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Unread 11-27-2002, 07:22 AM   #1
John Booty
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Angry Disney: "We'll Actually Market Spirited Away... only if it gets Oscas Nominations!!!"

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=0...nested&tid=168

Sometimes I really hate Disney, that f#$)*ing company. I want to see Treasure Planet, but I'm thinking of deciding not to give them my money.

Anyway, here's a summary of the story (based on a response from Disney themselves)

1. The original plan was to push SA to 1,000 theaters

2. It didn't do too well in its initial arthouse release (possibly because maybe they didn't promote at all, and because nobdy takes kids to those sorts of theaters? possibly because kids are PROHIBITED from many arthouse theaters? kids under 12 aren't allowed in the Ritz in Philly where SA was playing)

3. Disney still has the money budgeted to do the 1,000 theater thing but is waiting to see if it gets Oscar nominations

4. The author of the article feels that SA has a great chance to win the Best Animated Picture Award, and possibly even a shot for a Best Picuture nomination which would be HUGE. Beauty and the Beast is the only other animated movie that was ever nominated

What the hell's up with that? "We'll market this only if it gets an Oscar nomination". It's like they're holding the movie hostage or something. Don't tell me kids aren't ready for Japanese animation... have you heard of a little thing called Pokemon!?!?
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Unread 11-27-2002, 08:15 AM   #2
Carmila
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The people at Studio Ghibli need to wise up and cut ties with Disney. If it weren't for the fact that their International Relations guy is an ex-Disney employee, they wouldn't have all these problems.

Actually, we are lucky just to have gotten SA at all. In January of 2001 the Disney Execs came to Ghibli to view SA. They said they would only pick it up as a "Princess Mononoke Release" if the film was 80% completed. When I was there in December, the film was 62% completed.

From what I was told by my Japanese Cinema professor the next semester, the Execs said they weren't going to pick it up. My friends and I were devistated. But when they announced that they were going to release it, we were elated!

So it they do this, fine, if not, oh well. They won't get the glory Studio Ghibli will!
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Unread 11-27-2002, 09:31 AM   #3
John Booty
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I wonder if they really can cut ties with Disney. Their contract might not let them.

And if they cut future ties Disney would probably retain the distribution rights to current and previous Ghibli titles, and could screw Ghibli over that way. Then again, they are already!

That's just pure uninformed speculation on my part though, I don't know if that's the case at all.
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Unread 11-27-2002, 10:08 AM   #4
Carmila
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Quote:
Originally posted by John Booty
And if they cut future ties Disney would probably retain the distribution rights to current and previous Ghibli titles, and could screw Ghibli over that way. Then again, they are already!
Legally, Disney would retain the rights to everything they have released, of course, but they can always find a way out of a future contract if they really wanted to!
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Unread 11-27-2002, 10:11 AM   #5
3-D
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Disney's been playing games like these for a very very long time now. The fact is they're not what daddy Walt built at ALL these days. It's no longer about creating a fantasy world for people anymore. It's about marketing statistics, profit margins, and making sure they don't have to buy one less Porsche this year for Christmas.

Animation used to be art. Then Disney turned it into an "industry" here in the US. Good luck seeing any change any time soon, seeing as Disney is truly the Microsoft of animation companies. *sigh*
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Unread 11-27-2002, 10:19 AM   #6
Hungryjack
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Quote:
Originally posted by 3-D
Animation used to be art. Then Disney turned it into an "industry" here in the US. Good luck seeing any change any time soon, seeing as Disney is truly the Microsoft of animation companies. *sigh*
It's silly to say that Disney has somehow ruined animation because they made an industry of it. Wouldn't we all agree that Disney's given much more to the world of animation over the years than it's taken away?

I like Disney and I like Microsoft too
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Unread 11-27-2002, 10:54 AM   #7
3-D
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hungryjack
I like Disney and I like Microsoft too
Ah, see, now THERE'S your problem...
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Unread 11-27-2002, 12:22 PM   #8
John Booty
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Disney's made great contributions to the world of animation as well as helping to confine it to its current kids-only intellectual ghetto in America.

And, while I do NOT typically endorse conspiracy theories, there are times when I really feel like they're purposely holding back Ghibli's films and they acquired the rights to them specifically just to sweep them under the rug.

Whether you think that's really what Disney's up to or not, there are tons of cases where businesses HAVE done exactly that. Speaking of Microsoft... ;-)
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Unread 11-27-2002, 03:58 PM   #9
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I bet Walt is spining in his criogentic chamber
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Unread 11-27-2002, 04:32 PM   #10
3-D
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Quote:
Originally posted by John Booty
Disney's made great contributions to the world of animation as well as helping to confine it to its current kids-only intellectual ghetto in America.

And, while I do NOT typically endorse conspiracy theories, there are times when I really feel like they're purposely holding back Ghibli's films and they acquired the rights to them specifically just to sweep them under the rug.

Whether you think that's really what Disney's up to or not, there are tons of cases where businesses HAVE done exactly that. Speaking of Microsoft... ;-)
You hit it all right on the head. I was going to explain my point of view, but you were definitely more concise about it. Disney does their best to kill some really good licenses. Case in point: they bought up Space Battleship Yamato (Starblazers, state side), then started toying with it. What happened?

They started out thinking about doing a movie. So first they change the names of EVERYTHING (which HAD been changed some before the FIRST time the show came over) such as renaming the ship to the Arizona, and giving the rest of the crew the most un-Japanese sounding names possible. Then they do the unthinkable... "We're going to make it a live action! YAY!"... then, they shelf it. So, right now a perfectly good series/license sits battered, mangled, and untouchable by any other company thanks to their greed gobbling it up.

There's plenty of other behaviors they're guilty of that I won't go into here since it'll take to long. Suffice to say that yeah, Disney was good in the beginning, but they've become uncreative, monopolistic, and too stupid for their own good. Can't wait till someone really topples them.

And yes, I'm sure Walt is spinning like an Olympic class ice skater in his cryogenic chamber.
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Unread 11-28-2002, 01:05 AM   #11
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Personally I think it's more likely that the "big wigs" at Disney simply don't recognize what they have, more than that they're intentionally downplaying Ghibli films. I think they don't GET it. Not that I don't have my "it's all a conspiracy!" days too. And this coming from someone who had their room decorated entirely in Disney for a number of years. And no, anime didn't make me decide they're evil; but it did make me realize that they are not the be all and end all of animation, that their formula is not the only way to tell an animated story, and that they are run like a business, not like a creative group. (Yeah, I know that last one shouldn't have been a surprise.)

Is SA even ELIGIBLE for the Animated Picture Oscar category? Jin-Roh, if I remember correctly, was out of the running because of a sub-rule in the guildelines (I checked on the site for the awards, I read the actual submission guidelines) about the film's release date. Because of the gap between the international release of Jin-Roh and when it reached the states, it couldn't be in the running for the Oscar. (And VHD Bloodlust had some paperwork which never got through. >_X) I'm not sure I remember all of this 100% correctly, but it seems like it would be worth looking for that guidelines page.

And if I were in a room with the person who was making this decision (or people, as is maybe more likely), you better believe they'd be getting an earful from me. What more can they WANT in terms of a safe investment, considering they already spent the money on the liscensing, they know that Ghibli is established, and they know that SA did FANTASTICALLY well in Japan?

Just for the record, I only know one person who actually SAW a TV ad for Spirited Away. Just one. Considering that I know a fair number of people, most of whom were LOOKING for the ad, the fact that it was my mother who happened to see the ad while waiting in a restaurant (who the heck WAS the target audience?!!) does not speak at all well for the limited advertising there was.
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