Disney CEO Bob Iger talked about a lot of topics at The Walt Disney Company’s quarterly earnings call on February 8, 2023, and in a previous post The Disney Blog covered the business side of his conversation.
In this post, I’m going to cover the entertainment side of the reveals, which include a park addition, possible movie sequels, and the corporate restructuring.
Reorganizing the Company
According to Iger during the earnings call, The Walt Disney Company is reorganizing its business structure the previous DMED (Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution) structure implemented by former CEO Bob Chapek that put creative decisions into the hands of executives.
Under the new structure, the company will have three core segments: Disney Entertainment (which encompasses TV and film), ESPN, and Disney Parks, Experiences & Product.
Iger says structure is aimed at returning creative authority to Disney’s “world-class creative team” and its “unparalleled brands and franchises.”
Dana Walden and Alan Bergman have been picked to co-chair Disney Entertainment, Jimmy Pitaro will continue as head of ESPN, and Josh D’Amaro remains head of Parks, Experiences & Product.
Avatar at Disneyland
One of the exciting parts of the earnings call for Disney Parks fans was that Iger said a new attraction based on the “Avatar” franchise will hit Disneyland soon.
He called it the “Avatar Experience,” but didn’t give any details as to whether it would be a ride or a new land at either Disneyland park or Disney California like “Galaxy’s Edge” or “Avengers Campus.”
Given that Disneyland doesn’t have the room to expand outwards, if it were to be a land, it would have to replace an existing area, and a lot of both parks have either been recently transformed or are in the process of being transformed (“San Fransokyo” from “Big Hero 6” is going into Pacific Wharf and the “Splash Mountain” transformation to “Tiana’s Bayou Adventure” to name two).
If Disney goes with a small “Avatar” land, like “Pandora” at Walt Disney World, where would you put it? What would you sacrifice to make it happen? Let us know in the comments.
Animated sequels to three popular Disney franchises are in the works according to Iger.
“Today I’m so pleased to announce that we have sequels in the works from our animation studios to some of our most popular franchises, ‘Toy Story,’ ‘Frozen,’ and ‘Zootopia’,” Iger said during the call.
“We’ll have more to share about these productions soon, but this is a great example of how we’re leaning into our unrivaled brands and franchises.”
I know a lot of Disney fans complain about endless sequels and remakes, but when the fans don’t support Disney Animation originals like “Strange World,” the company is going to go back to the proven money makers.
But then again, “World of Frozen” will open this year at Hong Kong Disneyland, as well as versions at Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disney Resort, so maybe they want some synergy with a new “Frozen” film.
What are your thoughts on sequels to these three franchises?