Mickey Mouse to Iron Man: I own you

Resistance is futile: Disney acquires the Marvel universe

Published August 31, 2009 1:38PM (EDT)

Where are the antitrust lawyers when you really need them? Off the wires at the crack of dawn Monday -- Disney announced plans to acquire Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion in cash and stock.

Most chilling line from the San Francisco Chronicle's squib on the news.

Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of 5,000 Marvel characters.

Spiderman, the Hulk, Thor, The Avengers, The Fantastic Four, The X-Men, the Silver Surfer, Iron Man -- Iron Man! -- now share accommodations with Donald Duck and Goofy.

Having just seen (and enjoyed) Hayao Miyazaki's latest film, "Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea," which was adapted for U.S. release by Disney, I am wary of Mickey-Mouse style cross promotion. The voices of the two main characters in Ponyo are provided by Noah Cyrus and Frankie Jonas, the youngest siblings of two of Disney's most au courant cash machines. Something tells me John Lasseter's decision to avail himself of their talents wasn't purely based on their exceptional auditions.

So what's next? The X-Men join forces with Hannah Montana to rid the world of acne? Snow White hooks up with the Incredible Hulk?

I guess in the end, there can really only be one. And his name is Mickey.

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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