Tinkerbell enters the drug culture at Disney World

In the past certain Disney films had acquired some meaning among the drug culture, like Fantasia and acid trips. at some point after they were released. But these t-shirts on sale at Walt Disney World are entering new territory as they’re designed to capitalize on drug culture in the first place.

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The gray t-shirt features a good Tink and a bad Tink clearly positioning her along side the green fairy familiarly associated with Absinthe. The background art of unicorns and skulls are reminiscent of drug icons and paraphernalia.

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The Pink Tink Tee alludes to the acid trips and drug culture, of the 60s and 70s. Both shirts have psychedelic qualities in their design. Both were for sale this weekend in the MouseGears store at Epcot. I could understand seeing something like this at Hot Topic maybe. But right there inside a Disney theme park? Who is watching the character branding these days?

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15 Responses to Tinkerbell enters the drug culture at Disney World

  1. whit says:

    My guess is that the 60′s and 70′s seem so long ago that they’re now considered “safe.”

    This isn’t the first time Disney has marketed items directly at that culture. Old Fantasia and Alice in Wonderland posters were pretty trippy too.

  2. Jenz says:

    Personally I hate both of those shirts .. and drug references are never “safe” regardless of the amount of time that has past.

    I don’t think that Peter Pan was every really a “druggie” film either.
    I know Alice would be .. but Peter Pan?

    : (

  3. Kaz says:

    I think kids today don’t think of the 60′s as drugs and peace, but buy these things for the retro kitsch value.

  4. john bean says:

    i think this a stretch.

    the shirts are “groovy” and there is no link to drugs unless you make it yourself

    cheers

  5. The Reviewer says:

    Unicorns and Skulls are reminiscent of drug icons and paraphernalia? What drug culture and paraphernalia is that?

    The first shirt is reminiscent of a new trend in artistic styling, from Napoleon Dynamite forward with a focus on hand drawn art from teens and a throwback to the 80′s styles of trapper keepers and other various popular art styles.

    The second shirt I might agree with you, however, what was once a drug culture is now just a culture. The styling and feel is trendy and popular, not associated with drug culture of kids.

  6. el says:

    I’ll have to agree with The Reviewer.

    That’s a hell of a stretch. Skulls? Is Pirates promoting drugs, too?!

  7. Gus says:

    LOL…yeah thats a strech alright…. I think the shirts are kind of cool; they are designed to market to a hipper, older market, rather than the Tink shirts you find at Walmart or in the little girls department. Since when is Tink an icon solely for five year olds??

  8. moimoi says:

    Are you kidding me? Any “drug reference” in those shirts is clearly stemming from you own mind.

    Perhaps it’s about time for another trip to that NA group? I think so.

  9. whit says:

    Actually, it’s not a stretch at all. I spent more time than I care to admit in my teen years looking at blacklight posters.

    Skulls, unicorns, fairies and mushrooms pretty much sum up the decor of any respectable smokeshop.

  10. Peter Emslie says:

    The imagery and the font style says “headshop” to me too. On top of that, it’s just amateurish design, especially on that first shirt. It’s all rather indicative of the way things are going in Disney Consumer Products under the direction of Andy Mooney. For the record, Mooney dissolved the Disney Store/Catalogue Art Dept last October, laying off all the art staff without warning. Undoubtedly this is leading to more design work being done outside of Disney, just using pick-up art of the characters. That’s what these shirts look like – Tink art surrounded by the lesser work of non-Disney artists. But do any of you really care, or are you content to buy this inferior junk?

  11. AW says:

    Bah, overreact much?

    People see what they want to see.

    I’ve never seen such non-news in my life.

  12. Ben says:

    I like them actually… and I’m about as anti-drug as they come. Just because people who like drugs might also like these shirts doesn’t mean that these shirts are promoting drug use, or anything even close.

    If they sell well at Hot Topic or anywhere else, why shouldn’t Disney sell them as well?

    I’ve always found it annoying that I could find cool Disney themed shirts at Hot Topic or Urban Outfitters, while Disney stores continued to only sell the standard obnoxious screened shirts. I think this is a step in the right direction.

    Imagine, Disney characters featured on clothes that people might actually like to wear.

  13. Papajoe says:

    Per Peter’s comment, these shirts are sourced by the park’s merchandising department, not Disney Consumer Products. You can see that clearly from the label.

  14. Peter Emslie says:

    If these shirts were entirely designed within WDW’s Merchandise Art department, then they should be ashamed of themselves. I still think that the art was done by the shirt manufacturer, using Tink art that was supplied by Disney, then adding the additional graphics themselves. This used to happen a lot when I was a character artist in Disney’s Consumer Products division here in Canada because some licensees were given too much creative control, much to my chagrin. Of course, that art department was also shut down by Disney bigwigs several years ago, despite the fact it had been in existence since the 1950′s. Disney artists are no longer valued by the Company. Instead of keeping them on-staff with full benefits, Disney would rather lay them off and use their abilities on a freelance basis when they’re desperate and hungry. I blame Eisner for most of it, but Iger must take some blame too.

  15. Tim Lenz says:

    for a while now, i’ve hated the way tinkerbell has been marketed. they seem to be appealing her to over-priveleged little girls, providing them with a “celebrity” justification to act moody, hot-tempered, and pouty.

    “it’s okay to be a little priss, tinkerbell does it!”

    every time i see a tink pin that says “sassy” or a pair of pants or shorts with her on the rear, i cringe.

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