It’s a small world after all. With the Walt Disney Company’s recent announcement that it will acquire most of 21st Century Fox, the House of Mouse seems set to add another powerful asset into its already massive stable, alarming some Congress members about a possible monopoly.
Superhero fans might be excited about the possible expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the merger would also bring a host of other brands under the Disney umbrella. With so many franchises under the Disney name, can you pick out what belongs to Disney and what doesn’t?
Which of these characters are not Disney properties?
You got it!
An easy one to start if you’re a comics fan: Wonder Woman is a DC Comics character, unlike Cap and Wolverine who are Marvel.
Back in 2009, Disney bought Marvel Entertainment for a cool $4 billion. It’s safe to say the investment paid off; since 2008’s “Iron Man” kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel movies have grossed almost $13.5 billion worldwide at the box office. (To compare, the Fox-owned X-Men movies have grossed almost $5 billion worldwide.)
It’s easy to forget that Marvel struggled financially in the ’90s and had started selling off film rights to other studios. Fox landed X-Men (which includes Deadpool) and Fantastic Four, and Sony had Spider-Man. Sony has since struck a deal with Marvel that allowed the webslinger to join the MCU, but we’ll have to wait and see if the Disney-Fox merger means Wolverine and the Human Torch will start popping up alongside Thor and the Incredible Hulk.
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Sorry Spock, no “Star Trek” Disney princesses here. Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, which included the rights to Indiana Jones and Star Wars, and promptly announced it’d be jump-starting the Star Wars movie franchise. Cut to 2015, when “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” premiered and made $247.9 million domestically, the biggest domestic opening ever. The second biggest? Its sequel, “The Last Jedi,” which premiered this past weekend and made $220 million in North America. “The Force Awakens” went on to gross over $2 billion worldwide.
And let’s not forget last year’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” a spinoff from the main storyline, which grossed $1.05 billion globally. Combine all of that with the endless comics, novelizations, toys and more, and you have a seemingly inexhaustible commercial force that Disney has taken full advantage of.
(Rick and Morty)
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“Rick and Morty” fans might be freaking out over the lack of Szechuan sauce, but at least they don’t have to worry about their favorite characters being absorbed into Disney. Fox’s many animated shows, including “The Simpsons,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “Family Guy” and more, will now be owned by the Mouse House.
Hilariously, “The Simpsons” has kept its streak of accurately predicting future events. The show included a joke about Fox being owned by Disney in an episode almost 20 years ago. Add that to its correct predictions about President Trump, Siegfried and Roy’s tiger attack, Greece’s economic collapse and more, and maybe Disney’s real win here is gaining Matt Groening’s apparent psychic powers.
Predict this for us next, Groening: On a scale from Mickey to Deadpool, what are the chances that Homer Simpson is going to show up in “Kingdom Hearts”?
(How to Train Your Dragon)
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Dreamworks, not Disney, created franchises like “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Shrek.”
Disney got its start as a leader in the American animation industry before it started diversifying, so it’s no surprise that it’s still a giant in the field today. With its acquisition of Pixar Studios in 2006, the company furthered solidified its position as a major player, if not the player, in the animation world.
Since 1995’s “Toy Story,” Pixar has steadily made hit after hit. Its global box office take is over $11.6 billion, and its newest movie “Coco” has already made close to $450 million worldwide since its November release. With the merger, Disney will now also own Blue Sky Studios, which created successful movies like the “Ice Age” series. The five “Ice Age” movies grossed over $3.2 billion globally.
Winnie the Pooh
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Disney licensed the rights to “Winnie the Pooh” starting in 1961, and Pooh quickly became one of its most beloved characters, complete with his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (Disney bought the rights completely in 2001). As for the “The Muppets,” Disney tried to buy the franchise in 1990, but the deal fell through. It wasn’t until 2004, 14 years later, that the Jim Henson Company agreed to sell the rights.
Though the Jim Henson Company also created the characters for “Sesame Street,” Elmo and friends remain free from Disney ownership. But “Sesame Street” had its own share of controversy when it announced in 2015 that it’d be moving from PBS to HBO because of financial difficulties.
But regardless of where the show lives, it seems that the way to get to Sesame Street won’t cross Disney’s path. At least for now.