1. Yes! At last! Tom Bombadil’s getting the respect he deserves! All we need now is The Lord of the Rings: The Reboot Editions! Six epic films shot on whatever’s next from RED, projected in 96fps IMAX 3D, and featuring a Faramir who’s not Boromir 2.0, an Aragorn who’s actually motivated to reclaim the throne, and a Shelob that’s actually scary!
    *glances up at calendar date* Oh … wait …

  2. Lex Keating says:

    I cannot work up any emotion other than dread at this news. 🙁
    I have come to see Disney as one of the ten kingdoms mentioned in Revelation (along with some other winners, like McDonald’s and Microsoft), so saw their re-acquisition of Pixar as sad, sad news. It would be nice to be excited about the possibility of more quality stories getting the air time they deserve. But I’m not that naive anymore. To me, it looks like they are gathering unto themselves cash cows. Like they have run out of creative ideas and are buying up others to do the imagining for them. I think Disney once set the standard for quality entertainment–that the sight of those ears or that castle-and-fairy-dust logo would inspire immediate trust. But, beginning in the 80’s when they created Touchstone Pictures to produce PG-13 or R films, the trust they once inspired has been slowly eroded. When John Carter came out, I didn’t know it was from Edgar Rice Burroughs works, so avoided the bad previews that told me nothing about the story (a distressing trend in previews today). My neighbors persuaded me to see the film with them, and I’m so glad they did. And so mad at Disney for sabotaging their own movie. (The publicity for this was so shoddy that there’s no other word for it.) And subsequently so worried that the mouse will milk each franchise beyond all good sense…

    • Breathe, Lex, breathe.  Yesterday was April 1st.  Tolkien’s legacy is still safe in the arms of …. Peter Jackson.  *shudders*

    • Bainespal says:

      Amen.  I really hope it was only an April Fool’s Day joke.
      Among many other things, Disney’s tight-fisted copyright bullying is worrying.  Mickey Mouse is a part of American culture, and he should have passed into the public domain long ago, just like Shakespeare and Longfellow and Hawthorne did, just as every creative work eventually must in order to become part of our shared heritage.  Disney’s using its wealth and influence to bully Congress into changing the copyright law is nothing short of evil.  The Lord of the Rings and even Star Wars must one day become public domain, too.  As the age of corporate conglomerates stretches on, many works and story-worlds protected by franchise conglomerates will eventually become part of our cultural mythology.  Tolkien very nearly already is.  If governments keep changing the law to protect the selfish interests of these conglomerates, creative freedom will truly perish from the world, and we’ll be doomed to pay more than we can justify for increasingly shallow caricatures.
      By the way, I repent in dust and ashes for my criticism of the tone of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movie.  If Pixar ever gets its hands on Tom Bombadil, that would undoubtedly be vastly worse.  I don’t hate the kind of movies that Disney/Pixar makes, but they should never attempt something as completely out of their league as a Tolkien adaptation.  Even Star Wars is far too serious for them to handle.  As Lex said, Disney should have been content to remain an icon of American culture and childhood joy.

      (Fight, Enterprise, fight!)

      • “Creative freedom will truly perish from the world”? How about we all start creating our own stuff instead of endlessly recycling the works of others? Why should I care whether The Lord of the Rings or Star Wars enters the public domain? I want to create something new. What’ll end up devaluing Hollywood product isn’t some greedy refusal to allow everyone to live equally in the past; it’s the stagnating notion that only past successes have any future. We creative types are as free as ever we were, if only we’d embrace that freedom with open arms.
        As for the quality of films produced under the Disney banner, it’ll depend entirely upon the creative minds Disney hires. Who do we credit for the brilliance of The Avengers? Is it Disney? Of course not; it’s Joss Wheden. Only two names currently tell me anything about Star Wars: Episode VII: Michael Arndt and J.J. Abrams.

  3. Lex Keating says:

    Some people have no sense of humor. Oh, wait. That makes me one of them.
    *Big, dramatic sigh* The Bereans had it right…
    As to the question of rights vs. creativity, you are both right and you are both wrong. 🙂 Sure, stories are only limited by our creativity and shoddy writing craft. Doesn’t make the treasures that inspired us any less valuable. No one would throw away the Hope Diamond just because modern technology has given us new insight into how to cut a diamond for maximum brilliance. But, the war of intellectual property rights is getting trickier every day. Some artists would argue that the future of creativity is freedom (like Neil Gaiman’s wife-ish [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMj_P_6H69g]–beware of pagan secularity in this). Others, like Disney, are grabbing up ownership of every profitable branch of art. And they have the financial backing to push EULAs and sneak in back-door laws that would take away an artist’s right to tell their story and be paid fairly for it. Too big for their britches, and rotting from the inside, and Disney still presents the world with this sticky-fingered sweetness that fools few and corrupts many. Be wise and be wary, for that mouse could one day be coming for your baby story. 

    • So if you don’t want the friendly folks at Disney sticking their white-gloved fingers in your personal pie, then don’t sell them your idea, book, script, or company.  EULAs are powerless if they’re left unsigned.  I simply don’t understand this fear of Big Evil Conglomerates.  It seems irrational to me.  I mean, why revile the Mouse House for conducting profitable business instead of berating Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm for selling out?  Nobody forced them to fork over their assets.

      Of course, last time I checked, nobody was blaming Disney for the rotted-from-the-inside blights upon the name of storytelling that were WALL-E, UpToy Story 3, Thor, Captain America, The Avengers, Prince of Persia, or John Carter.

      • Lex Keating says:

        First they came for the communists,
        and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
        Then they came for the socialists,
        and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.
        Then they came for the trade unionists,
        and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
        Then they came for the Jews,
        and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
        Then they came for the Catholics,
        and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Catholic.
        Then they came for me,
        and there was no one left to speak for me.
        This is attributed to Martin Niemoller, a pastor in Germany during WWII. Regardless of which side of an argument people are on, there is a historic precedence for the consequences of rolling over and taking whatever the powers that be decide to dish out. If “they” haven’t come for you yet, they will. As of 10 years ago, when I was in library science school, there was already a growing apprehension for the weight of money and influence that was going into certain legislation. EULAs were a small part of that, and they have served as gateways into independence, entrepreneurship, and intellectual property for big conglomerations. Nearly all software now comes with carefully coded language that gives the software company ownership of anything created on their software, that this agreement can be changed at any time the software company sees fit without your consent, and that if you don’t like it, this legal matter will be moved to a state with most favored laws on behalf of the software company. These laws, even though they were out-of-state, were required reading because of how they would impact the future of books, creativity, intellectual property, and certain constitutional aspects of freedom. The business model of abusing power to force absolute consumption of the individual is growing, worldwide.
        Is this a Disney thing? No. But I was tired when I started merging the different heads of the beast, and I think the protection of your right to the stories you create deserves your own research and attention. Be a Berean. Don’t take my word for it. 
        As for Disney, I know people who have left Disney. Some because of the rights Disney retained over these people’s creations, some over moral decisions. And when the decisions made today are compared to the mission statement and practices of the founder, suspicions begin to be raised. And when people with more knowledge and a better understanding of the business of creativity than I publish books with verifiable data, I begin to wonder more. Not out of fear. But out of an awareness that I should not be foolish in my faith of something that used to be wholesome. 
        And I do, most profoundly, object to how Disney has sabotaged John Carter. Not in story creation, which was well above average. But the advertising strategy assured that it would not receive the American audience needed to break even, and the film was pulled from theaters almost before the general public knew what happened. The film grossed millions internationally, but it still didn’t break even and was denounced as an epic fail. And for what? Why would they set out to make a blockbuster, on a blockbuster budget, and then ruin their own advertising campaign and announce they were scrapping the franchise before the film hit video racks? That goes beyond “incredibly bad form.” Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. 

        • I can’t speak to the fine print hidden in software coding, but no company, not even Disney, deliberately wastes $250 million on a movie.  Walt Disney Studios — along with every other film studio in existence — is a business first and foremost, and an art house second.  The livelihoods of thousands depend on its continued financial success.  Disney invested a fortune in John Carter — nearly as much as New Line Cinema entrusted to Peter Jackson’s dream before Tolkien was a fad — and the reason The Gods of Mars will now never see the silver screen is because only about $100 million of that vast amount ever returned to sender from the box office.  Disney spared no expense on the film — not in funding and not in talent.  Andrew Stanton is not an unknown.

          Yes, John Carter fell flat on its face in the marketing department.  Yes, the trailers looked anemic and derivative.  But, believe it or not, that doesn’t appear to be the fault of the Big Evil Conglomerate with an Indecipherable yet Obviously Diabolical Scheme.  Andrew Stanton himself, the brilliant storyteller we all love, was intimately — at times exclusively — involved with the film’s initial marketing campaign (http://www.vulture.com/2012/03/john-carter-doomed-by-first-trailer.html).  It appears Disney’s greatest mistake was its confidence that this director could take charge of an arena in which he had little experience.  But who took the blame for John Carter‘s failure?  Not Stanton, that’s for sure.  Extending his neck was a personage no less prestigious than the chairman of Walt Disney Studios (http://money.cnn.com/2012/04/20/news/companies/rich-ross-john-carter/index.htm).

          But all this must mean the Diabolical Disney Scheme is chugging away according to plan.  After all, if we could comprehend it, it’d be less diabolical.

        • Bainespal says:

          EULAs were a small part of that, and they have served as gateways into independence, entrepreneurship, and intellectual property for big conglomerations.

          There are certainly few things I can think of more miserable than EULAs.  I’ve given up on installing software before because I didn’t want to read all that nonsense, and I do feel a need to read it if I’m going to use the software.  (And not just, or even primarily, out of a sense of moral obligation.)
          Digital content has brought potential for artistic freedom, but governmental control and business behemoths are not far behind.  The whole DRM thing. 😉

  4. I suppose everyone now knows this was TheOneRing.net’s April Fool’s Day prank? 😀

What say you?