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The Walt Disney Company Acquires Lucasfilm


Last month saw The Walt Disney Company’s completing the acquisition of Lucasfilm, in a $4.06 billion deal. This significant development, which notably includes the Star


Wars franchise, further strengthens The Walt Disney Company’s position as a leading global provider of high-quality branded entertainment and build long-term shareholder value. Announcing the acquisition, Robert Iger, chairman and chief


executive officer of The Walt Disney Company commented: “We’re thrilled to welcome Lucasfilm to the Disney family,” said Robert. “Star Wars is one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time and this transaction combines that world class content with Disney’s unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets, which we believe will generate growth as well as significant long-term value.” Lucasfilm’s assets include its massively popular Star Wars franchise,


operating businesses in live action film production, consumer products, animation, visual effects, and audio post production, as well as a substantial portfolio of cutting-edge entertainment technologies. "For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next," said George Lucas, chairman and chief executive officer of Lucasfilm. "It's now


disney NEWS


Left: Star Wars: one of the greatest family entertainment franchises ever.


time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I've always believed that


Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. Disney's reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products." There has been much interest and discussion among dedicated


fans of both entertainment companies, much of it focusing on the new Star Wars trilogy expected in 2015. Beginning with Episode VII, the new films will be supervised by George Lucas and produced by Disney.


Bringing The Magic Of


Disney To Asda The ‘Disney at Asda’ zones which were launched within three of Asda's largest supercentres last autumn, added some extra magic in the run up to Christmas. The specifically themed and branded Disney at Asda zones (in


Above: The Milton Keynes store has turned over 3,000 sq ft to its dedicated Disney area.


Disney Junior Expands Programming


Since its launch less than two years ago, Disney Junior, The Walt Disney Company’s preschool television channel, has continued to create new stories and characters to grow its ardent fan-base. Through its unique positioning, much-


loved characters and fresh new content, it is now the number one pay TV preschool channel in the UK. This year is set to see continued growth and investment, further expanding licensing and retail opportunities to extend the storytelling through interactive product play.


Asda’s Milton Keynes, Manchester and Cardiff supercentres) brought together Disney and Marvel products together in one exciting space that is manned by Asda staff who have received additional training. The areas have delivered a substantial growth in sales across all Disney items; including toys, clothing, DVDs/Blu-Ray discs, home and leisure and video games. In the run-up to Christmas, the top five lines were Spider-Man Web Battlers; assortment of Disney Princess dolls; Toy Story Flight Control Buzz Lightyear; Cinderella Transforming Pumpkin Carriage and Spider-Man web- shooting figure. Andrew Moore, chief merchandising officer at George and general merchandise at Asda, said: “We’ve seen an impressive uplift in cumulative sales year-on-year uplift on Disney products in these three trials.”


Below: Content will include episodes of Jake and the Never Land Pirates, Little Einsteins, Doc McStuffins, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Disney Channel’s Lilo & Stitch and e-book titles such as Tangled, Finding Nemo and The Lion King.


Above: New series Henry Hugglemonster features the adventures of fun-loving, five- year-old Henry.


Disney Junior has seen the addition of a host of new


characters and programmes, such as Doc McStuffins and Tales of Friendship with Winnie the Pooh, which resulted in 66% ratings growth through the first half of 2012. Disney will continue to bring more original content and innovation to the channel with new series Henry Hugglemonster, launching in 2013.


A SPECIAL MAX PUBLISHING Vtech Announces Disney Tie-In


VTech has announced it has signed an digital download agreement with Disney, covering a wide selection of Disney e-books and video content featuring much-loved Disney characters for the first time ever.


Disney e-books and videos will be available for


download via the Learning Lodge Navigator (LLN), VTech’s online hub, and to enjoy on VTech’s InnoTab 2 and Storio 2 devices. Andrew Barrett, VTech Electronics Europe, director


of European product development and licensing said: “The popularity of Disney content is second to none, and will ensure kids and families can watch their favourite shows and read their favourite books on their InnoTabs.”


11 disney PUBLICATION 2013


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