What were you thinking Disney? Sending Winnie the Pooh out, alone and unarmed, against Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? In summer?!
Well, there’s nothing left now. Traditional Disney Animation is dead. Lower him in.
You’re right. You’re right, I’m sorry.
Gotta get a grip.
On Daniel Radcliffe’s lily white pencil neck…NO! BAD MOUSE!
As absolutely crazy as it seems it retrospect, putting Winnie-the-Pooh up against Harry Potter probably wasn’t that outlandish an idea on paper. The two properties are aimed at quite different age demographics, and Disney was probably banking on their movie hoovering up all the younger cinema-goers who’s parents wouldn’t be willing to take them to a movie that is essentially Schindler’s List with wizards.
And while Pooh was undoubtedly the underdog in this fight, let’s not forget that the Bear of Very Little Brain is also the Bear of Massive Merchandising Revenue. Pooh may in fact be the single most valuable character in the whole Disney stable. So why was this movie absolutely crushed at the box office?
Okay fine, because it went up against fucking Harry Potter, but indulge me, please.
Bad reviews? Oh hell, no. Critics ate this up.
The fact that it was released in summer instead of in winter like most Disney movies? Nah, see I never bought the “People won’t go to see movies that are on at different times than movies like that movie are usually on” concept.
I have a theory.
If you want a
bloodbath polite and well reasoned debate, ask a bunch of Disney fans how many sequels there are in the Disney canon. Rescuers Down Under certainly. And Winnie the Pooh. But after that? Is Fantasia 2000 really a sequel considering it has no plot? Is Three Caballeros a sequel to Saludos Amigos? And if it is, does Melody Time make it a trilogy since José Carioca and Donald Duck appear in it too? Hell, you could argue that Fun and Fancy Free is a sequel to Pinnochio because they both feature Jiminy Cricket and are both pant-shittingly terrifying.
But…if you were to ask just a normal person on the street how many sequels are in the Disney canon they’d look at you funny and ask “What’s a Disney cannon?”
Y’see, to ordinary movie-goers the concept of a Disney “canon”, the idea that some movies are more Disney than others is meaningless. Disney made it, it’s a Disney movie. QED. Why should they care which part of the company created it? I mean, let’s be honest here, the whole notion of the canon is just a marketing gimmick that allows Disney to put a seal of quality on some of their movies while allowing them to pretend that their less exceptional output somehow doesn’t matter and OH JESUS CHRIST I’VE WASTED TWO YEARS OF MY LIFE.
Now, Joe Sixpack may not really get what the canon is, but he has slowly, and through painstaking trial and error, learnt one very important lesson:
Avoid Disney sequels like the fucking plague.
Rediscovering the original Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was one of my most pleasant surprises doing this blog. It really is a lovely little film. But it wasn’t the last Winnie the Pooh movie to be released by Disney.
Not by a long…
And it’s not like these were all straight to video either, quite a few of those movies actually had theatrical releases. So is it any wonder that the public weren’t queuing down the street for this one? They didn’t know that all those sequels were done by DisneyToons and that the grownups were actually in charge of this one. All they knew was that Disney had released a long string of pretty shitty Winnie the Pooh cartoons (no pun intended, I honestly swear to God). It’s Disney’s fault. They didn’t protect their characters.
So here we are. This is how it ends. But how does it end? With inspiring last words, or a damp fart as the muscles relax with the onset of death?
Let’s take a look.