It’s hard to exaggerate Disney’s immense wealth, power and influence. What started as hand drawn cartoons is now a conglomerate who can probably buy two or three countries. It’s like Hydra (which they also bought,) but we all benefit because dang if what they make isn’t magical, including the most magical place on earth, Disneyland. Yes, the theme parks are where Disney truly sucks us in, with its pumped in scents, inability to see the outside world, and its relentless onslaught of warm, fuzzy feelings.
Turns out there’s a limit on that kinda stuff because Disney pulled out of a theme park in Malaysia and is getting sued for a cool 1.75 billion dollars because of it. Deadline outlines that resort company Genting Malaysia Berhad was planning a Fox-themed amusement park outside of Kuala Lumpur containing properties like Ice Age and Planet of the Apes. The deal was signed in 2013, but in 2018 Disney owns 21st-Century Fox, and they didn’t want any of their brand to be associated with gambling (and maybe kinda didn’t want competition to Disney’s own parks. MAYBE).
Pulling out of the deal ticked Genting the heck off, for good reason, claiming they had been Marvel vs. Capcom 2’d by Disney. This sorta thing is not new for Disney in both physical and media spaces; their brand protection is on par with Nintendo levels of paranoia, except they have even more crazy money to throw their weight around.
Now I really, REALLY do not want to get into anything business-y, but it seems obvious that problems like this were definitely going to crop up. Owning what seems like more than half of all popular entertainment at this point starts to smell like unfair competition, doubly so for theme parks which Disney is undisputed god of, so seeing how this gets sorted out could set the tone for future issues that crop up We all know what happens when someone challenges Disney too, so Malaysia better buckle up. If they’re not careful, soon the entire country will smell like pretzels and perfume, and “It’s a Small World” will become it’s new national anthem.