Epic Rap Battles has a lucrative (to all parties) partnership with MCN Maker Studios. Maker is owned by Disney. So when Walt Disney, patriarch of the Disney brand, pops up in ERB’s latest video to essentially claim that he is tyrannical lord of all things kids and money, quite possibly some feathers were ruffled around the Maker hen house. Or was it the hinty, hint, hint line about sweatshops that might have hit the owner of the MCN hardest?
The best movie ever made (my favorite at least) is a classic from 1976 called Network. It only lost Best Picture at the Oscars because of a little engine that could named Rocky. What makes Network a part of this conversation is that it deals with a news channel that hires a madman because he’s profitable. And then the profitable star starts screwing around with their bottom line by calling out the parent company. It’s a brutal and smart film and I think we’re seeing the YouTube equivalent here.
Note the commentary inherent in Walt’s comments like, “I own this whole series,” “Hop on my steamboat boys, but don’t rock it” and Maker’s logo being visible on the boards of the besieged animators:
While there haven’t been any official public statements from Disney or Maker on the matter, they’re definitely aware the video exists — and with 3 million+ views for the battle that starts off Jim Henson versus Stan Lee, clearly a lot of other people are aware as well.
Does this mean ERB battles is dissatisfied with their current home at Maker or even Maker’s owner? Not necessarily. Sometimes parody isn’t political … sometimes. We’d ask our buddies, the Epic Rap Battles boys, but there is something to be said for letting great art speak for itself. In fact, forget we said anything. We’re just sitting here, whistling.