oh bother.

At John Scalzi’s Whatever, I just read

As part of a barrel-full of Winnie the Pooh anniversary events, Disney is working on a new animated series that will replace Christopher Robin with a 6-year-old girl.

"We got raised eyebrows even in-house at first, but the feeling
was these timeless characters really needed a breath of fresh air that
only the introduction of someone new could provide," says Nancy Kanter
of the Disney Channel.

"Christopher Robin is still out there in the woods, playing," she says.

Uh, no. You stupid corporate jerk. Timeless characters do not need "a breath of fresh air" BECAUSE THEY ARE TIMELESS! What the fuck is wrong with you people?

Look. I’m a huge Disney nerd. I practically grew up at Disneyland, and I’ve done two great movies for Disney that I’m very proud of. I know Disney is a big evil empire, but I still like my Disney stuff . . . but this is fucking ridiculous. This has nothing to do with "breathing new life" into anything; it’s entirely about squeezing a few more pennies out of a successful franchise, and exploiting the anniversary of a cherished work of literature.

I have an idea: if Disney is so serious about breathing fresh life into classic characters, why not let Mickey Mouse enter the Public Domain? Okay, how about Goofy? Donald Duck? Admit it: those characters are getting a little stale, and could really use a breath of fresh air that only derivative works can provide.

70 thoughts on “oh bother.”

  1. 6-12) Lawyer Jokes, Underground Railroad, Feminism, Christopher Robin, Public Defenders, the NY Times, and Biggoted Taxi Drivers

    12) Pandagon has a story about a taxi driver that kicked out his fares because they were gay and apparently driving gays around town is against his religion. Pretty dumb move, (he’ll probably lose his job), but I wonder whether or not his actions were …

  2. 6-12) Lawyer Jokes, Underground Railroad, Feminism, Christopher Robin, Public Defenders, the NY Times, and Biggoted Taxi Drivers

    9) Wil Wheaton is extremely upset about his beloved Disney character Christopher Robin. Ok, so it isn’t that he seems to like Christopher so much as he hates the commercialization of the hearts of children.

  3. OK. This has really pissed me off!
    I live near Ashdown Forest in Sussex England. The very place that inspired Alan Milne to invent Christopher Robin and his animal friends. As a child I played Pooh sticks on the very bridge that Alan Milne did when he was a boy. Why the hell does Disney like so many other film studios have to alter a timeless tale that has been enjoyed by kids for years, and make it more commercial for their own particular company wishes. The tales of Pooh will always appeal to kids. Who else other than Disney will get anything out of changing the characters. I hope the family of Alan Milne have somthing to say about this.

  4. Will I actually have those two movies you did for Disney. Disney isn’t like it use to be. Now it’s about money and power. I wonder if Walt Disney is turning in his grave, since his love was always to make kids happy, not about making money. I’m appalled that they would want to change anything with Winnie The Pooh at all, but then again it’s about making a buck and not about kids anymore. I hope a petition comes out, cause I’ll sign it in a minute.

  5. They should never have closed down “SaveDisney.com” – contact Roy Disney at Shamrock Holdings and scream. He listens

  6. Wil,
    You shouldn’t take my reference to you as a liberal whimp as an insult. Why is it that liberals think that to be labeled a “liberal” is somehow bad. From previous posts, you appear to be against the war in Iraq, so pacifist = whimp in some minds, including mine. But that is an argument for a different forum.
    In so much as it was not my intent to insult you personally, but to point out that to me, it’s obvious that Disney is trying to please the PC movement by turning this character into a young girl, and that I was suprised that someone of your political ilk would have a problem with it.
    Regardless of the perspective or opinion on Chrstopher vs. Christina, I don’t understand what “weakest and most pathetic attempt to troll” means, so I won’t take it as an insult either, as I have no idea what “to troll” references.

  7. *ahem*
    GlockMann,
    If you’re going to take potshots at someone on their own ‘blog, you’d better be prepared to get a rap on the knuckles for your efforts.
    Wil, I’m surprised at your constraint. Good on ‘ya.
    ——
    Disney isn’t making this decision lightly, nor based on ONE factor like to make the whole story PC. Having said that, I’m still going to throw my hat into the ring against the idea.
    Modern history is replete with examples of this kind of nonsense and though it offends us, it obviously appeals to someone otherwise they wouldn’t do it. ( I am using a rather baseless assumption that the people at Disney are not complete morons and did some kind of survey, albeit likely inaccurate. )
    It blows my mind how corporate goons can be so out of touch with their loyal base.

  8. Stupid, beyond stupid.
    Of course, having been named Christopher Robin Kessel by my parents biases me a bit. Grew up loving Winnie the Pooh. I’m Christopher Robin dammit and it’s my 100 acre woods!

  9. Oh, it gets worse, Wil. According to this report by Kim du Toit, old cartoons (like Road Runner, Tom and Jerry, and so forth) are being censored to exclude their “graphic” violence. You’ll never see Wile E. Coyote going *SPLAT* into the face of a cliff anymore, for instance. I’ll let Kim have the last word on this: “Myself, I think it’s A Pathetic Thing, and these Nannies who are turning our entertainment into pablum either need to get a real job, or else need a swift knee to the nads. If they have any, which I seriously doubt.”

  10. Lunch 12-09-2005

    Try one of these specials with your lunch:
    From the Weblog Awards Best Blog finalists:
    *Michelle Malkin sees Howard Deans true colors
    *Captains Quarters says the Dems can run, but they cant hide
    *Instapundit welcomes a Senat…

  11. I’m a self proclaimed Disney Dork, but I can’t stand some of the things that they’re doing. It’s all for money. First the Disney Princess crap, now Christopher Robin. What’s next? Cinderbobby lives with his evil stepfather then meets a princess and with the help of his Fairy Godfather wins her heart…(*hopes no Disney people reads Wil’s blog and steals this idea*)

  12. it’s definately connected to the copyright thing. Disney fuckin’ LOVES their copyright protection!
    They own the copyrights to the “Schoolhouse Rock” stuff, and won’t let them be used for public domain as the copyright law allows for teaching purposes! Now how’s THAT for fuckin’ STUPID!

  13. I just wanted to comment on some of the other comments here. First off, this isn’t all that different from other changes Disney’s made to the franchise throughout the years. For example, the first animated short they produced replaced Piglet with Gopher, and gave Christopher Robin an American accent. And their recent program, “The Book of Pooh” replaced Kanga with Kessie, another bird.
    For the person that said that CR was dressed as a girl because his mother wanted a girl… Christopher was dressed in the nursery based on Little Lord Fauntleroy. Lots of boys in England at that time were dressed the same way. This is similar to Alan’s youth, where he had long blond curls until he started attending school. Also, Daphne wasn’t exactly a hands-on mother (some may claim the same for her talents as a wife), and much of Christopher’s style was probably due to his nanny.
    I hope they don’t make the character Christopher Robin’s daughter. First off, it may lead kids to find out about Christopher Milne’s real daughter. Claire isn’t exactly the active sort of character that Disney is probably looking for. Also, it may lead the general public into discovering that Christopher Milne married his first cousin. That alone would cause enough of an outcry that Disney probably won’t want to go that route.

  14. This is inexcusable!! the powers that be at disney are all the children or grandchildren of the original creators of these characters. how can they bastardize these wonderful characters for a profit!? whats next…song of the south with an all jewish cast!?

  15. Interesting topic, I have two boys. It seems in public school, boys are not allowed to have an imagination.
    My SEVEN y/0 boy was sent to the “Solution Room” (detention) for two recesses last Thurday and had a referral placed in his student file for “Play Fighting”. Yes Virgina, little boys are now sent to the office for playing star wars (or Gavin’s case, Narnia). My husband and I showed up in the school office Friday morning and raised Hell. I believe in rules to keep kids safe at school, and I support public education whole heartedly, but when little boys are punished for PLAYING PRETEND at recess, I have issues with this.
    My son has NEVER harmed another child and there is no malice in his personality whatsoever. He just loves Army men and Dinosaurs.
    What Makes Winnie the pooh so classic is that it is the imagination of a little boy playing in forest. It is what it is. There is no need to change.
    Little girls have Louisa May Alcott, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Caroline Keene, Anne McCaffrey. These are all authors that I just now looked over my shoulder and picked off my bookcase.
    Boys need to be allowed to be what they are, different from girls. When My 12/y/o was small, I tried the gender neutral theory. Kyan was allowed to watch no violence, no play guns allowed in the house (not even squirt guns). I gave up and saw the light when he started building them out of leggos.
    Wil, thanks for the book suggestion and I offer one of my own,
    “The Wonder of Boys” by Michael Gurian

  16. Interesting topic, I have two boys. It seems in public school, boys are not allowed to have an imagination.
    My SEVEN y/0 boy was sent to the “Solution Room” (detention) for two recesses last Thurday and had a referral placed in his student file for “Play Fighting”. Yes Virgina, little boys are now sent to the office for playing star wars (or Gavin’s case, Narnia). My husband and I showed up in the school office Friday morning and raised Hell. I believe in rules to keep kids safe at school, and I support public education whole heartedly, but when little boys are punished for PLAYING PRETEND at recess, I have issues with this.
    My son has NEVER harmed another child and there is no malice in his personality whatsoever. He just loves Army men and Dinosaurs.
    What Makes Winnie the pooh so classic is that it is the imagination of a little boy playing in forest. It is what it is. There is no need to change.
    Little girls have Louisa May Alcott, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Caroline Keene, Anne McCaffrey. These are all authors that I just now looked over my shoulder and picked off my bookcase.
    Boys need to be allowed to be what they are, different from girls. When My 12/y/o was small, I tried the gender neutral theory. Kyan was allowed to watch no violence, no play guns allowed in the house (not even squirt guns). I gave up and saw the light when he started building them out of leggos.
    Wil, thanks for the book suggestion and I offer one of my own,
    “The Wonder of Boys” by Michael Gurian

  17. One thought I have is that the Disney Pooh is already far enough afield from the book(s) that I don’t get why this is such a big deal. Disney changes classics all the time. Consider The Little Mermaid. Have you read the original story?
    Speaking of which, what the heck is up with the American release of “Pride and Prejudice” and it’s Happy Ending???

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