Posted by: Mark Nielsen | November 15, 2013

Winnie-the-Pooh vs. the Disney Poohniverse

What? Put up a Disney Pooh image? Not a chance… not when there are so many great E.H. Shepard drawings to choose from. And not when I’m trying to dodge the famous Disney copyright lawyers/vampires.

I’ve been reviewing some old Marking Time work this week, and freshening up one of my few week-long series, the Winnie-the-Pooh Week I did around 2008. (Gosh, has it been that long?) Yes, it has. So I will re-publicize / re-post the series here, in honor of the anniversary of Pooh’s first appearance in print, in an A.A. Milne poem, on November 6, 1924.

The Blog posts are still good stuff, even five years later. Mostly because the good news about Pooh (for us, but unfortunately also for MouseCo), is that Pooh is ageless.

Ageless… Unlike, oh, let’s say Mulan. Or Goofy. (Poor guy… I love Goofy, but I’d be shocked if they ever gave him a feature-length movie again.) Or Hannah Montana (who just HADDA grow up and start with the TWERKING! Now come ON, girl! ???? You’re a role model!… NOT!).

So since Pooh the character is ageless, that means only the Pooh-related product tie-ins Disney produces by the millions out of cheap Chinese plastic are prone to aging.

Therefore, to pick up where I left off in 2008, below I will re-post an excerpt from the last entry in my Pooh series –an entry which is definitely the snarkiest and most political (click HERE to go There.)  In that one, I take on the Disney conglomerate mano a mano, proving once and for all who the king of the animated universe is. (Why, The Simpsons‘ Matt Groening is, of course. Silly Old Bear!)

Classic Pooh is clearly the underdog, but he may yet have a shot. [Excerpt of a Mark Tatulli 2008 “Lio” comic strip.]

Classic Pooh is clearly the underdog, but he may yet have a shot. [Excerpt of a Mark Tatulli 2008 “Lio” comic strip.]

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To get to the first of the five part series and page thru from there, click here.

To get to the most popular of the series, featuring the Milne-Nielsen Personality Type Indicator (Are you a Pooh or a Piglet?), click here.

And now, the teaser/excerpt, as promised:

First of all: where do they get off giving Tigger top billing over Pooh?! He wasn’t even introduced until the second novel. Not to mention: how dare they kick Christopher Robin to the curb like this? The addition of a little American girl (with the androgynous name of Darby) is not a bad idea in itself. But why not make her a friend of Christopher, maybe give these insulated, uneducated American toddlers a glimplse of some culture other than their own? Because that’s not the Disney way, that’s why! Everything’s got to be Americanized, cutesied-up, and updated to include the latest trends. Today’s Tigger & Pooh episode, for example, puts Pooh on an electric scooter. Could anything be more contrary to the spirit of A.A. Milne’s original Hundred Acre Wood?

But the modern marvel/monster that is Disney has gotten their grubby little hands into every corner of American culture, and there appears no way to stop their imperialistic aggression. Their cross-marketing, which really started in 1955 with the Disneyland theme park in California, has now crossed over to various other travel options like Disney Cruises. Then there’s Radio Disney, home video like the Baby Einstein product line, several cable channels, dozens of internet sites, video games (through Buena Vista Interactive), the sports galaxy (via their ESPN and ABC sister companies),  book publishing (through Hyperion), music recording (they own Miley Cyrus, Hillary Duff, Rascal Flatts, the Indigo Girls [huh?], and –OMG! Queen? The Mouse owns my beloved Queen? Take me now, Lord!), Broadway and traveling shows (can you say Lion King? or Disney Princesses on Ice? [yes, with a twist of lemon, please]), and the inevitable network and syndicated television shows (e.g. Regis & Kelly, and Scrubs – which appears on NBC, not their own ABC network, oddly enough).

 


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