Disney’s IP has once again fully synergized with the arrival of a new Marvel-themed Simpsons short titled “The Good, The Bart, and The Loki.” Disney very much appears to be putting that $71 billion investment in IP from 21st Century Fox to work.
The company announced Wednesday that the special will debut July 7th exclusively on its streaming service Disney Plus. Tom Hiddleston, who plays Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, will also voice Loki in the Simpsons adaptation.
Because Disney owns everything and we’ve evidently reached peak content, the key art for the animated short is styled similarly to that of Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame — which is not even the first time Disney has done this. But Lisa as Thor and Ralph Wiggum as Hulk raise a lot of questions.
Per Disney’s announcement, the special will center on Loki’s banishment from Asgard as he faces “his toughest opponents yet: the Simpsons and Springfield’s mightiest heroes.”
Look, The Simpsons has always been a stage onto which its corporate overlords like to thrust other company-owned characters. Other Fox characters like Hank Hill from King of the Hill, Jay Sherman from The Critic, Peter Griffin from Family Guy, and even Mulder and Scully from the live-action X-Files, all appeared on the show for some peak corporate synergy.
The Simpsons also got a May 4th special titled “The Force Awakens from Its Nap” in which Maggie Simpson found herself “on an epic quest for her stolen pacifier.” For those interested, the special is still streamable on Disney Plus. The Avengers and The Simpsons also previously collided in “Bart the Bad Guy,” which aired last year, but the series has featured several Marvel references in the past.
Disney has been hoarding the kind of IP that makes these crossovers possible for the better part of two decades. Under its Disney Plus service alone, we’ve seen the company throw the full force of Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, Disney, and National Geographic behind its service in order to muscle its way into the streaming fray — and it’s working, too, if those 100 million-plus subscribers are any indication. But the Simpsons Loki episode is a friendly reminder that Disney owns a whole lot more than just a handful of superhero and sci-fi properties. It owns pretty much everything.
Vertical integration, baby. The Simpsons is Marvel canon.