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As of 2020, The Walt Disney Company is one of the few major media companies to be independently owned rather than owned by a larger company (e.g: ViacomCBS by National Amusements, NBCUniversal by Comcast, WarnerMedia by AT&T and Columbia Pictures by Sony).

However, on February 11th, 2004, when the company was facing some financial difficulties, Comcast Corporation made a hostile bid of $54.1 billion to acquire the company, with ESPN being its most desirable asset as they intended to combine it with its regional sports networks, just to be rejected by Disney's board of directors and eventually dropped out.

But what if Comcast was successful in that bid? Here's what might have happened.

List of changes

  • The deal was officially completed on May 14th, 2005.
  • The company would be rebranded as Walt Disney Entertainment.
  • The pre-2005 Disney library would now be owned by Comcast.
  • Disney's film and television units would include a Comcast byline on its logos.
  • E!, Style, G4, OLN, Golf Channel and Comcast SportsNet would be integrated into Disney-ABC Television Group.
    • As a result, OLN wouldn't rebrand as Versus, rebranding instead as ESPNX, with NBCSN being launched as a rebrand of Universal Sports instead.
    • Later on, Golf Channel would rebrand as ESPN Golf and Comcast SportsNet as ESPNR.
  • Walt Disney Pictures would still use its full name for post-2011 releases rather than simplify to just Disney.
  • The Touchstone Pictures label would be more active, being often used by mature films that wouldn't fit the Walt Disney Pictures label.
  • Comcast wouldn't acquire NBCUniversal in 2011, remaining co-owned by General Electric and French media company Vivendi.
  • While The Muppets and Pixar Animation Studios would still be acquired by Disney, Marvel Entertainment would be acquired instead by Sony and Lucasfilm by 21st Century Fox.
    • As a result, the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be distributed by Columbia Pictures, while its animated shows would air instead on Nickelodeon.
      • Big Hero 6 would have been made by Sony Pictures Animation with its sequel series airing on Nickelodeon.
    • As for Lucasfilm, the new Star Wars trilogy would still be distributed by 20th Century Fox, while Star Wars Rebels would air on Cartoon Network like The Clone Wars.
  • Disney wouldn't acquire 21st Century Fox's filmed entertainment and cable television assets, remaining under the Murdoch family's ownership.
  • Disney wouldn't make live-action remakes, mainly focusing on original ideas.
    • The only exception would be a PG-13 The Black Cauldron remake.
  • The studio would keep doing traditionally-animated films alongside CGI films.
    • Tangled, Frozen, Moana and Raya and the Last Dragon would be traditionally-animated instead of CGI.
      • Frozen's plotline would be slightly different due to keeping the original idea of Elsa being the antagonist while having a redeemal arc where she realizes that threatening to kill Anna would be more lethal than her thirst for power due to their close sibling bond.
        • Frozen II would be highly changed to reflect on this plotline.
      • Raya and the Last Dragon's plot line is heavily altered as well.
  • Wreck-It Ralph 2 gets tweaked to tell a new plot.
  • Toy Story 4 would not exist due to being mainly seen as an useless sequel created for the sake of profit, especially when Toy Story 3 already served as the finale for the series.
  • The company would still keep making direct-to-video films, although such practice would be discontinued after Disney+'s launch as all sequels would be available on it.
  • The company would later move its first-run film output agreement from Starz back to Showtime in 2016.
  • Disney+ would still exist, although with less content than in OTL due to Marvel and Lucasfilm being acquired by other companies and 21st Century Fox remaining owned by the Murdoch family.
    • Disney also opted to include its mature content on Disney+ as well in order to unite synergies into a single platform and to give the perception that Disney is not just a children's brand, leading to Hulu to be sold to 21st Century Fox.

Films

Notes:
* = Pixar film
** = Disney+ exclusive

Animated

  • Chicken Little (2005)
  • The Wild (2006)
  • Cars* (2006)
  • Meet the Robinsons (2007)
  • Ratatouille* (2007)
  • WALL-E* (2008)
  • Bolt (2008)
  • Up* (2009)
  • A Christmas Carol (2009)
  • The Princess and the Frog (2009)
  • Toy Story 3* (2010)
  • Tangled (2010)
  • Mars Needs Moms (2011)
  • Cars 2* (2011)
  • Winnie the Pooh (2011)
  • Brave* (2012)
  • Frankenweenie (2012)
  • Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
  • Monsters University* (2013)
  • Planes (2013)
  • Frozen (2013)
  • Planes Fire & Rescue (2014)
  • The Marvelous Mickey Mouse (2014)
  • Inside Out* (2015)
  • The Good Dinosaur* (2015)
  • The Pied Piper (2015)
  • Zootopia (2016)
  • The Madness of the Gremlin King (2016)
  • Finding Dory* (2016)
  • Kingdom of the Sun (2016)
  • Moana (2016)
  • Cars 3* (2017)
  • Coco* (2017)
  • Riding Hood (2017)
  • Incredibles 2* (2018)
  • Ralph Breaks the Arcade (2018)
  • The Program* (2019)
  • Gigantic (2019)
  • The Golden Goose (2019)
  • The Crucible** (2019)
  • Frozen II (2019)
  • Onward* (2020)
  • Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe** (2020)
  • Quest to the West (2020)
  • Soul* (2020)
  • Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)
  • Luca* (2021)

Direct-to-video/eventually direct-to-Disney+ sequels

  • Tarzan II (2005)
  • Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch (2005)
  • Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie (2005)
  • Kronk's New Groove (2005)
  • Bambi II (2006)
  • Brother Bear 2 (2006)
  • The Fox and the Hound 2 (2006)
  • Cinderella III: A Twist in Time (2007)
  • Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams (2007)
  • The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning (2008)
  • Tinker Bell (2008)
  • The Emperor's New Grove: Kuzco's Journey (2009)
  • Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure (2009)
  • Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue (2010)
  • TBD (2010)
  • TBD (2011)
  • TBD (2012)
  • Secret of the Wings (2012)
  • TBD (2013)
  • The Pirate Fairy (2014)
  • Tron Resurgency (2014)
  • Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast (2015)
  • TBD (2015)
  • The Great Mouse Detective Returns (2016)
  • Treasure Planet II (2017)
  • Sword in the Stone: Royal Pains (2018)

Live-action

  • Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005, first film under Comcast's ownership)
  • Sky High (2005)
  • The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005)
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
  • Glory Road (2006)
  • Eight Below (2006)
  • The Shaggy Dog (2006)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006, first film to use the current logo)
  • Invincible (2006)
  • The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006)
  • Bridge to Terabithia (2007, select countries only)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007)
  • Underdog (2007)
  • The Game Plan (2007)
  • Enchanted (2007)
  • National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)
  • College Road Trip (2008)
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)
  • Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008)
  • High School Musical 3: Senior Year (2008)
  • Bedtime Stories (2008)
  • Race to Witch Mountain (2009)
  • Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009)
  • G-Force (2009)
  • Old Dogs (2009)
  • Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (2010)
  • The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010)
  • Secretariat (2010)
  • Tron: Legacy (2010)
  • Prom (2011)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
  • The Muppets (2011)
  • John Carter (2012)
  • The Odd Life of Timothy Green (2012)
  • Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)
  • The Lone Ranger (2013)
  • Saving Mr. Banks (2013)
  • Muppets Most Wanted (2014)
  • Sky High: Next Class (2014)
  • Million Dollar Arm (2014)
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014)
  • Into the Woods (2014)
  • McFarland, USA (2015)
  • Tomorrowland (2015)
  • The Finest Hours (2016)
  • The BFG (2016, select countries only)
  • Queen of Katwe (2016)
  • National Treasure: The Dead Tombs (2016)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)
  • A Wrinkle in Time (2018)
  • Christopher Robin (2018)
  • The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)
  • Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
  • Race to Space Mountain (2019)
  • The Black Cauldron (2019)
  • Noelle** (2019)
  • Togo** (2019)
  • Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made** (2020)
  • Stargirl** (2020)
  • The Muppets on the Road (2020)
  • Jungle Cruise (2020)
  • Secret Society of Second-Born Royals** (2020)
  • Magic Camp** (2020)
  • The One and Only Ivan** (2020)
  • Godmothered** (2020)
  • Safety** (2020)
  • Flora & Ulysses** (2021)
  • Tron: Reuploaded (2021)

Television

Animated

Disney Channel

  • The Proud Family (2001-2005)
  • Kim Possible (2002-2007)
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series (2003-2006)
  • Brandy and Mr. Whiskers (2004-2006)
  • American Dragon: Jake Long (2005-2007)
  • The Buzz on Maggie (2005-2006)
  • The Emperor's New School (2006-2008)
  • The Replacements (2006-2009)
  • Phineas and Ferb (2007-2015)
  • Atlantis: The Series (2008-20??)
  • Fish Hooks (2010-2014)
  • Gravity Falls (2012-2016)
  • Mickey Mouse (2013-2020)
  • Wander Over Yonder (2013-2016)
  • Elena of Avalor (2016-2020)
  • Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure (2017-2020)
  • Big City Greens (2018-present)
  • Amphibia (2019-present)
  • The Owl House (2020-present)
  • The Ghost and Molly McGee (2021)

Jetix/Disney XD

  • W.I.T.C.H. (2004-2006)
  • Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! (2004-2006)
  • Pucca (2006-2008)
  • Yin Yang Yo! (2006-2009)
  • Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil (2010-2012)
  • Motorcity (2012-2013)
  • Tron: Uprising (2012-2013)
  • Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja (2012-2015)
  • Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero (2014-2017)
  • The 7D (2014-2016)
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil (2015-2019)
  • Pickle and Peanut (2015-2018)
  • Milo Murphy's Law (2016-2019)
  • DuckTales (2017-2021)

Playhouse Disney/Disney Junior

  • TBD

Disney+

  • The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse (2020-present)
  • Monsters at Work (2021-present)

Live-action

  • TBD

Video games

  • Disney Infinity (2013)
  • National Treasure: Infinite

Other media

  • [musical based on film] (201?)

Gallery

Print logos

On-screen logos

See also

Trivia

  • Despite these changes, Comcast would still be a major player in the media industry, since it would still own a major film studio (Walt Disney Pictures) and a major broadcast network (ABC), as well as several major cable channels (such as ESPN, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, Freeform and 50% of A&E, Lifetime, History and Crime & Investigation) and several theme parks (Disney Parks).
  • With the several canon changes, the list of world's largest media companies would be like this:
    1. Walt Disney Entertainment (Comcast)
      • Main assets: The Walt Disney Studios, ABC, ESPN (80%), A+E Networks (50%), Disney Channels Worldwide, Freeform, E!, Disney Music Group and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
    2. WarnerMedia (AT&T)
      • Main assets: Warner Bros. Entertainment, The CW (50%), Turner Broadcasting System, HBO, Time Inc., DC Comics, Warner Music Group, AOL and Otter Media
    3. 21st Century Fox (Murdoch family)
      • Main assets: 20th Century Fox, Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox News Channel, Fox Sports, FX Networks, National Geographic Partners (73%), Lucasfilm, Sky plc, Star Asia and Endemol Shine Group (50%)
    4. NBCUniversal (General Electric/Vivendi)
      • Main assets: NBC, Telemundo, Universal Studios, DreamWorks SKG, USA Network, Bravo, Syfy, Oxygen, Universal Music Group, Activision Blizzard and Universal Parks & Resorts
    5. Sony Entertainment (Sony)
      • Main assets: Sony Pictures Entertainment, Marvel Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment and Sony Interactive Entertainment
    6. Viacom (National Amusements)
      • Main assets: CBS, The CW (50%), Paramount Pictures, Viacom Media Networks, Showtime Networks, CNET and Simon & Schuster