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Friday, June 05, 2009

Some Disney Bits

Wow, it's been a slow week in Markworld. Not much to blog home about. Which kind of screws me over seeing as to how I tend to use this blog as prep for my podcast. Nothing to blog about means nothing in the show.

A few tidbits on Disney came across my desk that I feel like sharing, so there's that going on.

So, as I've blogged about already, Disney returns to traditional, 2D hand-drawn animation this Christmas with the release of The Princess and the Frog, but what's next? Is it a one-off, or are they going to stick with it?

Well, they're sticking with it, and Disney just let slip what their next traditional, 2D hand-drawn animated film is going to be.

They're going back to the well, and giving us another Winnie the Pooh movie!

I once read a message board post where someone mused that snatching up the movie rights to Winnie the Pooh is one of the smartest things that Walt Disney ever did. I can't help but agree as Disney has been pumping that well dry for the last 20 years now.

Animated Winnie the Pooh started with three short films in the late 1960s and early 1970s. These three shorts were then edited together into the 1977 film The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

But the pumping of that well really started in 1988, with the Satruday morning cartoon The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. That series spawned two straight-to-video movies and three theatrical films (The Tigger Movie, Piglet's Big Movie, Pooh's Hefalump Movie) that don't count because they were made by Disney's TV animation division.

The most recent animated endeavour was the computer animated series My Friends Tigger and Pooh, which is edutainment for pre-schoolers. It generated controversy among Pooh afficianados for replacing Christopher Robin with a spunky little red-haired girl named Darby.

No word yet on what direction this new Winnie the Pooh movie will take. Will it be a for-real animated film, made by the Feature Animation Division, or a "doesn't count" animated film, made by the TV animation division? It's slated for a release in 2011, so we'll find out as the date draws closer.

And that's not all! Following the model of George Lucas and his Star Wars Celebrations (i.e. the official Star Wars conventions), Disney is planning their first ever official convention!

See, back in February, Disney started their official fan club for grown-up Disney fans called D23. "D" for "Disney" and "23" for the Walt Disney Company having been founded in 1923.

And, September 10-13, they're having their first official DisneyCon, the D23 Expo. It's all down in Anaheim, the home of Disneyland.

So that's what Disney's up to!

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