buying childhood, piece by piece

The Economist:

Disney is its determination to put storytelling at the heart of its business, and its ability to get its hands on new characters capable of bringing fans back again and again. Disney’s purchase of Pixar Animation Studios and Marvel Entertainment brought Buzz Lightyear of “Toy Story” and Iron Man of “The Avengers” to a stable of mice and Muppets. Lucasfilm added Star Wars to the cast of characters that the firm has amassed since Mr Iger succeeded Michael Eisner as CEO.

These new franchises have joined the world’s most formidable licensing and entertainment empire, one that encompasses toy shops, video games, theme parks, cruises, comics, music, television and feature films. Disney is commercialising childhood through lots of channels—and making the companies it bought, as well as itself, far more valuable in the process.