Saturday, July 20, 2013


Warner Bros. has been doing animated versions of their super hero catalog way longer than Disney, and rolled out upcoming product at Comic Con (doesn't everybody?)

Warner Bros. took the opportunity to announce its 2014 DC Universe Animated Original Movie to those in attendance at the Con.

In addition to the recently announced Justice League: War - which is based upon Geoff Johns and Jim Lee's first New 52 story arc, Justice League: Origin - Warner Bros. plans to release two Dark Knight-themed movies in Son of Batman, an adaptation of Grant Morrison's 2006 comic book arc Batman & Son which reintroduced Damian Wayne into mainstream DC continuity, and Batman: Assault on Arkham, which is said to take place within the world of the Arkham video game franchise. ...

Lately I've read columnists that rend their garments about Disney being in "decline" because it, you know, has diluted its central brand by purchasing Lucasfilm, Marvel and other non-Disney things. (Pixar was pretty much Disney before it was Disney.)

But that's kind of like complaining that San Francisco has been ruined because of the big sky scrapers and lack of cable car lines running up and down the steep hills.

All these things are true in their way, but the Mouse's stock price is up and the company is making boatloads of money and it just isn't a simple little Burbank cartoon and film studio anymore. So yeah, the brand has been ruined/transformed (choose one) now that we live in the 21st century.

The Mouse house is now a clearing house, deal with it:

While a future dominated by Star Wars and Iron Man might make Disney more profitable, it could also mean a future where Disney releases movies that could have been made by any studio — and in many cases, used to be made by other studios. ...

All things change.

Warner Bros. (a.k.a. Time-Warner) doesn't have Disney's "strong brand" handicap to make lovers of the old days weep. It's been a hybrid film-cable-game company for freaking decades, with nobody whining that WB execs are wrecking the fine Bette Davis-Jimmy Cagney-Errol Flynn-Humphrey Bogart heritage from seventy years ago. Nobody but 38,575 film geeks even remember, let alone care. So Warner Bros. is free to make its cartoons, super hero features, and action blockbusters without somebody lamenting the sadness of the loss of the good old times.

Conglomerates don't have anything to do except make money. Artistic heritages, be they Bugs Bunny or hand-drawn features, are only useful if they create large profits.


Unknown said...

100% truth! Bob Camp once said that animation will always remain a business as long as businessmen are running it and will virtually have nothing to do with drawing funny pictures to paraphrase. That statement continues to be true to this very day.

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