Is 'Loki' Secretly About Working For Disney?

The call is coming from inside the Mouse House.
Is 'Loki' Secretly About Working For Disney?

Two episodes into Loki has us wondering if Marvel’s newest show might be about the process of making a Marvel show. Think about it; the God of Mischief is the wild, anarchic artistic type who now operates from a cubicle, working as but a tiny cog in a vast corporate machine. And we learn more about how the TVA (Time Variance Authority) operates -- namely that their job is to keep the branches of the timeline within the red line, as illustrated in this helpful Atari-level graphic.



Which feels like a good metaphor for the narrative constraints of the MCU; despite the Loki-esque urge one might have to do something bold and unexpected with a Marvel story, filmmakers can never diverge too far from the larger narrative course of the franchise. Not unlike what Tim Burton did with The Nightmare Before Christmas, Loki seems like a Disney project that also serves as an allegory for the creative frustrations that come with working for Disney. 

There are some other indications that the TVA may secretly be a metaphorical stand-in for the Mouse House, too -- most blatantly, the fictional company has a literal old-timey cartoon character mascot.


And several of the time periods the characters visit could be references to Disney history too; a Renaissance Fair in 1985? Well, Disney released the medieval fantasy bomb The Black Cauldron in 1985. Old-timey Oklahoma? Disney now owns the film version of the 1955 musical Oklahoma! Then there’s Owen Wilson’s Mobius M. Mobius and his mustache. Some have speculated that the stache is a deep-cut tribute to late Marvel editor Mark Gruenwald. But it also, coincidentally or not, makes Mobius, our authority at the TVA, look like a real Walt Disney type -- but with his head both intact and room temperature. 


Of course, Mobius also works for a group of shadowy lizard people, but we’re guessing there’s a YouTube video somewhere making similar claims about Walt. 

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter! And check out the podcast Rewatchability.

Top Image: Marvel Studios


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