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Disney recently bought the rights to the popular anime franchise Dragon Ball Z, sending shockwaves across the entertainment sector. Fans throughout the globe were taken aback by the revelation since they had long connected the Dragon Ball series with its original creators at Toei Animation and Funimation.
This acquisition, however, comes with a huge catch, one that has both delighted and scared fans: Disney’s ambitions to take the Saiyans and their adventures in another direction.
The acquisition of Dragon Ball Z by Disney is a big step forward in the company’s drive to extend its media empire. With the acquisition of 21st Century Fox in 2019, Disney took possession of the bulk of the Dragon Ball series, which had previously been distributed by Fox through its subsidiary, Funimation. The acquisition opened the path for Disney to fully control the franchise and decide its future course.
What’s the Catch?
Disney has successfully negotiated the purchase of the rights to both create and distribute a live-action adaptation of the Dragon Ball franchise. However, it must be stressed that the whole of the Dragon Ball series is not included in this acquisition.
Akira Toriyama, TOEI Animation, and Shueisha, all located in Japan, continue to retain the rights to the original animated series. Furthermore, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Funimation Entertainment still has the final say over the English dub. In this case, Shueisha is the final rights holder.
Whose Ownership is Dragon Ball Super?
Toei Animation’s “Dragon Ball Super” is an anime series that has been shown on Japanese television for 131 episodes. Shueisha owns all the rights to the “Dragon Ball Super” franchise, which was initially broadcast in Japan from July 2015 to March 2018.
However, “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” has a unique structure. Due to the film’s status as an animated feature, Disney has negotiated an exclusive deal for its distribution and theater exhibition. The sequel, “Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero,” published in August 2022, follows the same licensing terms.
Japanese Anime: A Big Hit on Disney Now
Disney’s growing interest in Japanese animation has led to rumors that the company has quietly acquired many anime titles, including the very successful “Bleach” series. Nevertheless, not all of these acquisitions have been added to Disney’s streaming service just yet.
Disney+ has been stealthily adding to its anime collection through acquisitions rather than the production of original programs. Viewers are able to watch shows like “Summer Time Rendering” and “Yojohan Time Machine Blues” on Disney+.
Is Disney Venturing into the Dragon Ball Z Cinematic Universe?
Rumors have circulated that Disney is aggressively creating a new live-action Dragon Ball film with the goal of replicating the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s success.
Nonetheless, Disney is still awaiting clearance from Akira Toriyama and Shueisha. Given Disney’s excellent track record as a partner, it seemed just a matter of time. The partnership between Disney’s writers and Akira Toriyama on the Dragon Ball Z live-action remake promises to breathe new life into the series. Disney may thrive where others, like Fox, have failed, but it’s crucial to remember that Disney has a track record of continuously providing extraordinary experiences.
The news that Disney has acquired the rights to Dragon Ball Z has sparked both excitement and concern among fans worldwide. While Disney’s intentions to take the brand in new ways are exciting, it’s worth noting that the original creators and rights holders in Japan still have a substantial stake in the series. The possibility of a live-action version, as well as Disney’s rising interest in Japanese animation, reflects the company’s changing entertainment environment. Yet, the future of Dragon Ball Z under Disney’s management remains a source of hope and wonder for fans.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Dragon Ball Z on Disney Plus?
No! Disney Plus does offer content, it’s worth noting that “Dragonball Evolution” is included in its library, although it hasn’t been well-received by fans.
Is Disney making a Dragon Ball movie?
No! Any rumors circulating about Disney creating a film titled “Dragon Ball Z: The Origin” have been debunked and are baseless.