The Marvel Cinematic Universe, unleashed upon the world about a decade ago via its humble beginnings with a lukewarmly-received movie about The Incredible Hulk, is now officially in full-steam-ahead mode with no signs of stopping: the 13 films released to date in the series have grossed nearly $4 billion combined, a truly staggering number. For its part, Marvel (and parent company Disney) would be silly not to explore additional avenues for additional revenue – indeed, lots of marketing and collectible products have occurred already. Now we’re getting word that Marvel may be ready to jump into a relatively new area for them: TV shorts.
Earlier this week, the French National Film Commission confirmed a list of titles that entertainment companies had submitted to them as applicants for French tax breaks – meaning that the companies will be having French animation production companies working on the projects. On the list of titles – a list which also included new animation projects from DreamWorks and Paramount/MGM – were two recognizable items from Marvel: ‘Ant-Man’ and ‘Rocket and Groot.’
What exactly are TV shorts? Traditionally, these are animated fare that run three to seven minutes in length, featuring self-contained stories independent of a larger televised series. Many times, TV shorts are played as “filler” material in between televised shows if the shows (intentionally) run short or a content break is needed from a string of commercials. Many times, the TV shorts will also be available for viewing online, a medium where viewer’s attention spans are decidedly shorter to begin with.
Disney is well-versed in the art of the TV short as a viewership-building tool. Many of their TV shows on the Disney Channel and Disney Junior intentionally run shorter, in order to provide time before the next program for a short, likely in the hopes that the mini-episode will introduce viewers to new characters that they can then go and watch on other shows.
While Marvel is certainly no stranger to animated TV fare, this appears to be their first foray into a series of animated shorts. While the two proposed series may not necessarily be directly tied to the MCU, it’s obvious that the choices of Ant-Man and Rocket & Groot stem directly from these characters’ popularity on the big screen moreso than audiences knowing of them from their respective comic series, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ and ‘The Avengers.’
No production or air dates have yet been announced for the projects; we will keep you posted as more news develops!
Tony Schaab isn’t allowed at his local Humane Society anymore, because all he would do while there is try to put visors over the dog’s eyes and paint “K-9” in peanut butter on their sides. A lover of most things sci-fi and horror, Tony is an author by day and a DJ by night. Come hang out with Tony on Facebook and Twitter to hear him spew semi-funny nonsense and get your opportunity to finally put him in his place.