Canadian Producer Agrees To Sell Iconic Dance Brand, Disney Corp. Officially Enters Lucrative ‘Raver’ Market
It seems like Disney corporation has a thing for masked musicians these days. After the unbridled success of Tron: Legacy, for which Disney partnered with electronic musicians Daft Punk, the company is now acquiring the popular Deadmau5 (pronounced ‘dead mouse’) brand.
Disney took its first tepid footsteps into a somewhat hostile new market segment last year with Epic Mickey and Tron: Legacy, and now the company is working to further increase its broad appeal. The coveted 18-24 male demographic has eluded Disney, whose target audience is widely considered to be dense, prepubescent girls, for decades. Now, the company behind the High School Musical is in the final stages of talks to add a new star to its roster: Deadmau5.
Created by Toronto-native Joel Zimmerman, Deadmau5 skyrocketed to fame in the mid ’00s by producing hit after hit of ‘minimal house’ music and then playing said music at rave parties around the world wearing a motorcycle helmet stylized as a dead mouse head. Disney is now set to purchase the Deadmau5 persona from its inventor, though rumors that Zimmerman is no longer Deadmau5 have been circulating online since as early as March 2010.
After a spate of altercations with fellow electronic musicians in 2009, Zimmerman became increasingly antagonistic towards both his fans and his colleagues, resulting in “a wave of popular backlash that left him irreversibly scarred,” said the Grammy-award winner’s former psychologist, John Kiebler. By 2011, Zimmerman had reportedly abandoned the Deadmau5 persona to focus exclusively on his record label, Mau5trap Recordings.
One of Deadmau5′s former employees, who spoke to Tropiganda on condition of anonymity, said that the union “…makes perfect sense. Deadmau5′s live show is completely automated, so they can literally put the helmet on anyone, and nothing will change. Even the music creation process requires almost no human input, and if anyone can operate a one trick pony, it’s Disney.”
Many of Zimmerman’s friends and family suspected something more sinister was at work, though nothing in the public record could objectively prove that something was amiss, until now. In conjunction with Wikileaks, Tropiganda agents have uncovered top secret court documents that paint a much more damning picture of Zimmerman and his bipolar tendencies.
In 2009, the Magic Kingdom-based corporation sued Deadmau5 in federal court, allegedly, for nine counts of trademark infringement, three counts of copyright violation, and one count of public defamation over the Deadmau5 brand and its unflattering portrayal of a dead mouse. Disney’s suit claimed that the Deadmau5 persona “too closely resembles the iconic Mickey Mouse logo,” which was trademarked in 1924, and which has been protected ever since by an battalion of lawyers loyal to the Magic Kingdom and its cartoon king.
Around the same time, Zimmerman was reportedly spending 13 hours a day or more playing Epic Mickey on his Nintendo Wii. Joel Zimmerman has only been seen in public without his helmet twice since February 19th, 2010, although he has allegedly performed as Deadmau5 over 90 times since then. Online rumors have fueled speculation about the state of Zimmerman’s mental health, though none suspected that he would ever allow his brand to be acquired by anyone, let alone the company that nearly destroyed it.
A statement released this morning by “the artist formerly known as Deadmau5″ gave no further details, though fingerprints on the document did match Zimmerman’s.
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