Sunday, September 16, 2012

Finding Sunny

In honor of the 3D re-release of Finding Nemo, let’s examine a little tribute to Pixar placed within the film. No, it’s not typical in-house reference to A113 or the Pizza Planet truck. No, it’s not the Buzz Lightyear action figure briefly seen in the dentist office.

Pixar presents a short film before each theatrical release. Early shorts were done to hone creative and technical talent within the Studio. Lately, the shorts are a way to continue character development of established franchises, such as Cars or Toy Story.

The short that premiered prior to Finding Nemo on May 30th 2003 was a much earlier Pixar work titled Knick Knack, created in 1989. It's about the sheltered life of a snow globe snowman. He’s trying to find different ways to escape, caught by the lure of Sunny the mermaid and other tropical delights. 

In the end he does escape - only to find himself back in the snow globe. In Finding Nemo, Sunny makes a cameo in the dentist office fish tank, so sharpen your eye to spot her on the prow of the sunken ship in the tank!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Humphrey the Bear

Disney’s animation heritage isn’t limited to the theme parks of Walt Disney World. Mickey and the other members of the fab five - Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto - are evident throughout the entire resort, if only on guide maps and other signage.

But If you dig a little deeper into the pantheon of Disney’s animation characters, you’ll find a rather obscure creature named Humphrey the Bear. 

He’s a easy-going brown bear who hangs his proverbial hat at Brownstone National Park. He starred in six Disney animated shorts, debuting in 1950. Humphrey’s antics, including his eternal quest for food from park visitors and his nemesis, ranger J. Audubon Woodlore, inspired Yogi Bear.

Although he’s not an instantly recognizable character to Disney fans, he blends in nicely in the cavernous Wilderness Lodge lobby. He can be found on the bottom of a totem pole just outside the ‘mercantile’ store. The brown bear is the official mascot of this amazing resort, and Humphrey gladly stands duty, perhaps waiting for an opportunity to grab a snack from an unsuspecting Guest.