jar Binks is his own version of Goofy.

After the success of Star Wars in 1977, several things happened.

Lucas hired key persons from the Computer Graphics Lab at NYIT. The founder Alexander Schure saw himself as a potential new Disney, and his employees dreamed about making the first computer animated movie (Ed Catmull originally wanted to become a Disney animatior). They formed the Graphics Group at Lucasfilm, and later hired Disney animator John Lasseter. Eventually it turned into Pixar.

It is claimed that the original Star Wars comic saved Marvel from bankruptcy when they were struggling in the late 70s. If it is correct or not, it at least gave some needed income.

And in the end, Disney acquired both Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm.

Rumor has it that Star Wars is even indirectly responsible for Secret Wars. When Lucas approached toy producer Mattel with a proposition to produce Star Wars action figures, they declined. The job went to Kenner instead, who made a nice amount of money. Having learned their lesson, they paid attention to Kenner, and so when they made a deal about a toyline from DC, Mattel suspected that superheroes may be the next big thing, and got in touch Marvel where they suggested a large story that could somehow promote the figures. Jim Shooter agreed and made Secret Wars, a kind of story he says a lot of fans had asked for.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 31 May 2020 at 7:01am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

And Shooter was the only one that could be trusted to handle so many
of Marvel’s heroes coming together in one title. Because, you know, the
egos of Marvel’s writers were so great that x would be pissed if y was
writing his/her characters.
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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 31 May 2020 at 7:45am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Yes, we must never forget that SECRET WARS began as a toy promotion. That's why some of the character's costumes are wrong. (The toy version of Doctor Doom had Iron Man's arms and legs.)

Shooter turned it into a way to reshape the Marvel Universe in his image--including yet another of his "person with great power who is misunderstood" riffs.

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Olav Bakken
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Posted: 31 May 2020 at 8:31am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Had it been made as a non-canonical story outside the Marvel continuity instead, some of what came later could hopefully have been avoided.
I remember some of the single page Marvel stories that were an advertise for a product, like milk. When Secret Wars started as a similar concept, only much bigger, it somehow ended up effecting everything.

I can understand why many fans enjoyed it, but when I read it, it stood out from what I was used to from Marvel. The other titles might have been "all ages", yet this one felt like it was written for someone considerably younger than many of the readers of the other comics.

Edited by Olav Bakken on 31 May 2020 at 8:33am
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 31 May 2020 at 9:51am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I read in an interview with Jim Shooter (I think?) that
the name SECRET WARS even came from some sort of poll of
young people indicating those two words "secret" and
"war" were extra appealing.

I tried reading SECRET WARS a few years ago and found it
too bad to even make it through. I thought it was
ironic that the comic written by the EiC had so many
characters speaking and acting so off model.
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Shaun Barry
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Joined: 08 December 2008
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Posted: 31 May 2020 at 10:44am | IP Logged | 6 post reply


To play devil's advocate just a bit... at least SECRET WARS was geared towards younger readers.  We may scoff at it now, but for fans of a certain age (I was 12 at the time), the series was a Big Deal, a ton of fun, and pure catnip for some comics readers who just wanted to see some of their favorite heroes all together in one place.

I haven't read the entire run since the '80s, so I can't say with any certainty how well it holds up (if at all), but I can't imagine how unreadable it would be today, if it was written with the 40 & 50 year-olds in mind, instead of kids.

There's still a nostalgic innocence I have for those issues... even if ultimately it started a domino effect that had adverse affects for years to come for both Shooter and Marvel.



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John Byrne

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Posted: 31 May 2020 at 11:09am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

SECRET WARS was maximum bang for the buck. SO MANY characters! And, unlike the real books, a reader didn’t even have to pay attention.
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Olav Bakken
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Joined: 15 June 2014
Posts: 214
Posted: 31 May 2020 at 11:30am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Like I said, I can understand why many liked it, especially if you were the right age. I liked a couple of the ideas myself, like a suburb of Denver suddenly being transported to another location, a concept used in science fiction before, and characters finding large and empty buildings filled with alien technology built by some unknown and unseen species. Forbidden Planet used a similar idea.

It's the story as whole, the dialogue and character other readers had some problems with. These were established characters from ongoing titles. It was about what you were used to.

If you were reading for instance Batman during one of his more hardboiled runs, and then from one issue to the next it was suddenly back to the period where we had the zebra and rainbow versions of Batman, it just wouldn't feel like what you had become used to. Nobody expected Secret Wars to be written for 40 and 50 year-olds in mind, but it contradicted the already established tone at Marvel back then. And yet it was placed in the same continuity.
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James Woodcock
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Joined: 21 September 2007
Location: United Kingdom
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Posted: 31 May 2020 at 6:11pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Secret Wars 1 was a masterpiece when compared to Secret Wars 2.

Secret Wars 3 stands as a perfect comparison of what went wrong with
comics - in the whole ‘grounding in reality’ & delays issues.
Secret Wars 1 took place on another planet, while Secret Wars 3 was
about a secret group of heroes tackling an earth based conspiracy. & it
was extremely late, to the point that I thought @ one time it would
never be finished.
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Jack Bohn
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Joined: 13 July 2013
Location: United States
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Posted: 01 June 2020 at 5:53am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Don't forget the Muppets and their contribution to Star
Wars, as well as Gary Kurtz being producer on THE DARK
CRYSTAL, and Lucas executive producer on LABYRINTH
(which each got a Marvel comic, as did Muppet Babies).

There's the story that ITC produced The Muppet Show with
memories of the success of Gerry Anderson's marionation,
but that's neither here nor there; the story that the
painting with the Wookiee in Star Wars portfolio gave
Fox executives fond memories of the Planet of the Apes
series leads to the Marvel comics adaptation. I suppose
Marvel could be tied to any studio that'd have bought
them; MGM and LOGAN'S RUN and 2001, Paramount and
Indiana Jones (hey...) I mean Star Trek, Universal with
Battlestar Galactica, and reverse-visa to The Hulk.

One interesting coincidence: Marvel produced a JOHN
CARTER, WARLORD OF MARS comic in the post-Star Wars
boom. Disney failed to launch a series with the JOHN
CARTER movie before they agreed to buy Star Wars.
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John Byrne

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Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 120398
Posted: 01 June 2020 at 8:20am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Any JOHN CARTER series is dead out of the gate. Audiences are too ill informed to understand that all that STAR WARS stuff they love so much started with John Carter, Burroughs didn't somehow magically steal it from Lucas.

(You think people are not that stupid? Walt Simonson told of a letter he received, when the MANHUNTER series he did with Archie Goodwin was reprinted. An irate fan wanted to know how he and Archie had been able to steal all that ninja stuff from Frank Miller.)

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Joe Hollon
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Joined: 08 May 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 13500
Posted: 01 June 2020 at 8:39am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Secret Wars 3 stands as a perfect comparison of what
went wrong with
comics - in the whole ‘grounding in reality’ & delays
issues.
Secret Wars 1 took place on another planet, while
Secret Wars 3 was
about a secret group of heroes tackling an earth based
conspiracy. & it
was extremely late, to the point that I thought @ one
time it would
never be finished.

*************

There was a Secret Wars 3?
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