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New Pooh Movie among Disney’s new licensing plans

Back in 2006 when Handy Manny was first broadcast on the Disney Channel, I wrote about the lack of toys available for this very popular series. There were dozens and dozens of comments on that post asking where they could find Handy Manny toys. I even wrote my contacts at Disney Consumer Products asking them to release something, anything.

Finally, this last year or so a few toys have trickled out. But nothing giving Handy Manny the fleet of toys he deserves based on demand. Well, it seems Disney has finally come around. At the recent Licensing expo in Las Vegas they announced that Handy Manny would be getting two prime time specials and a bunch more licensed product to go along with it.

But that’s not the big news coming from the Licensing Expo. The news is that Disney thinks 6 years is enough to let the Winnie the Pooh franchise rest, at least when it comes to feature films. They’ll be coming out with a new Winnie the Pooh movie in 2011 and the best news is that it will be hand drawn.

I choose to ignore the blasphemy of ‘My Friends Tigger and Pooh’ where not only did they switch to CGI animation, but also ditched Christopher Robin for Penny Darby, a new character created by Disney Marketing to sell the plush better. Sure, Disney added the Gopher earlier, but that was a relatively minor change. I sure hope they plan to bring back Christopher Robin in this new movie.

My hopes are high as I see the influence of John Lasseter in this move. Had Eisner still be in charge, this surely would still be CG animation. But when it comes down to it, it’s the story that really matters, and Lasseter will make sure that’s in line before greenlighting a single scene.

(via The Hollywood Reporter)