Wednesday, September 01, 2004

"More Appropriate" New Mascots Debut at Disney

Visitors to Disney parks around the globe today were surprised to find that every one of Disney's legendary park mascots had been removed from the parks. Replacing them were a number of new characters designed, in the words of one Disney representative, "to better display our company's wholesome, family-friendly image in the most appropriate way possible."

"While we are already receiving some complaints from visitors about how they always wanted to meet and greet with Pooh or Mickey or Goofy, we're sure that everyone will come to love our new special characters in no time," said the rep. "Our main concerns were that the old characters were getting boring and stagnant, and, more importantly, that there was a perception that some of the characters were unwholesome.

"Although it was proven that Tigger didn't touch anyone inappropriately, there are always these rumors about Mickey getting drunk and Minnie whoring herself out in the parking lot after Illuminations. That sort of thing. These new mascots are far more appropriate for theme parks aimed at children."

The new "ringmaster" and central mascot for Disney, taking over from Mickey, will be Satan. Character actors dressed as Lucifer will stake out the entrance plazas at each park.

"Everyone loves Satan," said the rep. "This morning, all the parents and children have been screaming with delight as this fun-loving character threatens to drag them to hell and eat their still-beating hearts in front of them while their flesh slowly boils and maggots burrow through their brains."

"People have responded particularly well to Safari Satan at Animal Kingdom," he added.

But Satan is not the only child-friendly figure appearing at the revamped parks. Chucky, Iron Maiden's Eddie, Prom-Night Carrie and the Stephen King's It will all wander the parks giving autographs and engaging in wacky fun with youngsters. And, in a logical move, the former Mickey's Toontown Fair and other official character greet areas will be converted to Frank the Bunny's Apocalyptic Visions of the Future Character Breakfast Area.

"Nothing screams 'adorable' like the giant, demonic rabbit from Donnie Darko," said the Disney rep. "The kids'll love it. The kids'll just love it."

The rep also admitted that other mascots were considered. "We were really leaning toward using Corey Haim and Corey Feldman," he notes, "and we wouldn't have to even hire people to portray them, since they probably could use the work. But ultimately we thought they might be a little scary for some of the younger children who visit Disney parks."

The rep refused to comment on whether Pamela Anderson or Michael Jackson were still in contract negotiations with Disney to join the new group of mascots.