The Journal of Wall Street speculates where the House of Mouse goes from here:
Whoever takes over as head of Walt Disney Co.'s movie studio following the abrupt departure of Chairman Dick Cook last week will be tasked with making the struggling film division stand out among a growing number of corporate siblings ...
Disney Studios today is just one of several high-profile film labels owned by the Burbank, Calif., media giant ... In some ways the new units have eclipsed Disney Studios proper. Pixar has surpassed Disney as the preeminent animated-feature company ... "Up," grossing more than $415 million world-wide ... Disney's "G-Force" ... has taken in less than $170 million.
This is all quite silly, of course. "Disney's G-Force is in fact a Jerry Bruckheimer's G-Force since Jerry is the guy calling the shots. Just as "Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean" is in actual fact a Jerry Bruckheimer production.
And so on and so forth.
To shake your head and say: "What a shame, Disney is being eclipsed by Marvel and Pixar" or whatever, is to skip around the central point: Disney is a corporate brand. Period. And the corporate brand is whatever the Disney corporate overlords choose to make it. Pixar is now Disney and Disney is Pixar.
But Disney as a "creative force"? As some kind of philosophical statement about entertainment? Please. That ended when Walt breathed his last at the hospital across the street from the studio in December, 1966. Before that time, Walt Disney Productions had a point of view because Walt himself ran the place with a certain approach and style. But afterwards? Well, as Ward Kimball so piquantly phrased it:
"Walt's dead and you missed it."
Disney today is much the same as Time-Warner ... or Viacom ... or Sony. It's an entertainment conglomerate that's the sum of its moving parts, rapidly becoming a transnational corporation that has as much to do with Uncle Walt as Time-Warner has with Jack L. Warner.
Which is to say, very little. Time and history march on. Deal with it.