Thursday, December 08, 2005


I've attributed my love of reading to my parents, who had exceptionally good taste in the choices of children's books they read to me, and let me read once I was old enough. The Mouse Who Wanted a Cookie, The Missing Piece, the entire collection of Beatix Potter's books, and A. A. Milne. Mum always used to read to us the stories of Winnie the Pooh, and I love Milne's poems, especially "King John Was Not a Good Man". I watched the Winnie the Pooh animated series when I was little, but I grew out of it quickly, and it was never a favourite. I never watched the movies, either.
However, I never really minded what Disney was doing with the stories - until now.
Reading Neil Gaiman's blog over at, he brought to attention the fact that Disney, for it's next animated Winnie the Pooh series, has decided to replace the Christopher Robin character with a "six-year-old tomboyish girl", as yet unnamed, in order to "bring a breath of fresh air to the franchise". WTF?? You can read the article at
That, my friends, is heresy! What were the folks at Disney thinking? I'm trying to imagine the nitwits in the boardroom going over why, exactly, they saw fit to dissect the childhood memories of millions of people to tear out the beating heart of the A. A. Milne story and replace it with an cold artificial thing of mechanical moving parts that pumps sugar and anti-depressants in place of blood.
Maybe they thought that since there is only one female character in the Pooh crew (that would be the Roo's mum), that they were alienating the toddler girl audience. Balls. BALLS, I tell you. Girls and boys alike loved the books and the cartoons. Christopher Robin and the Rabbit character are suitably androgynous, and really, three-to-six year-old girls do NOT care - they like the stories. Since when has a four-year-old darling, with chestnut curls and the money of her doting parents in equal abundance, ever said, "Gee mommy, I don't like Winnie the Pooh. I feel alienated because there is no female character with whom I can relate to, and so the story has no emotional relevance for me anymore."
ARGH! Dammit, Disney - go back to doing what you do best: which is making faithful adaptations of fairy ta...wait a minute...
Damn. I guess this is just a regular workday for the Mouse House, then.


  1. Anonymous11:58 AM

    Rape is a a nasty, violent crime. If you use the term this carelessly, for such a petty reason, you dilute its meaning, the same way people do when they toss around "Nazi."

    You're a writer. Be aware of the words you choose, little pink girl.

  2. Fair - but this action of Disney DID made me very, very angry.

  3. In many countries, the crime of rape is now referred to as Sexual assault. Goodness, they even changed the name of the rape-seed plant to canola!!

    But the word "rape" originally meant the violent seizure of property, from Latin rapere ‘seize’. So applying the word "rape" to sexual assault belittles women by applying a term of property to a human being.

    Check out a good dictionary.

    Think of Alexander Pope's classic epic poem, The Rape of the Lock.

    There is more than one meaning to the word "rape".

    So, dear anonymous, perhaps we should ALL be aware of the words we choose.

    Nice post, animejune.


  4. Anonymous12:27 PM

    I know those alternate meanings, dear, sweet, scholarly talmida. But the common meaning today is sexual assault, and using that word to describe Disney's stupid antics belittles the crime.

    animejune: Thank you for changing the header of your post.

  5. You're welcome.
    I was already feeling iffy about the title, and your comment just brought it home that it was an exaggerated word choice.

  6. Boy, it's a good thing the world is full of editors. And here I was thinking that "rape" merely meant a violent pillage of something of value.

    Modern parlance doesn't leave out that older definition, O intrepid Anonymous. Think of "The Rape of Nanking". Very famous work, that. And not about sexual assault.

    Whaddya know?

    However, it was a valid point, if not necessarily an odiously important one, so kudos for bringing it to light. We writer folks should indeed be careful of the words we choose.

    And AJ? *grins* I agree about the assault on poor Winnie the Pooh. Egads. Why on Earth do they always have to tinker with something that's already well-loved?

    Don't get me wrong. I like Disney just fine. But...I'm thinking Pocahontas, and I am wincing. Oi.

  7. Don't forget "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame II"! That's right, II!