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The Mouse’s Movie Mayhem

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The Mouse’s Movie Mayhem

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Disney is the biggest entertainment company on the face of the planet. For many years Disney has captured our hearts time and time again with touching stories that somehow find a way to hit home every time. The company has come a long way from its cartoon shorts of the past to its lively animated Pixar films of the present. Because of this, Disney has dominated much of the animation market. Many companies have tried to imitate the success that Disney has attained, yet none have. Not only this, but Disney has branched out into many more markets, such as live action films, and have begun to use computer animation instead of the old method of hand drawing movies. Disney has been ruthlessly efficient in producing blockbuster after blockbuster in the modern generation, and has proven it’s here to stay for the indefinite future.

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Disney’s purchase of Marvel Studios originally occurred on Dec. 31, 2009; however, multiple movie properties were already released or under production before the acquisition. These pre-merger films were already establishing what is now known as the the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). This universe was the start of a new trend in films where movies from the same property would be connected to each other and most of the time tell a larger story.

Many have attempted to recreate the massive success that MCU was able to have, such as DC Comics and Universal, but none are even close to the magic that is Marvel. Each movie that has been released so far has been a box office hit and most are high quality films with a few mediocre ones in the mix. Ever since the release of the first Iron Man in 2008, the MCU has been carefully building towards a major big screen event that would see all of our heroes join forces for the first time in the movies. For years, kids, like myself, fell in love with the stories being told on the big screen about their favorite superheroes; then, Marvel took it to the next step and brought The Avengers to the big screen. We continued to watch these heroes grow as people right in front of us, making us feel as if we were also a part of their family. All of this built up to this past year’s release of Avengers Infinity War, which is considered to be the most ambitious crossover event in cinematic history. The world watched on as all of the heroes, with whom we fell in love, were crushed by the powerful Thanos in his quest for universal balance. This movie is the best Marvel film by far. Without getting into spoilers, it will captivate you with every second and at some points you will even find yourself sympathizing with the “Mad Titan.” Continuing that point, as of recent, Marvel appears to be diversifying its villain catalog with more compelling ones that are fighting for causes that are not too far fetched. For example, in Black Panther, Killmonger is fighting for Wakanda to use their advanced technology to help the oppressed black people of the world. In a gripping death scene, he gives a quote that still manages to give me goosebumps: “Bury me in the ocean with my ancestors that jumped from ships because they knew death was better than bondage.”

On top of all its success with movies, Marvel has a number of television and Netflix shows that shine light on the smaller characters from its comics, like Daredevil and Luke Cage.

Along with its wise purchase of Marvel, the entertainment giant managed to also acquire Lucasfilm, the creators of legendary franchise Star Wars. Star Wars has been established as massive property for many years prior to the purchase.

Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, a young and ambitious George Lucas released the original trilogy (this includes what is now known as Episodes IV-VI). At first it was believed that this franchise was going to flop; however, to this day, these are still regarded as the best ones in the series and “Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back” is considered to be one of the best movies of all time –it is also my all-time favorite movie. After the massive success the series had financially and critically, it took a bit of a hiatus in the film genre. It was left untouched until the late 90’s and early 2000’s when George Lucas returned to deliver a second trilogy that took place before the previous films; this trilogy is known as the prequels. These movies were the reason that many kids from this generation, especially myself, became fans of the storied franchise. Unfortunately, these movies were, honestly, somewhat lackluster; besides the advancements in technology, which allowed for great visual effects, the plot of the films are bogged down by numerous scenes with galactic politics. Despite how disliked the films were, they hold a special place in my heart because they were my introduction to Star Wars. Lucasfilms also made a animated television series called Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which was pretty popular but got cancelled because it started to get too graphic for Disney’s liking. Disney also canned a number of Lucasfilm projects in development as they sought to take the franchise into a new direction.

Since Disney’s purchase, they have released four new movies which include a new sequel trilogy and two one off films. The new trilogy has redefined what makes a Star Wars movie. With a female lead and a black co-star, The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi take the series to new height and blur the lines of what has been established by the previous movies. The two one offs, Rogue One and Solo, also expanded on ideas that were already established in the universe; these movies were above average but were carried by their amazing visual effects.

With Disney being such a massive company, they only look to be going further up. With all they’ve established, they only hope to expand upon what they have. To start off, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, otherwise known as the MCU, has plans on adding multiple movies to its extensive catalogue of movies.

Disney has planned the release of three movies so far: these being Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame, and Spider-Man: Far From Home. Captain Marvel is the first of these long awaited movies, which is set to release on March 5. Not only is this movie destined to hit it big in box offices, it holds the record for being the MCU’s first female lead. Of course, this movie serves as the final stepping stone before Avengers: Endgame. As many know, much of the MCU connects into one giant universe filled with every character portrayed in every movie Disney has made using the Marvel brand. The Avengers series is typically where all these characters blend together in the most sound fashion. Captain Marvel is the final character that is rumored to play a pivotal role in the finale to the Thanos saga of movies. After the “snap heard ‘round the world,” as I like to call it, many fans were waiting for this movie to see how things will end. Will everything go back to normal? Will the Avengers win? Or, will Thanos win? Too much is unknown about the story itself, but we do know that, along with Captain Marvel, Hawkeye and Ant-Man are supposed to appear, two characters that were not in the prior installment, Avengers: Infinity Wars.

Overall, we are still greatly excited for this movie, which is slated for release on April 26; following this, the new Spider-Man movie is set to release on July 5. Not much is currently known besides the fact that it takes place after Endgame, and features the iconic Spider-Man villain, Mysterio, played by Jake Gyllenhaal. Besides these exciting movies, more Marvel films are destined to release, especially after Disney purchasing 21st Century Fox. Because of this purchase, Disney now owns the rights to the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. This opens vast options Disney would be able to take with the MCU.

Along with Marvel, Disney has taken many steps to amplify the Star Wars franchise as well. This has led to countless Star Wars themed collectibles, books, television shows, and even space at Disney’s theme parks. The most prominent of these, of course, are the movies. After Disney purchased the rights to Lucasfilm, several movies have already been released, with further movies coming out. To start, Star Wars: Episode IX, is set to be released Dec. 20. Not too many details are known. All that is known is it serves as the final installment that centers around Rey and the Rebels fighting against the First Order.

Along with the new movie, a teaser was released announcing that the long-canceled series Star Wars: The Clone Wars is being renewed for more seasons to finish where the original left off. These two events, of course, have many fans excited for what’s to come. After this, however, not much is known. Many people speculate there will be a movie based around Obi-Wan Kenobi, a fan favorite from prior installments in the series, as his life in between the third and fourth movies is only mentioned and shown in separate series from the films, such as television shows Star Wars: Rebels. Others believe that the studios behind the Star Wars series will take a hiatus before releasing more films. With how large the Star Wars franchise is, the possibilities are endless. Now, we wait to see what Disney does with the beloved franchise.

Now comes the movies created by Disney’s main studio. Now, Disney’s continuing its recent trend of turning its classic films into live-action adaptations. This year, three of these movies are planned to release, which is the most it has released in a single year. The first of these is its remake of Dumbo, set to release in March. Following this, Aladdin is set to release in May; and, probably the most exciting of these, is The Lion King, which is set to release in July.

However, what is probably the most exciting release comes from Disney-Pixar Studios. As of now, Disney-Pixar has only one movie being released –this being, of course, Toy Story 4. Toy Story is one of the biggest Pixar franchises, and has been enjoyed by many different people, from every walk of life. Honestly, this movie has much potential to be the biggest movie Pixar has put out in years. With the acquisition of many different studios, and the further influence their movies have on the general public, Disney does not appear to be slowing down. If anything, it is only going to further its impact by continuously releasing phenomenal movies for everyone to enjoy.

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Isaac Palikodath, Writer

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