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Babies Need Food Foundation

17 Jul

We interrupt our usual stream of Disney-related rambling and ranting to talk about, well, something really important.

My brother Al and his wife Anita have recently started a foundation to feed hungry children in Anita’s home country of India. On their website, Babies Need Food, they write:

On July 3, 2005, we gave birth to our beloved daughter, Angelina. We quickly discovered that when Angelina is hungry, her crying and desperation to eat is unbearable to listen to, even for a second. As we witnessed the intense desperation for food of our own little girl, we started thinking about all the babies in my home country of India, and how many of them go without proper nutrition during their first 2 years. Many fathers and mothers just don’t have enough money to provide an adequate nutritious diet for their babies. And many infants are left crying in their hunger.

At this point we knew we had to do something for some of the infants in India.

Yes, there are plenty of organizations working to feed the hungry, and to improve the national infrastructures of countries with high proportions of hungry people. So why am I asking you to support this one in particular? Because it’s personal. Because I see the pictures and hear the stories of my brother and his family visiting Chennai to distribute food to other families. Because it’s a small, family-run charity with zero overhead expenses. Because my nieces are growing up making regular visits to India to distribute food and clothes. Because I know there are more families asking for support than Babies Need Food can currently help.

Anita and Alan [. . .] made a personal commitment to financially support 50 mothers with infants. The supplies were purchased from vendors in India. Ministers from various congregations were requested to locate mothers and infants in need.

Well, as with most good works, the need overwhelms the resources! The day after the initial distribution to the 50 infants, 67 more mothers with infants arrived, seeking help! And the number of infants needing nutritional support continues to grow.

Please consider making a contribution of any size. It costs $8 to support one child for one month – about the same cost as a couple Dole Whip Floats! At this time that so many of us are excited about going to Walt Disney Word during the Free Dining promotion, maybe we can appreciate our own good fortune and pass along some pixie dust to another family.

If you have questions about Babies Need Food, please contact Al and Anita through email at info@babiesneedfood.org . I know they will appreciate hearing from you.

As Disney Grows in India, What Will Become of MGM Dizzy World?

11 Jun

There’s been plenty in the media lately about Disney’s increasing presence in India, and the likelihood of a theme park there in the future. Just today, Yahoo! News reported that Disney’s getting ready to announce a joint venture with India’s Yash Raj Films.

All of which makes me wonder, what the heck’s gonna happen to MGM Dizzy World? Wikipedia explains MGM Dizzy World in an article on Chennai tourism:

Spread over 27 acres, this theme park offers joy rides, food stalls and other games. It features one of the first roller coaster rides of Chennai. On the softer side, you have the dashing car drives, and the swimming pool with its water slides.

Now, it’s close to impossible to find detailed information online about this park, let alone many visitor reviews. But to read the review of MGM Dizzy World by Deepa Ravi of Boloji.com, it doesn’t sound likely that MGM Dizzy World could possibly give The Mouse a run for the money. Still, given the name, there could be some interesting copyright and intellectual property issues as Disney continues to expand its presence. I for one will stay tuned.

Happy Birthday Donald Duck!

9 Jun

Donald turns 73 today! So, here’s a little Saturday morning entertainment:

(And once again I ask, what the heck is a radio cartoon?)

Donald Duck fans in India can celebrate by watching a birthday special on their mobile phones, according to DIS News:

The Walt Disney Internet Group, that is focused on digital media platforms is ringing the special occasion through a ‘Birthday Special’ designed to engage and provide an entertaining experience for all the Donald Duck fans across the country on their mobile phones. A unique ‘Donald Zone’ has been created on Reliance mobile world, Planethutch and Airtellive for mobile users across India. Consumers can get access to interesting downloads of wallpapers, animations, ringtones, games and trivia on the http:// wap.disney.in on their GPRS enabled phones.

Two New Disney Projects in Asia?

9 May

According to DIS News, Disney and the Oriental Land Company (which owns and operates Tokyo Disneyland are planning a new “entertainment facility” outside Tokyo:

The facility, which will be all indoors, will include retail stores and restaurants and will be located in a “city outside of the greater Tokyo metropolitan area,” the Tokyo-based company said in a release.

I’d love to know where they’re going to build it. My first thought was of Oita prefecture, a vacation favorite among the Japanese (and the home of Sanrio Harmonyland), but given the lovely weather I can’t imagine they’d put an all-indoor facility there. Maybe Osaka, given the proximity of an international airport and overall ease of transportation?

Another DIS News story reports that Disney’s working on a park in India:

Walt Disney Co. has approached the Government for land to build a theme park near the national capital, an official said on Sunday, in a move to tap a potentially huge market.

“Disney has asked us for land for a theme park,” an official of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) said.

But I’m a little confused by the last line of this story, which makes me wonder if somebody accidentally re-sent an old press release (despite the fact that the dateline says May 9, 2007):

Disney is also hoping to tap the Chinese market with the opening on September 12 of the Hong Kong Disneyland, the first in China.

How Can Disney Own “Bollywood”???

5 Jan

I’ve had this article in my blogreader for a while, and I just keep re-reading it in disbelief: wdwinfo.com reports that Disney now owns the word Bollywood.

First it was neem and Basmati that US companies wanted to register. Now it’s ‘Bollywood’ which has been granted as a trademark to Disney Enterprises Inc. It got the ‘Bollywood’ trademark from the Indian Trademarks Registry.

So, you can soon be drinking Bollywood beer wearing a Bollywood branded sweat shirt and shoes — all owned by US-based Disney. Thus, all sites on the internet containing the word Bollywood, makers of films like Bollywood Hollywood, all albums containing the Bollywood name, and magazines like Bollywood Masala could also be in for a legal battle.

Disney has filed for registration under 7 classes of Schedule 4 of the Indian Trade Mark rules as well which pertain to paper products and film and film equipment. The patent was filed by Delhi-based Anand & Anand Associates for Disney Enterprises, Inc.

(Confused? Don’t know what Bollywood is? Check out this wikipedia article for some context.)

Now, I’m no expert on US copyright law . . . much less Indian copyright law. But I can’t help seeing this in the context of the 1998 Mickey Mouse Protection Act.

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