Making Mickey Mouse "More Relevant"

First Tinker Bell, now Mickey. Disney is on a makeover mission.

But making over the Big Guy, Mickey Mouse, is also taking him back to his roots in the 1920s and 1930s:

"In many ways, it is a return to Mickey at his creation. When the character made its debut in “Steamboat Willie” in 1928, he was the Bart Simpson of his time: an uninhibited rabble-rouser who got into fistfights, played tricks on his friends (pity Clarabelle Cow) and, later, was amorously aggressive with Minnie.

"Epic Mickey, designed for Nintendo’s Wii console, is set in a “cartoon wasteland” where Disney’s forgotten and retired creations live. The chief inhabitant is Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, a cartoon character Walt Disney created in 1927 as a precursor to Mickey but ultimately abandoned in a dispute with Universal Studios. In the game, Oswald has become bitter and envious of Mickey’s popularity. The game also features a disemboweled, robotic Donald Duck and a “twisted, broken, dangerous” version of Disneyland’s “It’s a Small World.” Using paint and thinner thrown from a magic paintbrush, Mickey must stop the Phantom Blot overlord, gain the trust of Oswald and save the day.

"Consumers will not be able to buy the game before fall of next year. Anticipation is intense. “Wow! This is amazing,” said Eli Gee on “I’m really... REALLY excited.”

(New York Times)

I Never Knew Minnie Mouse Had Breasts

August 11, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. --A 60-year-old man has been convicted of groping a woman in a Minnie Mouse costume at Walt Disney World.

John William Moyer of Cressona, Pa., told the judge he is innocent. His son said before sentencing that his father would never inappropriately touch a woman.

He was convicted Tuesday of misdemeanor battery and sentenced to write the victim an apology, serve 180 days probation and complete 50 hours of community service. Moyer must also pay $1,000 in court costs and possibly undergo a mental evaluation.

The victim says she had to do everything possible to keep Moyer's hands off her breasts.


Information from: Orlando Sentinel,

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished - Disney Edition

Tiana, the newest Disney Princess, is running into some stormy weather, well before her launch in a new animated feature film:

“THE Princess and the Frog” does not open nationwide until December, but the buzz is already breathless: For the first time in Walt Disney animation history, the fairest of them all is black.

"Princess Tiana, a hand-drawn throwback to classic Disney characters like Cinderella and Snow White, has a dazzling green gown, a classy upsweep hairdo and a diamond tiara. Like her predecessors, she is a strong-willed songbird (courtesy of the Tony-winning actress Anika Noni Rose) who finds her muscle-bound boyfriend against all odds.

“Finally, here is something that all little girls, especially young black girls, can embrace,” Cori Murray, an entertainment director at Essence magazine, recently told CNN.

"To the dismay of Disney executives — along with the African-American bloggers and others who side with the company — the film is also attracting chatter of an uglier nature. Is “The Princess and the Frog,” set in New Orleans in the 1920s, about to vaporize stereotypes or promote them?"

Read the rest of the New York Times article.

Amy Adams Ever Ever After

It's really wonderful to read that with her Academy Award nomination, Amy Adams has joined the top tier of American actresses, "after a decade of odd jobs, Midwestern dinner theater and dead-end roles...a period of my life where I had to work several jobs to pay my bills. Something would go wrong and you'd have to take another job to get your car running. That was very real for me."

We first became aware of her in in "Enchanted," and loved her presence and charm as she channeled the magic of Disney Princesses, in the context of present-day Manhattan.

Have a look:

Second Star To The Right

Those of you who know me are probably aware that we are quite fond of Walt Disney World, and of the Disney character that best represents its spirit and magic: Tinker Bell.

My interest goes well beyond the vacations we’ve taken there over the years, and the cruises we’ll be taking – next month on the Disney Wonder and, later, on the Disney Magic.

As a frequent Disney Guest, I’m always amazed at how each Cast Member lives out and exceeds the company’s core values and mission statement. It’s no wonder there is usually a waiting list for courses on customer service and leadership offered by the Disney Institute, and why some of the most successful companies and organizations in the world send their employees there to learn "The Disney Way."

I’ve also become interested in the history of Walt Disney World, especially after taking the “Backstage Magic” tour last year. We were even more impressed by the operational excellence that Guests never see unless they get behind (and, yes, under) the scenes during one of these tours.