If you were visiting the Magic Kingdom last week you were in for a Character Greeting treat. Out and about for your digital photographing and autographing experience were several hard-to-find or even ‘retired’ characters including Robin Hood, Prince John, Friar Tuck, Sheriff of Nottingham, Jiminy Cricket, Gepetto, Pinocchio (!), Scrooge McDuck, Ludwig von Drake, Horace Horsecollar, Clarabelle Cow, Three Little Pigs, and one Big Bad Wolf.
Now, I know a little something about that Big Bad Wolf. We spent a little time together Christmas week 1995 on a little street called Mickey Avenue (most of which is now Pixar Place) at the Disney-MGM (yes, we’re still not calling it Hollywood) Studios.
Sometimes, I like to take credit for the BBW getting shelved like he’s been in the 21st Century but, I like to take credit for a lot of things. You see, when the question is asked “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?” the answer is simply – no one. Adults try to stick their heads in his big toothed jaw, little girls stomp his foot, kids try to unsnap his one shoulder overalls at the behest of their fathers. And, for goodness sake, there’s no need for him to be batted on the nose so many times like a scolded dog! He sadly lost that aura he had, terrorizing kids on Main Street in the 80’s, the same kids who had rediscovered those cartoons with the advent of the Disney Channel and those cassettes you would put in a video recorder. By the mid-90’s, Jafar, Ursula, and Scar had upped the ante on Disney villainy.
ps – why must we keep the Robin Hood characters on the shelf? Don’t you realize that half of the adult kids in America love that movie more because of how many times they met those characters in the park?