Saturday, May 15, 2010

Disney in 'Iron Man 2'

Hopefully, by now, you are aware that Disney owns the superhero giant Marvel. It was big news back in August, and, ever since, Disney has been raking in the dough from Iron Man 2's box office success and has been loading up its stores with Marvel merchandise.

What you may not know, however, is that the recent superhero flick starring Robert Downey, Jr. (my favorite actor in Hollywood right now) has more ties to Disney than just shoveling money into their bank account.

When you see the film, something should seem very familiar about Tony's father, Howard Stark. You only get to see archival footage of our protagonists' late father, but there is enough screen-time there to make it obvious that he is supposed to resemble Walt Disney. Not only does he have the iconic moustache, a similar hair cut, and a striking suit like Mr. Disney does, but he is shown with a diorama that looks a lot like EPCOT during its early stages. Click on the "Stark Expo 1974" button on the right side of the screen at the viral site to see a video featuring the EPCOT-esque diorama, and the Disney-look-a-like.

But that's not the only connection that Iron Man 2 has to Disney.

When you went to the Stark Expo 2010 website, you heard an instrumental version of a song written by renowned Disney song-man Richard Sherman. The entire song (lyrics and all) can be heard during the end credits of the film, and it is entitled "Make Way For Tomorrow Today." The song sounds an awful lot like the theme song for the Carousel of Progress, "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow," and, like all other work by Sherman, is great.

All of these ties to Disney make you wonder whether or not Jon Favreau, the director, was trying to make deliberate nods to the recent Disney-buying-Marvel deal. And the answer is a resounding no. Production began months and months before anybody knew anything about the deal. The Disney references in Iron Man 2 have nothing to do with the studio's business deal, but instead have to do with Favreau wanting Tony's father to give off a showman-genius-from-the-50s vibe.

Iron Man 2 is a great film, and is made even better by these subtle references to Walt Disney that only a true Disney fan would notice.

Sources: D23, Jim Hill Media

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