Disney's purchase of Marvel Entertainment was perhaps its boldest act this year. We've given a full Marvel treatment to some of the people that have helped put Disney on our Most Innovative Companies list this year.
Disney's unexpected purchase of Marvel Entertainment--and its 5,000 comic superheroes--this past August was perhaps the entertainment giant's boldest bit of derring-do in a year filled with creative leaps and aggressive moves.
We've given a full Marvel treatment to some of the people who have helped put Disney on our Most Innovative Companies list this year.
By Kate Rockwood and Chuck Salter
announced its own cloud-based film technology, Keychest, which lets consumers purchase a movie once and then play it across devices, whether a smartphone, TV, or laptop. The move lets CEO Robert Iger sidestep the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, or DECE, a consortium that aims to create a common set of standards and formats.
Just as Thor and Hawkeye team up on the Avengers, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof form an inseparable duo as the executive producers and lead writers for ABC’s Lost. They fight the good fight, crafting one of the most compelling shows on TV through six seasons, which no one thought possible given its unconventional structure and convoluted plots. Their breakthrough idea: setting an endpoint for the series three years ago. It gave Lost more narrative drive than the typical TV drama.
Making ABC the first network to sell TV shows on iTunes and stream shows for free online a few years ago was merely a warm-up for Anne Sweeney, the president of Disney-ABC Television Group. In the last year, she’s pushed ABC to new Webby heights, embracing partners like Hulu, Netflix, Boxee and YouTube. It’s the most aggressive effort of any network.
Disney is rebranding 340 of its flagging mall outposts as entertainment hubs--with interactive kiosks, karaoke contests, and video-projected fireworks--under the guidance of board member Steve Jobs.
After transforming Disney Channels Worldwide from a sleepy cable backwater into a television powerhouse (hello, High School Musical!), Rich Ross took over Walt Disney Studios. In an unexpected play, Disney appointed Carolina Lightcap, former creative head of Disney Channels Latin America, as Ross's replacement
ESPN and ABC Sports president George Bodenheimer beefed up his European sports portfolio--and snagged half a billion soccer fans--when he bought the rights to air the English Premier League.
Like the master magician Dr. Strange, Warren Spector is attempting a risky and mysterious trick. As creative director of Disney-owned Junction Point, he’s developing Epic Mickey for the Wii, kicking off a larger rebranding of the iconic character. The new Mickey is supposed to depict a broader range of emotions than the traditional jolly mouse, including a darker side. Given that the corporate pitch mouse is worth billions to the magic kingdom, there’s a lot riding on Spector’s makeover.
The secret to Pixar’s unparalleled success? How it seamlessly combines individual talents. Chief creative officer John Lasseter (Thing) is a movie-making force, first molding Pixar around his Disney storytelling chops and now reviving Walt Disney Animation Studios. President Ed Catmull (Mr. Fantastic) is the often overlooked master at managing creative talent. Pete Docter (Human Torch), the director of Up, sparked an unlikely hit, the journey of elderly widower that grossed nearly $300 million. Brenda Chapman (the Invisible Woman) is about to remedy Pixar’s one glaring shortcoming and break ground as its first female director. The Bear and the Bow is due out next year.