CATEGORIES Animation, Comedy, Disney, Family Films, Newsstand, Movie Marketing, Movie News, CinematicalAs carefully detailed by Disney-watcher Jim Hill, that company has a strong, long-standing relationship with Toys 'R' Us. Radio Disney and the retailer are close partners, and Disney reportedly helped design some of the very successful Toys 'R' Us feature shops, areas within Toys 'R' Us stores that spotlight specific Disney characters or releases.
Because of these strong retail ties, it's no surprise to hear that Disney approached the company about creating and selling at least one The Wild tie-in, specifically a doll of the character named Bridget, a (somewhat grumpy, I assume -- she's played by Janeane Garofalo, after all) giraffe. And, if loyalty and the chance to work with the lovely people at Disney wasn't enough, the animators had also thrown in a huge corporate shout-out to their toy-selling homies: there's a scene in the film of the animals passing the Times Square Toys 'R' Us store, and Bridget gazing up with wonder at the giant giraffe she sees (who also just happens to be the Toys 'R' Us mascot). Irresistible, right? Wrong.
After seeing an unfinished rough cut of The Wild several months ago, Toys 'R' Us executives politely declined to participate in merchandising for the movie, essentially because they think it's going to tank, and won't help sell any merchandise. The funny/sad thing (depending on your perspective) is that, according to Hill's report, Target, Hasbro, Mattel, and Wal-Mart all said exactly the same thing. Ouch. And oh dear.