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Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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    Disney Buying Marvel

    By kyle | August 31, 2009

    A massive $4 billion deal brings Marvel into the Disney fold. That could be not-so-hot news for Marvel fans, though; Disney’s live-action unit has, for several years, struck me as by far the worst of the six major studios. (Its animation unit would be, if it were its own studio, by far the best, and you could make a case that it is its own thing, although not all of the Disney animated movies — “Bolt,” for intance, and “G-Force,” both of which were fine kid entertainments — are Pixar movies.) Disney makes movies like “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” and “Hannah Montana” and the Jonas Brothers movie without giving a thought to quality; these movies are made exclusively to fill market niches and crafting the screenplay seems to be the last thing on any Disney exec’s mind. Indeed, these movies appear to have been written in a long weekend. Marvel, of course, which made “Iron Man” and “The Incredible Hulk” last year, distributed respectively by Paramount and Universal, wasn’t a real studio as it lacked a distribution arm. But let’s hope that Marvel’s stable will creatively rejuvenate Disney.

    Topics: Business, Comic Books, Movies | 5 Comments »

    5 Responses to “Disney Buying Marvel”

    1. K Says:
      August 31st, 2009 at 12:20 pm

      “Bolt” is not a Pixar movie. And neither, I believe is the Commando Hamster one. Disney developed their own CGI animation company in response to the demise of their traditional 2d animation efforts and in competition to Pixar.

      That studio has produced such films as “Chicken Little” and “Meet the Robinsons”. At one point, due to contractual disagreements the Disney CG studio was going to do “Toy Story 3”, until Iger bought Pixar and put Lasseter in charge of all animation. He put the kabosh on the Disney version of TS3 and decided to do it at Pixar instead.

      I’m not surprised Disney would buy Marvel, but it’s a stupid move on Iger’s part. Superhero movies have peaked, and the ones coming up are going to be following a downslope in earnings. He could have had Marvel for much less money two years from now.

      Not to mention that the Marvel universe and the Disney one are not exactly compatible. Tinkerbell meets the Incredible Hulk? Ack.

    2. K Says:
      August 31st, 2009 at 12:25 pm

      ADD: The Marvel acquisition fits in with something. Disney is dominating the tween girl market but their offerings for boys are lame lame lame. They’ve recently had a special effort to attract more boys, but I’m not sure how successful that’s been. Presumably, not successful enough to require purchasing another media company like Marvel.

    3. kyle Says:
      August 31st, 2009 at 12:59 pm

      K, I said they were not Pixar movies.

    4. JohnFNWayne Says:
      August 31st, 2009 at 2:35 pm

      Marvel looked headed in the right direction with its current slate of movies, mainly Iron Man, Captain America and the Avengers flick. Hopefully the mouse keeps its grubby hands off. If this deal includes the comic books, they should write out everything that’s happened since 1990.

    5. K Says:
      August 31st, 2009 at 3:15 pm