Home Samurai culture The weird world of Disney’s licensed anime and manga

The weird world of Disney’s licensed anime and manga


When you think of animation studios, Disney isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. When you think of anime characters, fans definitely don’t think of Stitch of lilo and stitch celebrity. Disney’s recent anime adventure is pretty well known with exclusive licensed streaming rights to Rendering summer and create their own twisted wonderland adaptation based on the Disney licensed game of the same era. But Disney has actually been experimenting with anime for much longer than that.


disney is the leader in family entertainment, with original and licensed entities such as Mickey Mouse and Friends, Disney Princesses and Pixar, as well as theme parks and multiple merchandise brands. In the world of anime, they have created several manga and anime spin-offs from media entities they own, as well as obtained exclusive anime streaming rights to stream anime created by others. other production companies.

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Disney’s complicated history with Disney

Before Disney made its own anime and manga, the company became Studio Ghibli’s sole international distributor. Before partnership, 1984 Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind by Ghibli was distributed by Manson International. However, this company cut 22 minutes from the film for international release. This displeased Ghibli, but companies willing to distribute cartoons before the medium went mainstream were slim. That was until 1996 when Disney became the sole international distributor. A few films were distributed with small edits to fit an international audience through Disney, and all went well until Princess Mononoke.

Harvey Weinstein, who is an infamously controversial figure, wanted to cut the film down to two hours. When Ghibli was informed of this, producer Toshio Suzuki sent a samurai sword with a note saying “no cuts”. The over-the-top gesture sent the message, and the film stuck as Miyazaki intended. Although this story was labeled as an internet rumor, Miyazaki confirmed that it actually happened.

The next big part of Disney and Ghibli’s story, and probably the most important, was the release of Spirited Away. Previously the Ghibli films had a limited release through Disney distribution, it was John Lasseter who jumped at the chance to be producer for the English release and fight for wide release. Lasseter’s campaign worked, even with the limited marketing budget. Not only Taken away as if by magic breaking records still held to this day in Japan, as it made over 200 million before reaching the United States, but it became the first and only anime to receive an Oscar.

However, the next few Ghibli movies weren’t released as well, meaning GKids took over Disney’s partnership with Ghibli in 2017. That’s surprising now, knowing that some of those movies are poorly marketed to a international audiences, including the now beloved films. classics such as Howl’s Howl’s Moving Castle and Ponyo.

Amid the Disney and Ghibli partnership, Disney experimented with manga. Most of them were single or one-volume adaptations of films such as Monsters Inc, Lilo and Stitchand Kingdom Hearts. However, one of the most notable examples is that of Kilala Princess, where an original character named Kilala was the star. In the five-volume series, she was a little girl obsessed with all the Disney princesses and embarks on a magical adventure inspired by the princess movies.

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Two other Disney franchises have had longer manga stints. There are several collections of short stories surrounding Tinkerbell and the other Pixie Hollow fairies. The other franchise has been much more successful in the manga realm; lilo and stitch. Specifically, Stitch himself. A simply titled Point!, where he meets a girl in Japan and learns all about Japanese culture, and it was two volumes long. Another series that came out in 2020 and again ran for two volumes was Tonosama to embroiderin which Stitch lands in Sengoku-era Japan.

Disney: Twisted Wonderland

The one jewel in the proverbial crown of Disney and otaku culture is Disney: Twisted Wonderland. The creator of black butler she herself was in charge of the script and character design. The game operates on a gacha system that hands out characters inspired by Disney villains to players to use in battles, mixing visual novel elements from the game to the beat. The game was incredibly popular in Japan, but the next step Disney’s step with the franchise has been to bring international audiences into the game.

Disney has announced that there will be an animated adaptation of Disney: Twisted Wonderland which will air on Disney+. Since the announcement, the news has been quiet until recently, when it was announced that more information would be revealed about the adaptation via the D23 Expo this year. Until then, the original game and previous manga adaptation are what fans need to do.

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