The Monopoly of Disney


Maili Davis

Unless you’ve been living in a very dedicated Amish community your whole life, then there is a chance that you’ve heard of the company known as Disney. They’ve been a part of your childhood in some way or another, from your parents playing Beauty and the Beast so they didn’t have to watch you, to watching the newest movie in theaters that will obviously sell well just for the name that it’s under. Everyone has a favorite movie, your friends, parents, and even your grandparents. Everyone knows about Disney.

Disney recently had this little habit of buying companies that are popular on their own. With Disney though, these companies can grow a much bigger budget and audience. A big example of this would be Marvel Studios. On a cold winter in 2009, Marvel was its own studio and going bankrupt so they made a decision that would change the entire company. They had signed a contract with Disney that gave them the rights to Marvel Studios and many beloved comic book characters. Since then, Marvel has been very successful and a big moneymaker for Disney which was probably what they were going for.

Another example is Pixar, an animation company that made blockbuster movies like Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc., and Finding Nemo before Disney was even involved. Disney bought Pixar with the intention of giving the company a bigger chance at reaching its full potential and they reached its goal as many of the best movies to come out of Disney were from the Pixar studio. A few more noteworthy companies that Disney own are ABC, The History Channel, 20th Century Fox, and Lucasfilms, but there are also brands they own such as Star Wars, The Pirates of the Caribbean, The Indiana Jones series, and Gray’s Anatomy.

If a movie comes to your theater and it’s underneath the name Disney, then there is a very likely chance that you will watch the movie. Anytime Disney makes a movie, you know it’s gonna be good, if not in the story then in the animation. That’s the thing about Disney, they might be too good. When’s the last time you wanted to watch an animated movie in theaters that wasn’t Disney? Or the last time that DC made a superhero movie that was as good as a Marvel movie? It’s rare to see a company actually compete with Disney on their level.

As a senior in high school who is looking to go into animation, it’s clear where I would be aiming to work after college. Working at any place other than Disney Pixar for an animator would be saying goodbye to seeing anything I worked on on the big screens. There is no real competition between Disney and any other animation company and it’s clear that Disney is the best of the best.

By definition, Disney is an oligopoly which is a state of limited competition between a small number of producers and sellers, different from a monopoly which is the exclusive control over the trade and supply of a certain product. Although Disney may not be a monopoly by definition, they still have a pretty strong choke-hold over most of the media, especially when it comes to what children watch. If you hang around a bunch of little children, side note, weird, then you would know that they probably watch Disney shows all the time. Disney Junior is what they usually watch which was on cable before it was on Disney Plus which is another thing. Disney shows are easily accessible unless parents want their children to watch some weird things on whatever is on the kids’ side of YouTube.

Disney Plus is a perfect place to see exactly what shows and movies that Disney owns and due to these new smart TVs, the app is much more accessible and everyone can enjoy the brilliance of Disney in the comfort of their living room. Disney has control over the media and in turn, control over what we see and what the next generation thinks. But you know what? Disney still doesn’t own Spider-Man but who knows how long that will last. Someday Disney might own you.