Disney (officially known as The Walt Disney Company) is an American multinational media conglomerate headquartered in Walt Disney Studios, Burbank, California, United States. It is the largest media conglomerate in the world in terms of revenue.
Founded on October 16, 1923, by Walt and Roy Disney as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, Walt Disney Productions established itself as a leader in the American animation industry before diversifying into live-action film production, television, and travel. Taking on its current name in 1986, The Walt Disney Company expanded its existing operations and also started divisions focused upon theatre, radio, publishing, and online media. In addition, it has created new divisions of the company in order to market more mature content than it typically associates with its flagship family-oriented brands.
It is perhaps best known for its character Mickey Mouse, whose image is widely recognized across the world. Its animated films are also widely considered to have set the standard for children's entertainment and are some of the most beloved films of all time; Snow White, Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty, and The Lion King among others, are well-known and loved by most children. In addition to its films, Disney operates a number of theme parks based on them, most notably Disneyland, in Anaheim, California, and Dinseyworld, in Orlando, Florida.
Disney's films and characters have a world-wide following among children and adults alike; since the company is involved with so many productions, there are frequent topics for discussion online and offline. There are many sites devoted to Disney fandom, and talk about their films often appears on generic cartoon forums, such as 4chan's /co/.
Purchase of 21st Century Fox
On December 14th, 2017, Walt Disney agreed to buy 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets for $52.4 billion. Fox's other assets, such as Fox News and Fox Sports, were not included in the sale and will form a new company.
The assets that Disney acquired in the sale, includes Marvel superheroes, such as the X-Men, Deadpool and the Fantastic Four, as well as other properties, like Avatar and The Simpsons and more. Fans of the Marvel films expressed excitement online, as the sale means many characters left out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe could now be included in future films.
Additionally, people online pointed out how The Simpsons joked about Disney purchasing the company on a November 8th, 1998 episode, entitled "When You Dish Upon a Star." That day, Redditor 9kz7 posted a gif of the 20th Century Fox lot with the words "A Division of Walt Disney Co" written on it. The post (shown below) received more than 49,000 points (92% upvoted) and 1,000 comments in less than six hours.
Disney Purchases Majority Stake of Hulu
On May 14th, 2019, Comcast announced that it would sell its majority stake of the streaming service Hulu to Disney. While the deal will not happen until 2024, they immediately relinquished creative control of Hulu to Disney.
Previously, Hulu was a joint effort between media companies Disney, 20th Century Fox, Time Warner and Comcast's NBC Universal. However, when Disney's purchase 20th Century Fox was finalized in March 2019, Disney became a majority stakeholder in the company.
Disney says that it has plans to fold Hulu into their overall streaming strategy, which includes Disney+, a Disney-owned streaming service announced in April 2019.
Some online commented on the sale, comparing Disney to Thanos the Marvel supervillain known for collecting five stones for a weapon that will destroy the universe (examples below).
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
- Pinocchio (1940)
- Fantasia (1940)
- Dumbo (1941)
- Bambi (1942)
- Cinderella (1950)
- Alice in Wonderland (1951)
- Peter Pan (1953)
- Lady and the Tramp (1955)
- Sleeping Beauty (1959)
- Mary Poppins (1964)
- The Jungle Book (1967)
- The Fox and the Hound (1981)
- Oliver & Company (1988)
- The Little Mermaid (1989)
- Beauty and the Beast (1991)
- Aladdin (1992)
- The Mighty Ducks (1992)
- Hocus Pocus (1993)
- Cool Runnings (1993)
- The Lion King (1994)
- Heavyweights (1995)
- A Goofy Movie (1995)
- Pocahontas (1995)
- Toy Story (1995)
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
- Hercules (1997)
- Mulan (1998)
- A Bug's Life (1998)
- Tarzan (1999)
- Toy Story 2 (1999)
- The Emperor's New Groove (2000)
- The Princess Diaries (2001)
- Monsters, Inc. (2001)
- Lilo & Stitch (2002)
- Holes (2003)
- Finding Nemo (2003)
- The Incredibles (2004)
- Enchanted (2007)
- WALL-E (2008)
- Up (2009)
- The Princess and the Frog (2009)
- Toy Story 3 (2010)
- Tangled (2010)
- The Muppets (2011)
- Brave (2012)
- Monsters University (2013)
Disney Channel Original Movies
- Susie Q (1996)
- Wish Upon A Star (1996)
- The Paper Brigade (1997)
- Brink! (1998)
- Halloweentown (1998)
- Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century (1999)
- The Thirteenth Year (1999)
- Smart House (1999)
- Johnny Tsunami (1999)
- The Color of Friendship (2000)
- Rip Girls (2000)
- Miracle in Lane 2 (2000)
- Mom's Got a Date with a Vampire (2000)
- Zenon: The Zequel (2001)
- The Luck of the Irish (2001)
- Jett Jackson: The Movie ( 2001)
- Cadet Kelly (2002)
- Get a Clue (2002)
- Gotta Kick It Up! (2002)
- The Even Stevens Movie (2003)
- The Cheetah Girls (2003)
- The Proud Family Movie (2005)
High School Musical (2006)
Disney.com runs a blog called Oh My Disney that features Buzzfeed style lists featuring popular Disney characters. The fandom is very active on Tumblr; popular Tumblr blogs include HeartDisney, fuckyeahdisneyfanart, and TheDisneyPrincesses.
As of January 2014 there are more than 2,300 submissions in the Disney category on Fanfiction.net. A common theme for Disney fanfiction is to create an alternative universe where Disney characters attend high school together, examples include "Walt Disney High" and "Walt Disney's Fantasmic High School of the Arts" Notable Disney creepypasta stories include Abandoned By Disney and Suicide Mouse. Disney crossover fanfiction includes Disney characters interacting with the world's of Pokemon, The Chronicles of Narnia, Final Fantasy and many others.
DeviantArt has over 1,046,000 Disney submissions as of January 2014. Artists often use fashion, gender-bending, and fandom crossovers to reimagine categories of Disney characters, most commonly the Disney princesses. Examples include Deviantartist bealor's retro princesses, pushfighter's Star Wars princesses, and godohelp's princesses in their boyfriend's outfits.
Hipster Mermaid / Hipster Ariel
Hipster Ariel (a.k.a Hipster Mermaid) is an Advice Animal image macro series, featuring a screenshot of Ariel from Disney’s 1989 animated film The Little Mermaid, and a superimposed caption poking fun at hipsterisms, in similar vein to Hipster Kitty.
The popularity of this macro has caused a number of other Disney heroines to undergo the same treatment, like in the AVbyte's "Hipster Disney Princess-The Musical" uploaded to Youtube on October 1st, 2012.
Suicide Mouse, also known as “suicidemouse.avi”, is a black-and-white cartoon featuring a looped animation of the Disney character Mickey Mouse walking along several buildings accompanied by eerie piano music. The video cuts to black for several minutes and returns with distorted video and loud screaming audio at the end. On December 8th, 2009, a duplicate of the video was uploaded by YouTuber suicidemouse.avi and is the most popular copy with 1,138,440 views as of October 31st, 2011. On January 17th, 2010, the Garry’s Mod machinima artist kitty0706 uploaded a video titled “The Gmod Suicide Mouse Survival Guide.”
The following day, a thread was submitted to the Snopes forum accompanied by the copypasta from the video’s description. A Yahoo Answers question about the video’s authenticity was posted on February 28th, 2011. The first Urban Dictionary entry was submitted on June 20th, 2010. The video is often mentioned on Tumblr under the tag #suicidemouse. A Facebook fan page has 1,812 likes as of October 31st, 2011.
Didney Worl is an image macro series related to Derp. It features screencaps of Disney characters with unusual or twisted facial expressions. The phrase "Didney Worl" itself is a play on Disney World, and captions often involve jokes about going to visit "Didney Worl." The meme itself originated on Tumblr in 2011.
Gaston is a character from a Disney film The Beauty and the Beast, and is used in various image macros featuring humorous captions, usually based off Gaston's zany and odd behaviour through out the movie. He is often depicted as being extremely manly, if a little slow. Gaston is also very popular in YTPs.
Dolan (NSFW), also known as Anu ankka, is a character based on Donald Duck that appears in many Finnish MS Paint-style comics. He is known for speaking broken English and his generally lewd behavior. The comics originated on the Finnish image board Kuvalauta, and have since spread to 4chan's /b/ and Tumblr.
It's Goofy Time!
It's Goofy Time! (NSFW) is a single-pane comic featuring Goofy standing in an illuminated doorway, holding a belt, and looking over a young boy cowering on the floor. Despite the graphic implications of the comic, it has turned into a Photoshop meme, with Goofy replaced with various other characters and their associated catchphrases.
Hentai Woody (変態ウッディー)
Hentai Woody (NSFW), or Creepy Woody (変態ウッディー in Japanese), is a photo meme that features the Toy Story protagonist Woody in a number of erotic and creepy scenarios. It began when Japanese toy manufacturer Kaiyodo released an action figure of Woody with a very large smile on his face, which was immediately likened to trollface or rape face by 4chan users, who began to make and photograph the action figure in NSFW scenes.
Winnie The Pooh's Home Run Derby
Winnie the Pooh's Home Run Derby is a flash game produced by Disney in 2008, where the player controls Winnie the Pooh as a batter in a game of baseball. It was picked up on by users of the Japanese site Futaba Channel (2chan) in early 2012, and then by 4chan in early 2013. The game is notable for its extreme difficulty, especially in later levels. For example, the final boss, Christopher Robin, pitches invisible balls for Pooh to hit. The game has inspired a variety of fanart depicting its difficulty.
Disney Princess Snapchat Parody
The Official Princess Club is a story told through Snapchat and uploaded to Tumblr staring Disney Princess figurines. The first episode was uploaded on January 2nd, 2014 and the series currently contains seventeen episodes. Prince figurines such as Aladdin and Eric also appear in the series, which feature the princesses acting catty towards each other in the style of The Most Popular Girls in School.