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Posts Tagged ‘Pixar’

Disney Loves to Kill Parents and Make Your Kids Watch

Whelp. Only if that dream is to see your Mom and Dad die for the holidays.

Whelp. Only if that dream is to see your Mom and Dad die for the holidays.

I’m done. Out. The next time there’s a Disney animation film, my beloved children are going to have to wait for Netflix or Redbox because I’m not wasting another dime on Mickey’s prepubescent brainwashing and parental genocide again.

Have you seen Frozen?

Yeah. Yeah. (Way too much) singing. A cute snowman and reindeer. Pretty artwork. Princess saves the world. Blah. Blah. Blah. I have always joked about this to my family and anyone who will listen — Disney hates parents! They must. It’s a running theme in its movies that parents have to die. And my question is, “For the happiest place on Earth, where the hell is this sinister mom and dad ire coming from?” 

More importantly, where is the PR on this?

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‘Blackfish’ Documentary and SeaWorld’s Resulting PR War Inspire Pixar to Change ‘Finding Dory’ Storyline

Please note that this post contains possible spoilers for Pixar’s upcoming film “Finding Dory.”

As we reported a few weeks ago, Magnolia Pictures’ documentary “Blackfish,” which makes the case that orca whales in captivity suffer physical and mental distress, prompted SeaWorld Entertainment to launch a full-fledged PR campaign. Now, it seems, the publicity surrounding the film and the theme park has inspired Pixar to re-think the storyline for “Finding Dory“, its sequel to ‘Finding Nemo.”

“The script for Finding Dory, which is still in the early stages of production ahead of its planned 2015 release, initially had an ending that involved a marine park, according to a Pixar employee,” reports the New York Times. “But as a result of the sometimes harsh Blackfish, directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, and the resulting publicity battle SeaWorld has had to fight, Pixar decided to restructure that part of the story so that the fish and mammals taken to its aquatic center have the option to leave.”

So… it’s more like a fish hotel than an aquatic theme park? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

We do wonder, though — just as we did when SeaWorld launched its no-holds-barred PR battle before “Blackfish” was even released — if such a preemptive move was wholly necessary. Read more

‘Disney’ Retracts Made-Over Merida After Public Backlash

Princess Merida, the young Scottish girl who broke tradition and took a decidedly feminist stand against being married off to the winner of an archery competition in Disney’s “Brave” (by using her kick-ass marksmanship skills to win her own hand) has officially been inducted into the sacred sisterhood of the Disney Princesses, taking her place alongside the likes of Cinderella, Belle, and Ariel.

But before Merida could join the ranks of her more mature counterparts, she had to undergo quite a makeover. First, her dress — a functional frock, suitable for her outdoor adventures, was replaced by a much brighter, frillier, more low-cut number, reminding young girls that looks trump comfort. And because there’s nothing feminine or damsel-like about packing heat, her beloved bow and arrows were apparently confiscated.

Equally disturbing were the changes that were made to her previously young-girl-like figure: her waist had clearly been cinched and her bust noticeably increased, she was given flirtatious lashes and rosier cheeks, and her adventurous, slightly defiant-looking smile gave way to a sultry smirk. After critics lambasted the made-over Merida for over-sexualizing what was supposed to be a young girl to whom real young girls could relate, Disney quietly pulled the image from their website and replaced it with the Pixar original.

We’re not surprised the backlash was so intense, because while we agree that the over-sexualization was a major problem, we think it went beyond that. Read more

Disney’s ‘Branded Content’ Site Looks a Whole Lot Like BuzzFeed

Our apologies for missing this story amidst all our posts about companies hiring brand journalists to create original “sticky” content: The Walt Disney Company‘s new “Oh My Disney” blog is a perfect illustration of the larger trend.

Excepting the Pixar films, Disney has had trouble establishing franchises in recent years. But the blog’s content capitalizes on the company’s established characters by turning them into sharable themed posts like “It’s Easy Being Green“, a St. Patrick’s Day celebration of the many Disney characters who happen to be emerald in color. Other examples include “15 More Reminders That You’re Great Today“, which features inspirational thoughts from several decades worth of characters, and “Disney Theme Songs to Make You Miss Your Childhood“, which is fairly self-explanatory (though we do like the disclaimer “Read this only if you’re open to adding nostalgic joy to your day”).

It’s a brilliant win-win for Disney: promote the larger brand with original content while simultaneously reminding fans of the older properties that they love (and indirectly encouraging them to buy related merchandise). We have to say, though: a quick glance at the blog’s layout makes us think that BuzzFeed might want to consider demanding royalties.

What do we think of this entry into the original content sweepstakes? And what sort of brands could follow Disney’s lead by creating their own branded blogs?

What Are America’s 10 ‘Most Trusted’ Brands? And Why?

A few weeks ago we gave you a list of the 10 brands Americans hate most and tried to figure out why. Today we’re taking the opposite approach with the help of Harris Interactive‘s latest public opinion poll gauging the most (and least) trusted brands in the country.

Here are the brands held in highest esteem by the 19,000 random people who participated in the poll (along with our attempts to figure out how they got there):

1. Amazon: It could be the fact that Amazon remains the first and biggest online retailer with a reputation for security and an endless inventory. It could be the brand’s truly innovative recommendation system. Or it could be Amazon’s plan to create its own “virtual” currency–because no dishonest individual would ever make his own money, right?

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The Weather Channel Is ‘Branding’ Storms Now

As we walked through the light (so far) snow on our way to the office this morning, we wondered: who named this supposed superstorm “Nemo” in the first place? Of course we all know that hurricanes have names, but winter blizzards?

Thanks to the sharp folks at Mental Floss, we have our answer: It’s all part of a slick branding scheme by The Weather Channel. Last November, the channel announced its plan to name winter storms in order to “raise awareness”, “[make] it much easier to follow a weather system’s progress” on social media…and create hashtag alerts that all lead back to The Weather Channel’s own content.

Smart, you guys. Very smart. We love how TWC “reserved” classic names like Brutus, Iago, Gandolf* and Yogi for the 2012-13 storm crop. Someone has a sense of humor–but it’s not the good people at the National Weather Service, who are totally not on board with this whole “branding the storms” deal (because they can’t stand TWC getting all the attention).

And here we figured it was all part of Disney’s plan to convince everyone in the Northeast to stay inside and re-watch Pixar movies this weekend…

*We’re not even Tolkein dorks and we knew that Gandalf’s name does NOT include an “o”. Come on!