Under the Sea With Disney
You've gotta love Disney
. Or, rather, you've gotta love the Disney brand. Especially if you're a shareholder. The Little Mermaid
recently made its debut on DVD in a special collector's edition. According to The Hollywood Reporter
, the product moved 4 million discs in its initial seven days of release. By comparison, News Corp.
's and Marvel Entertainment
's latest X-Men sequel
sold 5 million units in its first seven days.
I don't know about you, but that says something to me. Consider that The Little Mermaid
was released to theaters back in the late '80s and has had a previous run on video. Plus, there was a direct-to-video sequel of the film several years ago. The world has been amply exposed to the Mermaid
mythology, yet Disney can pull off a successful release in 2006. As a shareholder, I'm thankful.
But before this turns into a cheerleading session for the Mouse, let me say that the company has its work cut out for it. After all, will a collector's release of Chicken Little
and/or The Wild
foster the same kind of excitement 20 years down the line? It's difficult to say. We all know that the big story in Disney animation has been, for a long time now, the Pixar brand. Now that Disney and Pixar have intermingled their respective corporate DNAs, the fact that Pixar has outshone Disney in the generation of animated classics-in-the-making is no longer such a shadow -- indeed, it arguably strengthens Bob Iger in his quest to outshine DreamWorks Animation.
Nevertheless, Iger has to ensure that the integration of his talent and the talent of John Lasseter finally catalyzes Disney's non-Pixar branded features in such a way that the conglomerate sees Lion King
-like grosses once again.