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Three Little Pigs, The Wise Little Hen and Steamboat Willie

Roy E. Disney in Sweden to promote "The L...

Image via Wikipedia

When Irish Walt and Roy Disney started the Cartoon Studios in Uncle Bob’s garage in LA in 1923 and later when Walt invented Mickey ‘Mortimer’ Mouse with Ub Iwerks and included synchronized sound, he created an entertainment phenomenon which has sustained generations but for at least the last two decades, it has also ‘foxed’ its distributors, entertainment park visitors and merged units like Pixar and Miramax with tales of sordid performance and ungainly restructuring. Even today it is more than $37 billion in annual sales and a profit of $8 billion with $15 billion coming from TV and Media Networks, and $11 Billion from Entertainment parks. When it resells Miramax back to Bob and Harvey Weinstein or Michael Burkle, Miramax and its library of 600 films will have a chance to live again.

Disney’s own library had many long lean periods in the 70s and 80s and then till Star Wars was released. After Star Wars again the company’s studio units could not produce many theatrical successes though it has a selection of choice animation movies it has produced selectively since 2003 that have brought it back in the limelight.

Earlier its partnership with Pixar was on the verge of breakdown even when Eisner left in 2004 (Bob Eisner was in charge from 1985) and Miramax founders left to start another venture in 2005. Pixar merger was one of its most shocking attempts at growing in the digital world, Steve Jobs becoming its largest shareholder in the resulting $7.4 billion all stock transaction. Pixar Executives Ed Catmull and John Lasseter took key roles in Disney and Pixar Studio management. The Weinsteins had sold Miramax back in 1993 for $80 million and are likely to buy it back with their own library of 600 movies for up to $700 million spurred by a competitive bid nby Gores over the weekend. Currently Wikipedia lists over 30 assets like the shuttered Miramax which are no longer active in the disny behemoth that includes ABC Tv, ESPN, Hollywood Films, Touchstone Pictures and Marvel Entertainment

Its Studio entertainment divisions have shuttered growth since 2003 at a $7.4 billion though its problems have been far less on an overall basis since Bob Iger took over and in fact since 2001 when its profit plunged to $2 odd billion Its brand extensions in clothing, toys and retail have taken the company global and have become its latest focus for expansion in India and China with a total unit revenue of $2.4 billion.

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