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Student number: 0711097 Degree: Film & TV Module: FM3001 Special Project

Introduction

The subject that this Special Project is focused on is that of the Disney Corporation. The Disney Corporation is going to be discussed as a contemporary economic institution, a pure example of what is happening in Hollywood today. This facet will be conveyed with regards to a close textual analysis of Disney texts, products and projects. This focus will help to shape a discussion around Disney’s newest initiative on the integration of its entertainment fortés. The analysis has been particularly intrigued by a statement made by Disney’s CEO, Michael Eisner in 2000; We have no obligation to make history. We have no obligation to make art. We have no obligation to make a statement. To make money is our only obligation. (http:// www. Wildwilderness.org…) It can be suggested that this statement is at the pinnacle of what this project is attempting to discuss, it simply seems to highlight the drive of the perpetually newfangled Disney Corporation and also precisely conveys the money hungry ideology of Hollywood style entertainment. This statement will aid further to a discussion on how Disney has transformed itself, from a small-scale animation studio in the depths of Los Angeles, to undisputedly, a major entity in the contemporary industry. Particularly drawing on this conception, along with the idea that Disney’s dominant role in its assertion on the American media and the entertainment institution is a discipline onto itself.

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0711097 However, Disney’s role in the domination of the entertainment industry can also be contended to be very much a familiar venture in this day and age, with regards to new Hollywood and its giant corporate entities and mergers. The hypothesis that will be worked towards constitutes ‘How the Disney Corporation exemplifies key trends in new Hollywood’. However, the aim in some ways is also to prove that, more or less, Disney is aiming to be considered as part of the major oligopoly that today controls our society to an exceptional level. This analysis aims to demonstrate that Disney is attempting to achieve this, through not only its ever growing contour of products, but also through its billion dollar take-overs and mergings with other immense corporations such as Pixar. Another lead discussion around this topic will be somewhat linked with the fact that Disney is seemingly venturing out of the entertainment business per se; out of its original arena of animation. Its theme parks have been willingly discussed as a very important domain of revenue for the company and a place in which Disney can combine all of its commodities.

The financial stability of the theme parks division have served as a critical counterweight to the volatility at its network and movie studio business. (http:// wwwp. Providence.edu…) However, it can be asserted that Disney’s newest, most important and influential system of revenue is the development of it as a ‘teen machine’, for example in terms of its Hannah Montana (2006) and the High School Musical (2006) franchises and its complex development of the star image of the teenagers involved. Furthermore, this analysis is essentially aiming to discuss the economics of the Disney institution in concordance with state of New Hollywood, and also the commercial industry today. It can be considered that the way in which the company is working at this present time is not only the pinnacle of the contemporary industry, but also a metaphor for our contemporary hegemonized and commodified lifestyle.

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Chapter One

Main Street, USA Since the beginning, the Disney Company has developed and changed enormously along with the industry (http:// studioservices.go.com…). It went from being merely a small-scale animation studio to a full-scale multi-venture conglomerate. However, this did not happen over night and it has not all been ‘jelly and ice-cream’ for Disney, there has been a lot of volatility. The Walt Disney Company began as The Walt Disney Brothers Studio in 1923 in a small office in Los Angeles. It was created by Roy and Walt Disney as they began to produce a series of short, live-action/animated films called The Alice Comedies. Within 4 months of production the Disney Brother’s staff grew so significantly that they had to move to a bigger office next door, which led to them officially naming their company The ‘Disney Brothers’ Studio. In 1925 the Brothers made a deposit on a Hyperion Avenue Lot in the Silver Lake District of LA, soon after this venture was established, Mickey Mouse was born (1928). Disney’s first feature length animation was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). Via Snow White’s success, Walt Disney considered that if he wanted to continue to meet audience expectations and desires he would have to increase the size of the studio in order to enable the Disney company to expand and flourish. Disney therefore used the profits from Snow White to put a deposit down on a 51-acre plot in Burbank, California, for a studio specifically designed to make animations, and this is where it all took off. Over 1,000 accomplishments later, Disney even developed its own distribution company, Buena Vista, in 1953 (http:// studioservices.go.com…). Today, when one considers Disney, you primarily think of the company’s entertainment fortés surrounding the Mickey Mouse icon and his new and ever expanding group of ‘friends’. From new-venture animation style films such as Lilo

and Stitch (2002) and Up (2009), to theme parks, Disney stores and most importantly, for the younger generation, The Disney channel and its franchises such as Hannah

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Montana (2006) and High School Musical (2006), it is clear Disney now encompasses an abundance of revenue streams. Disney is now generally perceived as a powerful media giant, and a major party in our oligopolistcal managed society. However, it can also be argued that what Disney now exemplifies as a company is exactly what the Hollywood industry is turning into. Similarly to the ‘Golden Age’ of Hollywood, we are surrounded by an industry controlled by a few dominant entities; the New Hollywood media arena. According to Geoff King, the New Hollywood media corporations significantly emerge at the end of the 1960s, via take-overs, mergings’ and expansions, which gradually started to combine all of the major names in the industry to create some kind of ‘super-power’. For example, Warner Brothers was bought up by super giant conglomerate AOL Time Warner, and Disney merged with Capital Cities/ABC (King, 2002: 49-85). On the other hand, at the beginning of these expansions some studios, such as Paramount, were also taken over by huge corporations which had no interest in providing entertainment, but were driven by money; Paramount was taken over by Gulf+Western in 1967.This occurrence also seems to signify what was happening in the contemporary industry at this time. The period of time from the end of the ‘Golden Age’ and the Paramount AntiTrust case in 1948, which has been proven to have significantly affected Hollywood in terms of the big five’s stronghold, up until the late 1980s early 1990s was also a bout of significant loss. Lots of manifestos and movements came out of this period, all of which wanted to overthrow Hollywood (although this was entirely impossibly) and were very critical of it. One of the main movements that can perhaps be considered to have flourished and made a significant impact on flawed Hollywood at this time, was American Independent Cinema. However, there were also many other underlying factors, such as the 1950s home TV boom, which meant a lot less cinema admissions, and also a rise in home video production. This period was effectively a period when Hollywood was in desperate need for finance and stability (King, 2002: 49-85). Furthermore, overtime these ‘non-interested’ mergers, such as Gulf+Western, downsized and became more focused on their entertainment fortés, and it can be argued that,

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0711097 This environment has proved a fertile one in which to develop a form of domination arguably greater than that achieved by the ‘big five’ at the height of the studio era. (King, 2002: 49-85) The amalgamation of Hollywood successfully helped to increase stability on financial grounds and also creative grounds, as it has helped to minimize risk of loss through flexibility of so many possible sources of income and support, for example loss of money from poor film admissions can be vindicated via the sale of merchandise (King, 2002: 49-85). It is important to consider that in a period when all of the ‘important’ studios got effectively pushed down, and virtually lost a huge majority of their financial stability (the end of the Golden Age), Disney was not affected. This is because Disney itself did not have any assets in distribution or exhibition, and therefore as a result, was not effect by the Paramount Anti-trust case. In respect of this, it did not have anything taken away from it and therefore was still as ‘big’ and as powerfully affluent as it ever was; RKO distributed all of its films. In 1953, instead of buying out a struggling RKO, Disney opted to develop its own distribution system, Buena Vista (Watts,2001: 383-404). This can be argued to be the start of the process of a new Hollywood style system for Disney. For example, if a company keeps all of its profits in-house then it will loose less money than a business that relies on outside partnerships. This is a very significant and successful way to maximise profits and develop a whole new world of revenue, and is just the start of conglomeratisation (King, 2002: 49-85). The studios can…benefit from access to substantial capital or credit reserves, including the possibility if internal investment. Capital from one part of a corporation might be invested elsewhere at a lower cost than money obtained from outside, a particular advantage at times of high interest rates such as the period from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s. (King, 2002: 49-85) It can perhaps be suggested that Disney has taken this in-house enterprise to the extreme. Disney’s assets are somewhere in the 100s, ranging from studios; Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Buena Vista International…to mobile services and entertainment; Starwave Mobile…Disney consumer products; Global Children’s 5


0711097 Magazines, World of Disney Store, Disney Food, Health and Beauty…to Disney parks and resorts; Walt Disney World Florida, Tokyo Disney Resort and Disney Cruise Line (http:// corporate.disney.go.com/). Disney makes money from every inch of these subsidiaries efficiently and effectively. Disney is a particularly affluent converger in the contemporary Hollywood industry, it seems to be doing all it can to pursue significant industrial and cultural power. It appears Disney want to be the best by having the best, which all comes down to the picking and choosing of which companies to merge with. It can be argued that Disney is ahead of its time, taking this 21st century commodity culture to the extreme. Disney’s newest massive ventures include, the buying of Pixar for $7.4 billion “Roy. E Jobs…Disney…joining with Pixar…solidifies the Walt Disney Company’s position as the dominant leader in motion picture animation” (http:// www.. macobserver.com…), and also Disney agreeing to acquire ‘Wideload Games Inc’, “…enables the company to take an even more significant role in developing industry leading products…” (http:// corporate.disney.go.com/news…). On the other hand, Disney is not the only company involved in such takeovers, it is common knowledge that the industry today is under oligopolistic control. Besides Disney having a massive role to play with this ‘team’ it can also be discussed on par with other world leaders from different industries such as the very affluent Kraft Foods Inc. . Kraft Foods Inc. is the largest candy, food and beverage company headquartered in the United States, and the second largest in the world after Nestle SA. Kraft markets brands in over 155 countries worldwide. Its 9 leading brands that exceed over $1 billion in revenue, can perhaps be considered to be the staples of our everyday diets, much like Disney which seems to be the staple of our entertainment and recreational diet. Kraft’s brands include Kraft, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Maxwell House, Nabisico, Oreo, Jacobs, Milka and LU (http:// www. Kraftfoodcompany…). Kraft’s most recent takeover, despite it merging with Nabisico (The National Biscuit Company) in 2000, is its 2009 takeover bid of The Cadbury Company. Kraft originally made a bid back in September 2009 of $10.2 billion, but this offer was originally perceived to be derisory; on December the 4th 2009, this offer was made again. The originality of this offer caused a lot of problems politically and publically in the UK, it even lead to calls for the government to invoke a policy of 6


0711097 economic protectionism in the case of takeovers of large companies (http:// www.allheadlinenews…). The way in which this takeover was perceived can be relatively considered in terms with Disney’s takeover of Marvel Entertainment for $4 Billion in 2009. It was considered by Marvel fans that this take-over would significantly jeopardise the ‘Marvel Magic’, as Marvel fans have always considered themselves to be very different from Disney fans in terms of appreciation of animation and ideologies. One fan suggested that Marvel was “…the round pegs in a world of square holes…” (Hickley, 2009: 1). Despite the concerns that the deal would affect the integrity of the Marvel characters, Disney stated that it was not going to buy a brand for $4 Billion if it intended to change it. However we all know that “…big corporations with valuable, well-established images eventually tend to make all parts of their empire conform to that image…” (Hickley, 2009: 1) and therefore Disney’s statement would do nothing to comfort the fans’ fears. It can be considered that although take-overs are of a particular advantage to the company in question, they can also cause a lot of controversy. Moreover, the way Kraft will have to work its way around The Hershey Company, as they own the rights to Cadbury Dairy Milk and the recipe, particularly represents this (http:// www. Kraftfoodcompany…). However, when further considering the credentials and outcomes of such powerful takeovers on a revenue basis, by buying Cadbury, Kraft gains a major foothold into the developing markets particularly in India, South Africa and the Middle East (http:// www. Kraftfoodcompany…), therefore ever expanding its possible revenue streams outwards and upwards, precisely mirroring Disney’s struggles and accomplishments throughout its merging endeavour. Moreover, Franchises and ‘tie-ins’ are a contemporary way in which other corporations will happily merge with Disney, and of course other oligopolist leaders. Despite their industrial dominance, Disney’s development of Buena Vista was the initial way it was able to gain control of its now rapidly growing entertainment process, from production to distribution and audience consumption. The Disney Enterprise has become a very influential machine to be involved in, it can be argued that it became especially appetising when it began to tie-together all of its entertainment projects, and also establish durable connections with corporate 7


0711097 America for even more stability and in-house revenue, with corporations such as Coca-Cola and Roebuck. Thus creating the phenomenon ‘total entertainment’, where each aspect of the business coincides beneficially with each other. (Watts,2001: 383404). Its not hard to see why the Hollywood Studios are attractive prospects for corporations with interests in other aspects of the media and related industries. The films they produce, distribute and/ or finance are engines that can drive streams of profitable sources of revenue. (King,2002: 49-85) In the new Hollywood industry it also seems very influential to have involvement outside of your arena of work. For example, in 2000, Philip Moris (Altria Group), one of the worlds’ largest tabacco corporations, merged with Kraft foods. In effect Altria Group gained involvement outside its area of work for a huge revenue possibility (http:// www. Kraftfoodcompany…). A classic example within the entertainment industry for a Hollywood style product, would perhaps be something like an ‘Event’ movie. An ‘Event’ movie is a movie with prominence in wider culture beyond the cinema screen, its purpose is to attract the biggest audience possible and penetrate society. An example of this type of movie has been suggested to be Titanic (1997) (King,2002: 49-85). Instead of an ‘Event’ movie like Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black

Pearl (2003), Disney can be argued to have its own type of more expensive ‘pull’, its theme parks. Disneyland functioned as a kind of command centre linking together (and publicizing) the studios myriad projects in TV, Movies, Music and Merchandising…however in a larger sense…Disneyland was a unique embodiment of prosperous, middleclass post-war America…A movement to the [contemporary] American way of life. (Watts, 2001: 383-404) The commodification of our society seems to have been strategically developed via Disneyland and can be suggested to have had a significant effect on cultural relevance. Michael Eisner, who is the new chairman for Disney, realized when he got the opportunity to join the company, that the hugely profitable revenue from 8


0711097 merchandising, that although has always been prominent in society, was not being as actively utilised by the Disney Company as it could have been. Therefore, he can be argued to have almost revived this ‘pull’ and helped the company become even more valuable, “By 1994 operating profits in consumer products had quadrupled” (Bryman, 2006: 1-15). However, consumer products were not all Eisner was interested in, he also wanted to increase the production of Disney’s animated feature films, as he felt that the quality and quantity of Disney’s animated feature films had fallen, when they should be at the center of all of the company’s activities (Bryman, 2006: 1-15). This can perhaps explain as to why Disney went ahead and bought Pixar for $7.4 billion and Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion. Maybe Eisner felt Disney needed a refreshing new take on animation and both Marvel and Pixar were key. Marvel and Pixar have completely different animation styles to each other and also to Disney, and represented the perfect opportunity for Disney to reach a fresh, new audience pool and effectively draw in an even bigger ‘fan-base’. On the other hand, it can be argued that Eiser wasn’t entirely innocent in wanting to recapture Disney’s original animated charm, he still had the underlying drive to push the new Hollywood strategy. It could perhaps be argued that another reason as to why Eiser became so ‘hooked’ on Disney’s perceived loss in the utilisation of animation, was because he believed that it could become extremely applicable to marketing, and could be utilised in almost every arena of the company, from TV and film to merchandise at theme parks, for example The Incredibles (2004). Disney quite obviously utilises its finances to organise its corporate style management, where everything it has is gathered under one umbrella, and each side of the business is of potential benefit to the other, therefore backing up its ‘total entertainment’ approach. In the period of financial struggle, when all of the ‘big’ studios started to sell off their old films and archives to generate some kind of revenue, Disney did not need to do this. It therefore gathered all of its ‘material’ into its increasingly valuable archives. Furthermore, interestingly, Disney still even utilises this aspect of its historical development today, which successfully helps it to generate money out of its archives by utilising its material over and over. The most obvious example can be suggested to be DisneyLand TV, where they screened old cartoon reels, movie extracts and also 9


0711097 advertised re-releases onto DVD to capture the attention of the new generation. TV is a very important aspect of Disney and is one that has become even more important in this era of contemporary conglomeratised, competitive Hollywood; a pinnacle of corporate cultivation (Anderson, 2000: 17-33). Moreover, it can be argued that Disney is so predatory because it is constantly competing with many other corporations for what has been called the leisure dollar. Companies’ such a Nestle and Time Warner essentially have the same ideas as Disney, and so it therefore has to sell something special; ‘Disney magic’ (Fjellman, 1992: 1-5). For example, the preadolescent innocence of a childhood fantasy. As media conglomerates continue to grow and merge, Disney is going to have to work a lot harder to keep itself in an influential position. However, it seems that at the rate it is going and the amount of corporate acceptance Disney seems to have already acquired, everything, at the moment, seems to be in a stable position. Although Disney isn’t one of the worlds leaders in the event of revenue, it simply has strong enough determination to perhaps, one day, dominate and Disneyize the entertainment arena. In other words, Disney could eventually penetrate through the rest of the industry successively, effectively and ideologically. Furthermore, looking at Disney as a self-confessed money making, multi-media conglomerate corporate power, it appears to contradict itself by confessing to have a ‘huge interest in corporate responsibility’. As a company whose mission is to provide quality entertainment for people around the world, The Walt Disney Company puts great emphasis on the human element of its business. (http:// corporate.disney.go.com/investors…) This seems to suggest that Disney’s main aim is to create content that reflects the world around us for society’s benefit, not for corporate revenue or commercial power. Although it could possibly be said that through its international arm, Walt Disney International (WDI), Disney is taking the company global, in order for everyone to be equally penetrated with this ‘Disney magic’. It does seem that an overriding understanding that Disney is simply a money-making administration is definitely in order. 10


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A further look into WDI, employs that this eventuality is at the centre of Disney’s new business developments and growth worldwide. In consideration of globalisation, WDI is key to developing Disney’s global empire. Probably one of the most institutionalised ways in which WDI works, which seems to suggest nothing to do with ‘corporate responsibility’, is its integrated organizational structure in Japan. Japan can be considered to be a million miles away from the USA in terms of culture and language. However, the triumph of American popular culture has even penetrated here. This can be seen not only through the development of Disney Land Tokyo, but also through Japan’s own specifically created Disney motion picture Lilo and Stitch.

Lilo and Stitch was created specifically for the Japanese market. This cultural specificy is something that Disney is going to have to do more and more of if it wants to penetrate the world accordingly, developing its synergized brands to run smoothly from country to country. However, although this might all be very good for the Disney Corporation in terms of revenue and global dominance, perhaps the globalization of the company will have a negative effect on the rest of the world’s media corporations and cultural individuality. Conceivably, an interesting question to consider in the light of this, was one posed by Mitsuhiro Yoshimoto in the writing of Images of Empire: Tokyo

Disneyland and Japanese Cultural Imperialism How can we explain the fact that the more the Japanese acquire global economic power, the more they seem to be Americanizing instead of Japanising themselves? (Smoodin, 1994:181-203)

Moreover, the way in which the Disney Company has allied itself from the beginning of it ‘career’ up until the present day, has been a very structured phenomenon. It has fragmented and merged into a very powerful and influential corporation, not simply centred around animation, but also taking into consideration many different arenas.

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Chapter Two

Mickey’s TeenTown Disney’s prosperity rests largely on its investment within the television industry, this is primarily what this chapter is going to focus on. Not only is television important to Disney on an entertainment level, but also on an economic level. For example, the aiding of star construction and brand extension to the extent of multi-million dollar franchises and tie-ins. TV has been considered to have played a particularly influential part in Disney’s corporate cultivation; Disney’s media networks brought in $15.857 million in revenue in 2008 (http:// amedia.disney.go.com…). Disney was the first Hollywood executive during the 1950s to envision a future built on televisions achievements, the scope of its signal, the access it provided the American home. For Disney, network television arrived as an invitation to reinvent the movie business, to explore horizons beyond the realm of filmmaking. (Anderson, 2000:17-22) Although Disney’s involvement with TV can simply be argued as corporative ‘synergised brand extension’, essentially the permissible way in which Disney fortified its company through a careful process of diversification (Maltby, 2003: 205212). It should also be recognized that this is a strategy that all of Hollywood seem to have bought into in this new corporate era. For example, MTV Networks is a division of media conglomerates Viacom. MTV was established in 1984 after Warner Communications and American Express decided to divest the basic cable assets of Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment and set up MTV Networks, Inc. . The basic cable assets that they created were TV networks; Nickelodeon, MTV, VH1 and The Movie Channel. With regards to this, Nickelodeon is working on its own TV series, a CGI animation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990). In order to push this revenue

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0711097 stream even further they are also working along with Viacom to develop this series for movie theatres (http:// www.viacom…). What began as Eisner’s plan to ‘reinvent’ Disney, turned into a full company expansion, full of mergers and ‘tie-ins’ that ultimately reunited television as its point of access. Through TV, Disney has managed to intertwine all of its revenue streams, from film and merchandising, to theme parks and music. The way in which it managed to accomplish this so successfully was through the development of TV series,

DisneyLand/ The Wonderful World Of Disney (1954-1981) (notably given the same name as their theme park), premiered in ABC’s regular Wednesday-night schedule on October 27th 1954. Through DisneyLand, Disney promised to provide “The true touch of enchantment” to American homes (Anderson, 2000:17-22). In developing a TV show with the same name as its theme park, Disney made one of the most influential commercial decisions in post-war American culture. Through this passage it was planning to create an all-encompassing consumer environment of ‘total merchandising’. The fact that Walt Disney commented on the development of

DisneyLand, saying, “we wanted to start off running…” signifies this (Anderson, 2000:17-22).

DisneyLand was produced by Walt Disney Pictures in 1954, and was hosted by Walt Disney himself. The show successfully combined old and new film footage, animation and live-action, soundtracks from Disney films, tracks from up and coming Disney stars and of course connections with the Disney Land theme park (Anderson, 2000:17-22). This was not simply a newfangled revenue stream for Walt Disney to ‘play around with’; this was a carefully and expertly manipulated advertisement platform for the company as a whole, and a very successful business strategy. It is perhaps important to relay that at the beginning of DisneyLand’s corporate development, the Hollywood industry was beginning to catch on to Disney’s economic growth. It was Walt Disney himself that assured the press that the DisneyLand TV series would stand alone in terms of entertainment. But this in fact, was a lie and a scheme to maximise Disney’s penetration into the American home. DisneyLand wasn’t simply for entertainment purposes, but was mainly developed to publicize Disney products as 13


0711097 a whole, and visa-versa. Perhaps Walt Disney saw this opportunity as a particularly ripe venture for the company, and did not want to share it whilst it was still in development.

Disneyland’s simple aim to publicize Disney products was initially confirmed in the very first episode, where Walt Disney informed his viewers that “Disney Land the place and DisneyLand the show are all the same”. Even the series was split into four familiar movie industry genres, much like the park itself: Fantasyland (animated cartoons), Adventure Land (exotic action-adventure), Frontier Land (Westerns) and Tomorrow Land (Science fiction) (Anderson, 2000:17-22). It has become increasingly obvious that for any successful corporation aiming to become global and reach a maximum audience quota, TV will always be an influential choice, as it exceeds the boundaries of any single communication medium. For example, when taking MTV into consideration, it also has many other operations appealing to different audiences that may not be so interested in TV shows or music, such as their gaming networks, AddictingGames, set up in 2002 by Ira Willey (http:// www.viacom…). However, this practice has taken decades to be adopted into businesses.

When considering ‘synergised brand extension’, that has been utilised by Disney on a day to day basis, through the promotions of many of its entertainment fortés and the ingenious way in which the TV show has the exact same name as the theme park, it almost becomes impossible to imagine the amount of money that has been generated simply by the airing of a TV show. It could be considered that Disney’s appetite for this economic strategy, that is ultimately driving the new Disney empire, is simply because it required minimal financial investment from Disney itself. One simple and ingenious reason as to why the actual production of DisneyLand required minimal financial investment, is because of Disney’s very clever usage of archive footage (Anderson, 2000:17-22). At a time of financial struggle for Hollywood, Disney very cleverly kept hold of all of its productions and stored them in its priceless archives, instead of selling them off. Although Disney’s original contract with ABC called for “… twenty original episodes [of DisneyLand], with each of them repeated once, and twelve 14


0711097 broadcast a third time during the summer” (Anderson, 2000:17-22), Disney decided that instead of producing 20 episodes for new TV programming each season, this was an effective opportunity in which it could make profit from the material in its archives, therefore minimal production costs were needed for any show that the footage was incorporated into (Anderson, 2000:17-22). When considering the importance of TV in relation to the Hollywood economy, it is interesting to discuss The Disney Channel, launched on April the 18th 1983 (http:// home.disney. Co. uk /). The Disney Channel’s target audience is typically preschoolers, pre-teens and young adolescents and consists mainly of Teen and tween pop shows. It is often considered to be Disney’s most successful, up and coming source of revenue (Luscombe, Vol.174: Issue 17). Belinda Luscombe has recently commented in light of Disney; “The movies are tanking, the parks are weak and ABC is hurting. But the company is being buoyed buy its ability to grow teen talent” (Luscombe, Vol.174: Issue 17). This seems to be a very accurate comment to make when it has been recently considered that the majors “are no longer in the film business or, arguably even the entertainment business, but, the business of synergistic brand extension” (Maltby, 2003: 205-212). Disney is extending its brand for primarily revenue purposes, by its ability to grow teen talent specifically tailored to appeal to and inspire its increasingly valuable teen audience. This, in other words, and through what can be considered to have been displayed by Disney’s development of its DisneyLand TV show even in the 1950s suggests, that Disney, much like the rest of the entertainment industry, has and always will be primarily about making money. It should also be considered that Disney will always have and be developing strategies to maximise this aspect. The Disney Channel is simply a perfect example of this kind of strategy in the new Hollywood industry. Belinda Luscombe considers Disney to be a generative ‘teen machine’, with the help of The Disney Channel, and also with the help of the Internet via web pages’, music blog’s and social networking sites such as Facebook. It has been suggested that Disney’s cable networks are among the only solid area of revenue at the moment for the company, as in the past 3 years they have represented at least 80% of Disney’s revenue growth. This could be because Disney and its ‘teen machine’ have become a

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0711097 reliable profit pump in an industry rife with unpredictability (Luscombe, Vol.174: Issue 17). Disney’s High School Musical franchise was originally developed for around $5 million, but as a franchise it has generated around $150-200 million (Luscombe, Vol.174: Issue 17). High School Musical alone deploys the beauty of the workings of brand extension, because if it were simply a TV show with no extensive ‘vocabulary’, it would not have generated as much profit as this fully-fledged franchise has. However, on the other hand, as a franchise and a cross-promotioned product in every area of the Disney corporate system (Music, merchandise, Movies…), Disney has managed to draw an amazing amount of money from what can be considered to be a small, but obviously very affluent, audience ratio. Another example of Disney’s’ success in creating ‘teen machines’ is Hannah

Montana (Miley Cyrus). Developed in 2006 by Richard Correll, Barry O’Brien and Michael Poryes, Hannah Montana cost Disney $15.6 million to produce, a lot more than High School Musical, but she is now worth billions of dollars (Luscombe, Vol.174: Issue 17). This is all thanks to the Disney strategy of cross-promotion, which has turned Miley Cyrus into a world-class leading ‘mega brand’ in her own right (Maltby, 2003: 205-212), along with the help of a few behind the scenes dabblings along the way. Rich Ross, former head of The Disney Channel, is the person who had the idea to develop this synergistic strategy. He ran the channel almost like an “old school movie studio”, for example, like the classical Hollywood era where he would have had control over every aspect of project development. As we’ve gotton smarter about how to build talent we’ve created more opportunities for them within the company…for many people TV is an endgame. For us, TV has simply become a launch pad to opportunities elsewhere in the company. By creating opportunities [we make sure] the talent is more interested in engaging longer with the company. (Luscombe, Vol.174: Issue 17).

Hannah Montana can perhaps be viewed as Disney’s ‘tent-pole picture’ or ‘event movie’, much like its theme parks. A ‘tent-pole picture’ is one that supports the rest of the production slate for the industry. A lot of money is put into their production in the 16


0711097 knowing that the company will get a lot of money out, as it will essentially be an ‘anchor’ product, creating revenue ‘downstream’ in other businesses (Maltby, 2003). This has been shown through Hannah Montana, as in the fact that she is now worth billions of dollars to Disney, thanks to her ability to ‘sell’ in multiple areas of the company, and also through the fact that in the past 3 years The Disney Channel ‘s productions have represented 80% of Disney’s revenue growth (Luscombe, Vol.174: Issue 17). Disney’s act of building the star for usage as its ‘tent-pole picture’ can be considered as something that is very affluent in the light of Disney’s economic situation and especially in the era of the Blockbuster Movie and the ‘star vehicle’. In contemporary culture the celebrity can be considered to be the key component of how society relates to media issues. For a corporation like Disney, which seems to like to be able to control what we see, what we buy, where we go and how we feel about these aspects of our lives, the production of a celebrity seems to be the perfect solution. Hannah Montana/ Miley Ray Cyrus, born on the 23rd of November 1992 in rural Tennessee, rose to fame after staring as the title character in The Disney Channel series Hannah Montana in 2006. Although she is virtually a worldwide ‘super-star’, she still seems to deploy a sense of reality, a down to earth vibe. Her star image is one that can be considered to be multisided, in that she can be loved as a star and loved for who ‘she really is’. This is essentially how her duel personality works, with careful planning from Disney, Hannah Montana, (Pop-star, songwriter, TV and Film actress) versus Miley Cyrus, (Daddy’s girl/ ‘The Every-girl’ and innocent TV star in her own right) (Cyrus, 2009). A careful balance between a fictional and real character. Disney plays on this careful construction in order to draw a varied and vast audience; those who love celebrity culture, those who love to see and relate to celebrities via who they really are, and those to find pleasure in both. Miley Cyrus can be seen to back up this construction where she states, “…there are multiple sides to all of us…who we are and who we might be if we followed our dreams.” (Cyrus, 2009). Moreover this has also been touched upon in the lyrics of her most recent release in her solo pop career Party in the USA (2009):

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0711097 So I hopped off the plane at LAX in my jeans and my cardigan, welcome to the land of fame excess, am I gonna fit it, jumped in the cab, here I am for the first time, look to my right and I see the Hollywood sign, this is all so crazy, everybody seems so famous, my tummy turning and I feeling kinda home sick, too much pressure and im nervous…. In Party in the USA, Miley Cyrus seems to be relating to her own feelings as a normal person in the phenomena of her turning into Hannah Montana, possible a subject that us as consumers would be very interested in, in this celebrity lifestyle obsessed era. This innocence is perhaps beautifully contrasted with Time Magazine listing Cyrus in its 2008 ranking of the 100 most influential people in the world. Zygmunt Bauman (2005) suggests that our society is now in a state of ‘liquid modernity’, and that our solid, bourgeois ideologies have melted away, our notion of belonging is mediated and that the celebrities have become the glue in our ever shifting terrain. To explain this more simply, celebrities have become a very important aspect of our lives, they are essentially the way in which we read the world around us; for Disney to tap into this via someone as influential as Hannah Montana, is a very powerful venture. The creation of a ‘star’ as a commodity and a brand emerged in the early 20th century. P.D Marshall has suggested, “the star has become an individualised corporate entity, with a recognized brand and hope-for audience loyalty”. When developing a ‘star’ they are deliberately developed to fit a precise marketing plan, to be accessible to a precise audience, and pull in a specific amount of money from specific areas. In

Hannah Montana’s case she is ‘thrown’ throughout Disney to pull in money from all areas, and marketed to a specific teen and tween audience ratio. Belinda Luscombe considers that the way in which these ‘stars’ are set up is, Each of these youngsters were given a TV show, the so-called zitcom, followed usually by a recording contract with Disney-owned Hollywood Records, songs in heavy rotation on Radio Disney and on Disney-Movie soundtracks, a concert tour with Disney-owned Buena Vista concerts, and tie-in merchandise. Throughout the Disney stores- Miley & co. 18


0711097 are like the modern mouseketeers, but instead of M-I-C-K-E-Y, they spell CA-S-H. (Luscombe, Vol.174: Issue 17). This can, in more complex terms, be considered as the commodification of youth culture, as these ‘stars’ much like Miley Cyrus are taken under the wing of Disney when they are very young, and trained up to be ‘revenue pulls’ (Maltby, 2003: 205212). At the moment, the youth market is very key to media businesses, with its growth rate being approximately 17% per year. This is also suggested by Valerie Wee, in her book ‘Selling Teen Culture’, where she discusses synergistic connections between teen, TV, music and film, with close relation to Hannah Montana (Wee, 2010). In consideration again of Hannah Montana in relation to her teen audience, Chris Rojek has explained her as a ‘Celeactor’ (celebrity and actor), as she articulates the particular moment we are in in society, in relation to tensions around the ideas of a celebrity being desirable and also morally bankrupt (Rojek, 2001. For example, Hannah Montana is very desirable for young girls, as she is beautiful and successful. However, the moral bankruptcy comes into play in the fact that she is a creation of Miley Cyrus’s dream, entirely fictional and something/ someone that Disney is making the children make their parents ‘buy’ into through her never ending lines of products. This has been described as the ‘pester pound’. Furthermore, this is entirely what Disney wants to happen; yet another revenue pull under the belt. Hannah Montana can be described as a pure product of the new Hollywood economy, a contemporary arena of revenue accumulation. It is interesting to denote that Hannah Montana has also made her way to Japan, not only on Disney Channel Japan but also onto TV Tokyo in 2009, this seemingly reflects the rate at which the Disney corporation is internationalising and globalising its products. TV was perhaps the stepping stone that encouraged brand extension to develop to the extent in which it has throughout the Disney company, shaping and setting Disney up to accomplish all things revenue based and teen orientated.

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Chapter Three

Tomorrow Land Something that should always be remembered is that The Walt Disney Company is a business, penetration into society and culture is its primary aim. Its theme parks, movies, TV channels and so forth, are simply part of an extensive conglomerate, whose raison d’être is to sell commodities to us as consumers. This chapter aims to shed light on alternative paths of revenue and cultural influence that Disney is involved in outside of the entertainment business, touching upon the current globalisation and post-modernisation of the world around us. Multi-media corporations constantly attempt to ‘blanket’ our perceptions, trying to disguise the fact that the thousands of products and entertainment opportunities that go along with their movies, are not entirely for our entertainment, but have simply been generated to make as much profit as possible. Richard Maltby argues that “the true value of the film business is…the synergies that movies provide with other areas…” (Maltby, 2003: 205-212), this statement efficiently signifies the way new Hollywood works, in the way that multiple revenue streams generate serious amounts of money. The new markets and commercial relationships in the industry today have shattered Hollywood cinema, as it used to be, as it can be argued that the majors are no longer in the film business, or arguably, even in the entertainment business, but the business of synergistic brand extension (Maltby, 2003: 205-212). Multi-revenue streams can range from anything from TV, radio and merchandising to theme parks and catering. An integration of entertainment fortés has lead to the creation of the ‘mega-brand’; an all encompassing and all powerful revenue stream. An example of a Corporation somewhat outside of the entertainment sphere, but still a ‘mega-brand’, can be considered to be Coca Cola.

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0711097 On one hand, it could be argued that there is a lot of competition between the major Hollywood corporations, Disney included, as in actuality synergistic brand extension is a rationalization of what is in reality a largely defensive commercial practice (Maltby, 2003: 205-212), meaning that companies are constantly competing to develop the dominant brand. However, it can also be argued that Disney is a step above the rest, and has essentially taken synergy to the extreme in the way in which it operates as a company. An interesting statement by Michael Wolf, (board director of Entercom Communications Corporation, fourth-largest broadcasting company in the USA), suggests that “only entities with broad financial base and access to costly talent, can front the money it takes to gamble that an audience will find and then like what it presents” (Maltby, 2003: 205-212). For example, companies with a lot of money, lots of revenue streams, and a lot of contacts. In actuality, Disney sells a lot more than just an expansion of the entertainment experience for the development of a dominant brand. Its ‘spin-offs’ can now be considered to be a major aspect of the company, most namely its theme parks (Disney Land Resort, Walt Disney World Resort), and its housing development know as Celebration (1996). It seems relevant here to take into consideration the commodification of our society and American culture, when considering such valuable ‘spin-offs’ outside of the entertainment industry’s borders. It has recently been considered that, The world we live in is a world of commodities. Our physical survival and our relations with other people and with ourselves are increasingly mediated by the commodity form. (Fjellman, 1992: 1-5) Commodity generators’ is how the Disney theme parks should be perceived, as they are essentially selling back to us what we have already acquired. No matter which theme park you go to, whether it be in the USA or in Hong Kong, the parks sell-through the same ideology, the ideology of a sellable nostalgic childhood, sold to us through the games, rides, food and iconological connections we all hold with Mickey Mouse. Disney has simply commodified our memories; rides such as ‘It’s a Small World’ are perhaps pure example of this notion. Everyone piles into a small plastic boat which sails down a ‘river’, visiting different countries and 21


0711097 continents clad with smiling, happy dolls dressed in national costumes, singing “It’s a small world after all…” in the countries language. We, as consumers to this product, are told again and again in the squeaky doll voices, something that we have all essentially realised through life experiences, something that our children will learn in time; that our world is essentially ‘small’. Perhaps when our children do learn that we live in a ‘small world’ they will associate this finding with Disney telling them so, and therefore Disney, to them, will have acquired another layer of meaning. The formidable way in which Disney has the primary ability to do this, is through image. Disney’s image is its symbolic capital form, through which the real revenue flows. Repeatedly, when entering the parks and even when just simply witnessing a Disney product, we are experiencing the image pull. Although this image is repeated, we still purchase it again and again, and in turn we encompass a souvenir of our own culture and memories (Fjellman, 1992: 1-5). There must be something about this image that draws us back. It is often considered that there is a sacred connection between Mickey Mouse’s image and idealised childhood, (how we would like to remember our childhood years). Mickey Mouse and his films emerged at a time when there were complex debates around children’s leisure and the role of cinema on children’s lives, and he is also a figure that we all grew up with (Smoodin,1994: 203-214). In the future maybe a Disney figure such as Hannah

Montana will essentially be Disney’s image, and the holder of its symbolic capital. In fact, Hannah Montana has been generated in an era of a digital boom. Perhaps she will represent wealth, communication development and our celebrity obsessed culture. It will become easier to understand the connection between symbol and revenue in the case of Disney, if we consider that essentially the “hegemonic metamessage of our time is that the commodity form is natural and inescapable” (Fjellman,1992: 1-5), suggesting that there is a growing link between the development of a symbolic component and the eventuality of revenue gain from its recognizability. The commodification of culture is something we have been born into, and therefore buy into. Our needs, wants and fulfilments have somewhat been naturalised into this concept, in the way that what we think we need, we have to buy, and therefore we do not know any better. Disney has essentially made this a reality through the nostalgic Mickey Mouse image, and products such as the latest Disney DVD re-release’s.

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0711097 Another major in new Hollywood that can be discussed to have also embarked on this phenomenon, is Universal Studios, and images such as Sponge Bob Square Pants at the Universal Studios theme parks. The Sponge Bob image has been incorporated into rides, games, confectionary, clothes, shoes, music and more. The control of many major corporations is overpowering. “Americans live in an over commodified world, with needs that are generated in the interest of the market and that can be met only through the market…”(Fjellman,1992: 1-5), this is essentially what Disney has tapped into. Although it creates commodities through realms such as merchandising, where it sells the experience of the movies well after people leave the movie theatre, Disney, especially at its theme parks, produces, packages and sells experiences and memories as commodities much more effectively. As soon as visitors enter through the gates they are transported into a utopian world, a childhood memoir of fun and games and candy. It is often considered that the Disney World is very different from our world, and in this utopia Disney is not just offering us entertainment, “the company is…selling, to those of us who can afford it, an antidote to everyday life”. This ‘pull’ is perhaps a far cry from simply prolonging the entertainment experience through fun-size chocolate bars with a picture of Mickey Mouse’s face on it, here Disney is essentially changing how we remember and perceive our own lives. The idea of utopia can therefore be considered to be very effectively utilised as a marketing device by Disney, for example, encouraged by the infamous Disney aphorism “The happiest place on earth” (Fjellman, 1992: 1-5). On the other hand, the perception of this contrived utopian landscape could perhaps have a negative effect on youth’s perception of the real world. Just like at Disney World where you have to buy into every aspect, our capitalist society is very much comparable. A subconscious merging of these two worlds, for example an in-distinction between outside and inside the Disney gates could essentially occur, and could become very dangerous to society’s perceptual views. At Disney World “we can walk the streets at night…in a country in which it is often not wise to be out after dark” (Fjellman, 1992: 1-5). This knowing that Disney World is, on the whole, a safe environment, could perhaps be displaced into reality in the belief that Disney World is a refection of the real world, when the truth is that it very much is not.

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0711097 On the other hand, this freedom can also be considered to be enormously empowering to the consumers, and could perhaps help people to delve into this utopian vision more and more. Under the rule of the commodity, our lives have become fragmented and confusing. Our environments are dangerous and threatening. Our sense of powerlessness is fed by the institution of modern life and by the uncontrollable behaviour of others. What we buy at Walt Disney World is not just fun and souvenirs but is also a welcome civility on a human scale. (Fjellman,1992: 1-5) Furthermore, besides Disney’s corporate control over many aspects of the theme park, Walt Disney World Florida; from zoning, planning, building and developing to ticket pricing, operating hours and security, it has even developed its own community in the local province, Celebration. Not only can we now buy into contrived entertainment experiences’ with the feeling of utopia for the few hours of juxtaposed time and space, we can now live it. Disney theme parks have always offered a sanitised version of the American experience. In Celebration this vision has now expanded to cover town planning, and some argue, social engineering. (Moran, 2003: 1)

The Disney Celebration housing development seems to display the significant amount of control Disney is placing over our commodified society, in the way of pandering to our wants and needs and nostalgic mentality. Disney’s iconography and ideology of a safe and familiar environment, is displaced here into an actual living environment. In early brochures of Celebration, Disney stated that they wanted to recreate the kinder, gentler America of the past, There was once a place where neighbours greeted neighbours in the quiet of summer twilight…There is a place that takes you back to that place to that time of innocence…A place of caramel apples and cotton candy, secrets and hopscotch on the streets. (Moran, 2003: 1) 24


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What sets Celebration apart from other housing developments in the surrounding Osceola County, are its facilities; state-of-the-art hospital, innovative, techno-friendly school, sidewalks, open spaces and abundant greenery and its own town centre. Synergistic brand extensions such as Celebration are …channelled into the interests of Disney itself but also in the interests of the large corporations with which Disney has allied itself, the system of power they maintain, and the world of commodities that is then their life’s blood. (Fjellman, 1992: 1-5)

Celebration is very much an idealised construct of life. It has been considered to be the perfect blend of the old and new “ …a Walton’s-style ambience with a hopeful vision of the future…” (Moran, 2003: 1). More over, Walt Disney’s World is also a constructed utopian landscape, purposely very different from reality. An obvious way in which Celebration has been purposely contrived to be different from the real world, and other housing developments in Americas so called ‘sunbelt’, is that the houses are built close together in order to discourage from the detached existence of American suburbanites (Moran, 2003: 1), and therefore encourage the residents to behave in a certain way. While Celebration may be Disney’s first genuinely unscripted product, there was still an unwritten script that its residents would feel some pressure to follow, as if they were unwittingly playing the role of cast members. (Ross, 2000: 299- 326) Some residents have made comparisons between Celebration and the film The

Stepford Wives (Bryan Forbes, 1975), it has been suggested that this comparison “has come to represent the social numbing conformist mentality that is somehow automatically triggered among new residents of highly zoned suburban housing…” (Ross, 2000: 299- 326) but most effectively, Celebration. Interestingly, with regards to these findings, it has been considered that Celebration has almost become a

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0711097 flagship for an increasingly influential movement in town planning, which has been referred to as ‘New Urbanism’ (Moran, 2003: 1). In relation to its amalgamation of cultural products, ideas and experiences, Disney could be read as a post-modernist corporation. A large number of its entities conform from many different social backgrounds, and it is constantly fragmenting and mutating them into something superior and more powerful. Mills has suggested that Disney and its theme parks “are the most post-modern of experiences” in the way of fragmentation (Mills,1996:76), whilst Nelson suggests that the parks exhibit “the decidedly post-modernist sensibilities of eclectic style/collage, images of text, and excessive nostalgia” in the way of montage ( Nelson,1990:61). Other than brand extension in relation to post-modernism, another valuable example is perhaps Disney’s EPCOT World Showcase, which mixes together many different cuisines and cultures into one park. Disney World jigsaws together taste and culture, which contributes to a very degraded landscape of schlock and kitsch, as described by Jameson (Bryman, 1995: 113-127). The evidence of a creeping-hyper-reality (Baudrillard, 1983) is perhaps the precise aspect that we are buying into, it is part of the utopian experience also produced and sold by Disney. Hyper-reality allows us to enjoy everything from everywhere at the same time, which is a common phenomena at Disney theme parks, It’s a Small Word, and especially at EPCOT, where you can skip from Japan to England in just a few footsteps. In other words, Disney is essentially pandering to everyone’s needs. It is almost a “Celebration of the confusion and destabilisation caused by the incoherence of images and forms” in society today (Bryman, 1995: 113-127), which could especially be considered in the light of the digital era with regards to the Internet and cable TV (Harvey, 1989). In relation to Disney’s post-modernist persona, in the fact that Disney is essentially selling the world to us ‘under-one roof’, it seems relevant to consider Alan Brymans conceptualization of the Disneyization of society in recent years. …I make the case that more and more sectors of society and the economy are being infiltrated by a process I call Disneyization. By Disneyization I mean simply: the process by which the principles of the Disney theme parks are 26


0711097 coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society as well as the rest of the world. (Bryman, 1995: 1-15) This suggests Disney’s attempted ascendancy, through its corporate entities and sellable image it is managing to infiltrate the notion of Disneyization. Disneyization has been portrayed as a globalising force, and it is a “concept that seeks to remove consumer’s needs for the prosaic fulfilling of basic needs, and to entice them into consumption beyond mere necessity” (Bryman, 2006: 1-15), which can also be considered to be the principle ideology of capitalism. A more recent way which Disney has achieved this is through its Disney Stores. Walt Disney is planning, with the help of Steven P. Jobs and his retailing team at Apple, to drastically overhaul its approach, and essentially put a theme park into Disney’s stores. Disney is going to re-brand its stores “Imagination Park” and they will become more like entertainment hubs than shops (Barnes, 2009). Disney’s goal is to make children eager to visit the stores and stay longer, bolstering sales as a result. Even from the beginning the Disney store was an influential strategy (1987), but now it is to be given the ‘Disney difference’ makeover, Disney believe that the stores will become an unforgettable experience. Disney is a merchandising titan and its licensed consumer products generated $30 billion in global sales last year, it is estimated that the makeover will double this figure ten-fold. The collaboration of Disney and Apple is another pure example of how new Hollywood works, both are million dollar companies and therefore their cooperation should result in something explosive. In effect, Disney is essentially a master at turning the normal into play, this is evident from even just buying something to eat at a Disney World food-court, and it is spreading this all around the world. Regardless of where a product or idea originates, with Disney’s fingerprints all over it, it is American. Hollywood have always been as clever at branding overseas products as their own, and this is ever presiding today with the dominance of the international market. The international market plays a big game in Disney’s world dominance (WDI), and it is widely considered that “ Globalisation was a central component in the development of the trans-national multi-media corporation” (Maltby, 2003: 205212). On the other hand, it could be considered that Disney should perhaps give more 27


0711097 credit to the global entertainment market from where it pillages many of its ideas for films and rides. In consideration of globalisation Disney has perhaps taken note of Time Warner’s ‘synthesis’, a realisation that globalisation is a fact of life. It is common knowledge that “ no serious competitor could hope for any long-term success, unless building on a secure home base… a major presence in all of the worlds important markets” (Maltby, 2003: 205-212). For Disney and the rest of the entertainment industry, globalisation and the new markets have made the majors increasingly stable. It can be argued that if it wasn’t for Disney’s initiative to go one step further, developing hundreds of new markets and revenue opportunities, and also to have played upon many of its existing operations to finely tune them to be utilised to the full extent of their validity, it would not be as prevalent as it is today, and therefore not have become a pure example of a new Hollywood style institution ahead of the rest.

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Conclusion It is clear that throughout this analysis the working hypothesis ‘How the Disney Corporation exemplifies key trends in new Hollywood’ has been effectively validated. The extent to which it has been validated is particularly analytical in the fact that many areas of the Disney Corporation have been taken into consideration, comparing and contrasting as to how the rest of the industry operates as a whole. It has been conclusively made clear that the Disney Corporation does exemplify the key trends apparent in many of the large-scale corporations operating in the entertainment industry and the world over, even those such as Viacom and News Corp.. Along with the consideration that the Disney Corporation exemplifies key trends in the New Hollywood institution, what is next for Disney has also been deliberated upon. For example, the way in which the industry seems to be shifting, and recent takeovers and mergings. It has become clear, not only from the analysis, but from general shifts in our economy, that we now live in an extensively conglomeratised society. It can be believed, that to a certain extent, Disney has taken this to the extreme in the fact that it does not only sell to us the Disney image and ideology, but it also sells back to us our dreams, memories, wants and needs that have over the years become intertwined in our minds with the Disney institution. It has been discussed that Disney will perpetually continue to produce massive revenue pulls, competing with the best in the line. It will also attempt to merge with other successful corporations, like many other businesses will, to create a proportionate amount of super-power, for example the significance of globalisation. However, it could also be considered that in a few years from now Disney will have lost its charm and edge. Perhaps the generation that have become accustomed to Disney will die out, and another corporation and iconography will take its place. On the other hand, this does not appear to be going to happen any time soon, with its power and vigilance, Disney markets its products to all age groups to ensure children, even in this day and age, grow up with Disney and associate Disney with childhood and happy memories. Moreover, Disney’s current work with Apple, to

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0711097 reinvent their Disney stores, effectively brings Disney’s technological creations very predominantly into the 21st century, as Apple are very vigilant indeed. The stance of which the Disney Corporation has taken can be considered as postmodernist. Meaning that it has collected ideas, inferences and images from every part of culture, and also from all over the world, and melded them into essentially one ideological memento. The fact that Disney has taken what other companies are doing in this corporate era to the utmost, is a fine example of this venture. The merging of its entertainment fortés is perhaps a key movement of this idea, as it has taken arenas that would not have previously been linked, and drawn them together to make ‘one’, for example food merchandise and film. Revenue is and always will be, the primary factor to which entertainment businesses work, and it has become clear in this new era of the Hollywood institution that it is ever more affluent. Capitalism is beginning to drive us more and more, and Disney, although caught up in it, are also professional at providing for our requirements, and seem to have a product for every one of out needs, whether it be a mobile phone or a piece of candy.

Word Count: 10,500

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Full Essay  

Disney's Kingdom