Disney launches global campaign for Winnie the Pooh's 80th anniversary

MUMBAI: Disney is marking Winnie the Pooh's 80th anniversary in 2005/2006 with an 18-month celebration to be commemorated with an exciting range of entertainment activities and special edition products across the Asia Pacific region.

Winnie the Pooh's 80th anniversary kicked off in late last year with the New York premiere of Disney Live! and continues globally through 2007 with entertainment from Disney Live!, Buena Vista Home Entertainment and Walt Disney Records.

Disney Consumer Products will also offer exciting special edition products including clothing, stationery, toys and much more. A new, original Winnie the Pooh song - My Friend Pooh -- from Walt Disney Records' artist, Ralph Covert, is also scheduled for release with celebrations culminating with the 2007 premiere of Disney Channel's learning-focused CG-animated series for preschoolers, My Friends Tigger and Pooh.

Disney Consumer Products in India has several reasons to celebrate this anniversary. Winnie the Pooh has been in India for over seven years and is today the highest selling plush toy in the market. Winnie the Pooh products range covers infant and kids apparel, back to school products, stationary, toys, footwear, the newly launched Disney-Nerolac paints, and bedding. Winnie the Pooh contributes about 30 per cent of the Disney’s licensing and merchandising business in India.

"Winnie the Pooh is one of Disney's premiere character franchises that remain as relevant to parents and kids today as it did 80 years ago. Pooh's 80th anniversary celebrates the tremendous heritage of this franchise, and a key initiative for Disney is to continue to develop Pooh with new creative programs across the company that will keep it fresh for the next 80 years. The new Winnie the Pooh television show planned for 2007 is part of that effort," said Disney Corporate Brand Management senior vice president Matt Ryan.

“Winnie the Pooh has a rich heritage and has made a big impact on generations of kids -- his messages of friendship, imagination and adventure – are timeless and felt here in India and the Asia Pacific region as much as it does around the world. Pooh is very popular in the region and enjoys very high awareness and we believe children across India will be excited to celebrate the 80th anniversary for Pooh,” said The Walt Disney Company (India) managing director Rajat Jain.

Disney Worldwide Outreach community initiatives will also host “Reading Together” programs during vacation periods to support this worldwide campaign.

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