Best Of The Web
“The streaming wars were already heated, but a new combatant is entering the arena: the Walt Disney Company. Mickey Mouse may be a friendly corporate icon. But the new Disney Plus streaming service could have a decidedly unfriendly impact.
Disney Plus, which rolls out this week in the United States, Canada and the Netherlands, may offer a number of new shows and films as hooks for subscribers. But even those offerings, which include a remake of the beloved animated classic “Lady and the Tramp” and a hotly anticipated Star Wars TV series, “The Mandalorian,” suggest why Disney Plus will stand out: The most powerful force in American culture right now is nostalgia, and no one can sell viewers more nostalgia than Disney.
The result may be a comforting, reliable bundle for consumers. But Disney’s very dominion over old classics may make it more difficult for artists to create new ones.
The Walt Disney Co. has defined itself over the past 15 years by its acquisitions of large swaths of America’s pop cultural history. After he became CEO in 2005, Robert Iger engineered the purchase of Pixar Animation Studios. In 2009, Disney bought Marvel Entertainment, followed by Lucasfilm in 2012. And Disney’s biggest takeover began in the fall of 2017, when the company announced plans to gobble up 21st Century Fox. This concentration of cultural capital has given Disney enormous influence. And whatever original content it has to offer, the real pitch for Disney Plus is that the service offers a streaming version of your childhood, whether your youth is defined by one of the companies Disney snapped up, or even 30 seasons of “The Simpsons.””
JJ Editor's Picks
"PRESIDENT TRUMP’S reaction to the murderous rampage in Pensacola, Fla., on Friday by an officer of the Royal Air Force of Saudi Arabia was insensitive and grossly insufficient. Three American servicemen lost their lives and eight were wounded by..."
"No Democrat even approaches Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts when it comes to the sheer volume of policy content. Likewise, no other Democrat has experienced her rapid rise into first place or, now, her dramatic fall in the polls. It is..."
"This holiday season, the United States Postal Service expects to ship almost one billion packages — cardboard boxes full of electronics and fabric and plastic galore. And the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans generate 25..."
"Did moms exist before social media? Technically, yes, there have always been moms, but motherhood as a lively public conversation — a set of references, jokes, warring factions, cliches and grievances — has existed for just a little over a decade.."
"Ever since former President George H.W. Bush coined the phrase to criticize then-candidate President Ronald Reagan's tax policies, Democrats and progressives have been accusing Republicans of "voodoo economics." They are right to do so. The..."
"The marketing circle of life, wherein toys beget films that beget toys, continues to mow its way through every bit of plastic in the playroom. This week, it’s Playmobil’s turn, with the unimaginatively titled “Playmobil: The Movie.” Like the..."
"Europe is at a crossroads. Brexit and immigration prompted a debate about the essence of European liberalism. Luckily, Europe has an invaluable resource it can use in its deliberations: Theodor Herzl The visionary of the Jewish State was a..."
"“I was born in 2000, I have always lived my life with technology, there hasn’t been any moment without it.” So begins the story of Kai Landre, who recently traveled to the United States from Barcelona to explain his decision to become a cyborg..."