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Disney Launches Winnie the Pooh's 80th Celebration

Disney is marking Winnie the Pooh's 80th anniversary in 2005/2006 with an 18-month celebration to be commemorated with new Winnie the Pooh entertainment from Disney Live!, Buena Vista Home Ent. and Walt Disney Records; special edition product from Disney Consumer Products; and international support in all major regions leading to the 2007 premiere of Disney Channel's learning-focused 3D-animated series for preschoolers, MY FRIENDS TIGGER AND POOH. Winnie the Pooh's 80th Anniversary kicked off this week with the New York premiere of DISNEY LIVE! WINNIE THE POOH and will continue globally through 2007.

"WINNIE THE POOH is one of Disney's premiere character franchises that remain as relevant to parents and kids today as it did 80 years ago," said Matt Ryan, svp, Disney corporate brand management. "Pooh's 80th Anniversary celebrates the tremendous heritage of this franchise, and a key initiative for Disney is to continue to develop Pooh with new creative programs across the company that will keep it fresh for the next 80 years..."

In 2006, Disney Stores will feature special Winnie the Pooh product shops in celebration of their new infant product line and the 80th Anniversary; Radio Disney will launch "Pooh's-Days" every Tuesday on its Playhouse Disney block; Buena Vista Home Ent. will release POOH'S GRAND ADVENTURE on DVD for the first time in March; and a new, original Winnie the Pooh song, My Friend Pooh, from Walt Disney Records' artist, Ralph Covert, is scheduled for release.

The 80th Anniversary celebrates the London Evening News' first printing of a Winnie the Pooh story on Dec. 24, 1925. Winnie the Pooh's heritage with books and storytelling has left a legacy with children and fans around the world. First Book, a national nonprofit organization with a single mission: to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books, will be one of the charitable organizations that will benefit from the efforts during the 80th anniversary.

Winnie the Pooh reaches children and families through seven theatrical releases, more than 30 home videos, an award-winning television series, consumer products and Disney theme parks around the world. Winnie the Pooh entertainment and products can be found in more than 38 countries with books and videos translated in 29 languages. Additionally, FORBES MAGAZINE has consistently ranked WINNIE THE POOH AND FRIENDS a top-earning character franchise with more than $5b in retail sales worldwide.

The Walt Disney Studios is a unit of The Walt Disney Co. and distributes motion pictures under Walt Disney Pictures, which includes Walt Disney Feature Animation and DisneyToon Studios, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, Miramax Films and Dimension Films. Buena Vista Intl serves as the studio's international distribution arm. Buena Vista Home Ent. and Buena Vista Home Ent. Intl together distribute Disney and other film titles to the rental and sell-through home entertainment markets worldwide. Buena Vista Theatrical Prods. is one of the largest producers of Broadway musicals, and the Buena Vista Music Group distributes original music and motion picture soundtracks under its four record labels: Walt Disney Records, Buena Vista Records, Hollywood Records and Lyric Street Records.

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