- Disney releases "Morning Glory" short starring Duffy & Friends to share the message of love, friendship and teamwork when overcoming hardship.
Amid petitions to delay reopening of Disney theme parks due to the novel coronavirus concerns and the appeal to re-theme the classic Splash Mountain attraction due to racist undertones, Disney shares a story of overcoming unexpected hiccups through friendship, love, and teamwork.
“Morning Glory” is a short inspired by an original Walt Disney Imagineering story starring Duffy and Friends. The new short finds Mickey Mouse’s teddy bear Duffy and friends – ShellieMay, Gelatoni, StellaLou, CookieAnn, and ‘Olu Mel – plant a little garden of morning glory seeds that Duffy received from Mickey Mouse.
The friends work together to watch their plants grow until a minor and unexpected hiccup happens. Duffy and Friends then work together to overcome the unprecedented hardship with the message of love, friendship, and teamwork.
Imagineers originated the adventures of Duffy within the context of American Waterfront at Tokyo DisneySea. The story began when Mickey Mouse the sailor was leaving on a long sea voyage from Cape Cod, and Minnie Mouse hand-sewed Mickey a cuddly teddy bear to keep him company during his travels and many adventures. The name of the bear was inspired when Minnie placed the bear in Mickey’s duffel bag. Together, the Duffy and Mickey visited many exciting places and made new friends along the way.
Disney announced this week on the proposed plan to begin phased reopening of Downtown Disney District on July 9, and opening gates to the Disneyland park on July 17, 2020. The parks would operate in a limited capacity and would require guests to make advanced reservations and undergo a health screening before entering the parks.
However, the news by Happiest Place on Earth was not met with anticipation after thousands of guests and cast members voiced their concern and signed a petition asking for Disney to delay the July reopening.
“Many people have lost loved ones due to this pandemic and by reopening the parks they are endangering cast members and guests to be exposed to COVID-19,” the petition reads.
In early May, Disney first reopened Disney Springs with extensive health and safety measures, along with the disclosure that guests would assume COVID-19 exposure risk when shopping and dining on the Orlando Disney property. No issues have arisen from the opening of this property and would seem to be the same response by reopening more Disney properties to guests.
Along with the reopening response by guests and cast members, many Disney fans are also petitioning for Disney to re-theme Splash Mountain, as the mainstay was inspired by the 1946 film Song of the South, which rendered racist stereotypes of “spiritual” black men and a wistful interpretation of the antebellum South amid George Floyd protests and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Fans have signed a petition to have Disney change the theme to embrace diversity and representation of the black community through the story of the Princess and the Frog.
“There is a huge need for diversity in the parks and this could help fill that need. Princess and the Frog is a beloved princess movie but has very little representation in the parks. Tiana could be one of the first princesses with a thrill ride, as well as giving her a much deserved place in the parks,” the petition reads.
We are all in this together during these unfortunate and unprecedented times, so together let’s unite as friends to overcome hardship with love, friendship, and teamwork.