You cited "name recognition". And that is precisely why sequels are made by any studio Become a Complete Fool
And Disney has done a lot to create a reliable, trustworthy family brand. The "name" isn't as much a guarantee that you'll enjoy something so much as it is a guarantee that you can trust it. If it says Disney on it, I know I can show it to my little nieces who aren't even in kindergarten. Disney has made no bones about making statements that their most valuable asset is the brand recognition.
Do they leverage that towards lesser efforts? In other words, do they scale back on creativity and efforts in hopes that brand recognition will make up any differences? Could be to a degree, yes. Not too many "no name" companies could put out a standalone DVD and have it be all that recognized. Walking through a Blockbuster, a parent or child might glean past a cartoon that looks obscure. But if it says Disney on it, the kids might jump up and down and scream for it. I see that as an advantage, not a disadvantage, and not as "taking" advantage, of consumers.
It's kind of funny, really. Disney has long been known as the company for five year olds. Use to be their core audience was older, up into the teenie & tweenyboppers (Mousketeers). But alas, their core audience age has gotten lower and lower, at a time when they've fairly recently avowed to become the cradle-to-grave company. Some of you may recognize an effort to expand their core audience age when considering so many of their moves of the past decade. From creating teenage friendly movies like Princess Diaries, to Bubble Boy, and others, to targeting seniors for WDW trips, to advertising in teenage girl magazines. Not to mention trying to start up a major internet portal, create a hip & edgier indoor park experience chain, to creating a whole nostalgic theme park modeled after boardwalk amusements that they hoped would appeal to middleagers.
But alas, the stigma of being a child's company is a hard one to shake, especially when places like Universal still try to capitalize on it as witnessed by their commercials. "Sure I liked fairytales...when I was FIVE!" one recent commercial stated, taking a stab at Disney.
My point is that there is a whole segment, the core Disney segment really, that these direct-to-videos not only reach, but also do a great service to. It's funny that adults cry about it, when they aren't really the targeted audience. Crying over a child's video, that wasn't first put in theaters so they could get in their big adult automobiles and drive to go see it, I guess.
But tens of thousands of daycares across the country breathe a sigh of relief when Disney stamps out more DVD videos like Bambi II. Children by the thousands get them as birthday gifts, no doubt, and parents everywhere are glad to see some quality, trustworthy entertainment for their children.
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You cited "name recognition". And that is precisely why sequels are made by any studio
Become a Complete Fool