Sunday, December 27, 2009
Walt Disney's Aristocat Girl
I spent a nice, snowy Christmas at my Mom and Dad's house in Texas (yes, it snowed in Texas!). Years ago, I got a vintage plush toy of Marie from the Aristocats "for my Mom" for Christmas (yeah, I know I'm busted). It is on display in one of their guest rooms.
Marie has become a fascinating character to me. The Aristocats is not necessarily a well-known movie. I thought the film had some fun moments, but it is not one of my favorites.
Marie is popular because she is cute. I don't know if most kids know what movie she is from. I just saw an episode of "SuperNanny" and one of the parents threatened to take away "Kitten" from her daughter (a plush toy of Marie).
Marie started appearing regularly at The Disney Store some time ago, and has been included in some plush toy lines available at Wal-Mart and other chain stores. There is also a line of Aristocats cat food at Kroger grocery stores featuring Duchess, Marie, and her brothers.
Marie seems to have taken the Tokyo Disney Resort and Japan itself by storm. She also looks to be popular at Hong Kong Disneyland, and an animatronic version of Marie appears in that park's It's a Small World. The Small World pin I have here came from Walt Disney Imagineering's gift shop.
It is funny to see the tag "Walt Disney's Aristocat Girl"----the toymakers didn't even bother to find out her name. I remember seeing this Marie and the other Aristocats for sale at Walt Disney World in the early 1980s. There is something about the simplicity of the design of this toy line that is very appealing. This is not very cuddly---it is from the time period when glue was used to apply noses, mouths and other features.
Today, Marie can sometimes be found paired up with Minnie Mouse on merchandise. Maybe it's time for Disney to just make Marie into Minnie's pet. Minnie already shares Figaro the kitten with Pinocchio and Geppetto, so it wouldn't be unheard of for a mouse to have a pet cat.