More Bad News For Disney 

More Bad News For Disney 

In a major shakeup, Jon Lassetter has moved to Netflix. 

I was kind of surprised about this myself.  

Skydance Animation has a huge production deal with Apple TV, it was part of a package deal that predated Lassetter’s joining the company. At the time everyone assumed Apple was taking on Disney head-to-head. Which is a little odd when you think about it. Frankly, the relationship between Disney and Apple has been an unusually close one since Iger bought out Pixar. Bob Iger was on Apple’s BOD from 2011 to 2019 and was instrumental in getting Apple TV+ into existence. When Apple announced Vision Pro, Iger made a trip to Cupertino as part of the rollout. A move that many viewed as astonishing given all the troubles that Disney was starting to pile up at the time. 

The thing to remember about Apple TV+ is that it is little more than a hobby business in support of Apple TV and Apple TV is just Cupertino’s alternative to Roku. You can buy or rent films on it but the offerings are really no different from Amazon Prime’s. Apple TV does do its level best to get you deeper into the Apple Walled Garden. It interacts well with the iPhone, Arcade, Games, the Fitness App, and their overpriced smart speaker. Apple TV+ is an off-the-cuffo that comes along for the ride… At first. After a few months, you have to start paying for it. I suspect that its real purpose is to let Tim Cook pal around with celebrities. 

If you’ve ever watched Apple TV+ then you know it is very Woke. Now I will grant that it is high-quality Woke. There are some very talented people trying to get something decent passed the hurricane barrage of notes flying out of the Great Apple Doughnut.   But at the end of the day, Apple TV leans heavily on Leftie tropes, stereotypes, and cliches.  

Given Apple’s corporate image, this is probably the smart way to play it. They are aware that right-wingers use their products, and while they will not attack any part of their customer base, their Baby Boomer-centric corporate image requires Apple to lean left at all times. 

Which is something of a problem with Jon Lassetter. He’s way too old-school Disney for their customers’ taste. Or at least Tim Cook’s taste. The stuff he’s going to deliver just won’t fit in with their programming slate.   What kids’ shows they have is stuff like Here We Are – Notes for Living on Planet Earth. Also, their primary customer base is way past their childbearing years or have sworn to never have children in the first place, so they really don’t have much need for kids’ content, even if they wanted to take on Disney and I don’t think Apple does. 

Netflix on the other hand very much wants to take up that gauntlet. Mickey the Great and Terrible has abandoned his crown as the king of Children’s content and Netflix is determined to snatch it up. Consequently, a tradeoff was announced last week.  

Apple has dropped Skydance Animation and Netflix picked it up that same day. Meaning that John Lassetter is now working for Netflix. Apple TV+ aren’t in the same league so Lassetter being there didn’t really matter too much to Disney (apart from the fact that he was absolutely gutting the talent out of the animation department). 

Netflix isn’t just in the same league, it’s the New York Yankees and John Lassetter just turned into a bat that will be used to beat Disney into its place beneath Netflix. 

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