But I have discovered, with Oliver’s help, that Disney’s true weapon is Winnie the Pooh, bear of stealth.
Try this simple test: keep an eye open for representations of Pooh as you walk through your day. If your day is anything like mine, you might lose count after 25 or 30 sightings.
Here’s an example of where you can find Pooh in my life:
- In Oliver’s bedroom there is one Pooh doll, one Pooh water bottle, a Pooh ball (with bell inside), a Pooh blanket, a pair of Pooh socks, and half a dozen Pooh books.
- Painted on the window of the Basilica Rec Centre children’s daycare on Richmond St., half a block from our house.
- On a flag flying over the daycare at the corner of Sydney and Hillsborough Streets, two blocks from our house.
- In Wal-Mart you cannot walk 25 feet without seeing Pooh — videos, books, umbrellas, rubber boots, diapers, sip-cups. Same with Zellers.
- In the video store — ad infinitum.
- At the public library — many, many Pooh books.
And that’s just scratching the surface.
The secret of Pooh’s success is that parents like us, who would never in a million years welcome Mickey or Dumbo or Barney into our home, see Pooh as a loveable, friendly character, somehow existing above the commercial fold.
Mickey is out there in front, taking the heat, getting all the public attention, and the anti-capitalist scorn; Pooh is bringing up the rear, raking in the cash, and loving every minute.