LeSportsac and Disney Consumer Products announced today the launch of the Disney It’s a Small World by LeSportsac collection featuring handbags, totes and accessories that combine the bright aesthetic of LeSportsac with inspiration from the mid-century artwork of Disney artist Mary Blair who created the whimsical look of the beloved Disney theme park attraction “it’s a small world.”
Disney It’s a Small World by LeSportsac collection includes five seasonal deliveries, each inspired by a specific country. In addition to celebrating a country, each delivery will be anchored with a Signature Tote and a colorful print that pays tribute to the unique facades and architectural works of Disney’s “it’s a small world” Theme park attraction. The collection kicks off with a celebration of Tahiti that includes two graphic totes and a range of 12 styles in two vibrant prints.
“We are so inspired by Blair’s original art and the “it’s a small world” theme of global awareness,” said D’Arcy Jensen, Vice President, Global Creative Director, LeSportsac. “Each collectible design we are creating is a colorful narrative that is sure to delight fans of Disney, Mary Blair and LeSportsac alike.”
The “it’s a small world” attraction, which debuted at the New York World’s Fair in 1964, was created by Walt Disney both as a salute to UNICEF and his belief that everyone is united in their love of children and dreams of a better tomorrow. In keeping with the original philanthropic message of “it’s a small world,” Disney will make a donation to UNICEF in honor of “it’s a small world” and all product in the Disney It’s a Small World by LeSportsac collection will include a special hangtag sharing the history of the original attraction and the connection to UNICEF.
“Our collaboration with LeSportsac pays homage to the magical experience of “it’s a small world” while continuing the legacy of the message behind one of Disney’s most beloved theme park attractions,” said Robert Oberschelp, director, Disney Collections, DCP. “Walt Disney’s vision is as powerful and true today as it was when he first shared it with the world.”
The Disney It’s a Small World by LeSportsac Collection is available online at LeSportsac.com and at all LeSportsac flagship boutiques worldwide. LeSportsac is also available at better department stores and select specialty stores.
UPDATE #1: 5/14/12 – Please note the collection from LeSportsac is not currently available, but we are told it should be within the next month or so. Once we are able to confirm a date, we will update.
UPDATE #2: 5/22/12 – The collection is now available at http://lesportsac.com/smallworld with availability in stores soon.
Last year, Disney Consumer Products kicked off a celebration of 45 years of ‘it’s a small world’ at the Disneyland Resort with upscale clothing lines and other merchandise including a line of books inspired by the attraction and the artwork of Mary Blair. The celebration continues into 2012 with all new product lines inspired by the attraction making their debut at the International Toy Fair in New York City.
miYim had a prototype displayed for a potential line of organic dolls inspired by ‘it’s a small world’ and the ‘Furry Friends‘ title in particular. Pictured here is a doll from Scotland who will be accompanied by a plush pet, much like the one pictured with her in the book. Additionally there would be three additional dolls at launch, although it had yet to be determined which countries would be represented at the time of Toy Fair. miYim also produces a line of Winnie the Pooh and Mickey and Minnie plush which are already on the shelves and are easily recognized by their distinct look which is a result of the use of non-toxic, low eco-impact dyes.
Please note that because the doll is a prototype and the line is awaiting approval from Disney, the final product design is subject to change.
Also representing the theme and spirit of the attraction are swaddling and receiving blankets from Swaddle Designs. Truly there is no more appropriate way to welcome a newborn into the world than with a receiving blanket that literally says hello in multiple languages. Swaddle Designs is also producing a line of swaddling and receiving blankets featuring classic Mickey and Minnie patterns designed to complement the existing line. The Disney blankets should be available this summer at upscale retail locations.
We have obtained what is essentially concept art for the next generation (NextGen) interactive queue for “it’s a small world” at the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort. Taking advantage of the NextGen infrastructure in which guests will be able to personalize their experiences at Walt Disney World, the “it’s a small world” interactivity begins at home. Using their computer or smart phone, guests will design their own “it’s a small world doll.” When they visit the attraction at the Magic Kingdom, monitors placed throughout the attraction will virtually ride along with the guest (or the monitors may be installed in the vehicles, this is an unknown at this time). Guests will also be able to send e-cards spotlighting their virtual trip aboard the happiest cruise to have ever sailed the seven seas.
Below is our gallery of art we have obtained for the NextGen queue which highlights some of the options available when creating the virtual doll (in the Mary Blair style, naturally) as well as some sample virtual postcards.
Earlier today, Disney Design Group Artist Thomas Scott tweeted out a pic of what appeared to be an unknown Vinylmation Jr. figure. Immediately, the entire vinylmation community was abuzz, wondering what they had just seen — well, most of the community anyway, as we correctly attributed it to the popular Fantasyland attraction.
This was later confirmed by Vinylmation on its official blog, on which it announces the complete series will be dedicated to “it’s a small world” and features an additional image of a tiger from the attraction. As with other Vinylmation Jr. series, it will consist of 20 figures, 18 of which will be known (sold in a blind pack) and 2 chasers. The series will be making its debut at the Disney D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, August 19-21.
This is the latest element mentioned in a year-long celebration commemorating the attraction’s arrival in Disneyland on May 28, 1966. As we first announced back in January, business units across The Walt Disney Company are joining in on the affair with new clothing lines, books and more, available through national channels exclusive of the theme parks, as well as in-park celebrations, which includes the Vinylmation release as well as a Mary Blair exhibit at Disneyland’s Disney Gallery,
For the 1964 Worlds Fair in New York, Walt Disney was commissioned by the Pepsi-Cola Company to produce an attraction to benefit the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). With less than a year to create it — and with the vision of former Disney Imagineer Mary Blair and catchy tune by the Sherman Brothers – Disney introduced “It’s A Small World” to the public. In 1966, the attraction re-opened at Disneyland, albeit in a modified form, and ‘the happiest cruise ever to have sailed’ has been a perennial favorite for millions at Disney Parks around the world since.
In honor of the 45th anniversary of the attraction at the Disneyland Resort, The Walt Disney Company is preparing to roll-out a year long celebration across its business units, partnering once again with the United Nations to benefit UNICEF.
Beginning in March, Disney Consumer Products will launch a new line of infant through youth (sizes 0 months – 6x) sized clothing and accessories inspired by recently discovered concept art for the attraction by Mary Blair. Fashions inspired by the Japanese portion of the attraction, such as the concept samples pictured (via Fast Code Design) will kick off the collection to be followed by India in the summer, Scotland in the fall and Russia in the winter. Designers have been commissioned to create premium outfits for the collection that will benefit charity, beginning with a backpack and toddler outfit designed by Lauren Bush to benefit FEED, her own collaboration with the United Nations.
Disney Consumer Products has also confirmed collaborations with Petunia Pickle Bottom, TOMS Shoes, Trumpette, Baby Nay and Mighty Fine. This line of clothing, which ranges in price between $18 – $56, will be available exclusively at Nordstrom. Look for more information soon.
In August, Disney Publishing Worldwide will be releasing several books aimed at children featuring all new artwork inspired by Mary Blair including Recipes from Around the World: A Cookbook for Kids, Small World: Hello, World!, Small World: Furry Friends and Small World Picture Book with CD.
Naturally Disney Parks and Resorts will also be getting into the action along with a special Disney D23 member event. Expected celebrations include an international kids-fashion runway show, a pop-up shop and cocktail party amongst other surprises.
Thanks to a tip, we have learned that ‘it’s a small world’ at the Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom has been scheduled for an extended refurbishment beginning August 1 and ending October 22. The refurbishment is listed on the official Walt Disney World website daily view for those dates and a call to the Resort did confirm the closure.
We’re sure in time that more about the details of the refurbishment will come to light, but until then, one can only speculate. With the addition of Disney characters at first Hong Kong Disneyland and then Disneyland in 2009, could the Magic Kingdom be far behind?
Below is a video released from Disney Parks which highlights the changes made to the Disneyland version last year:
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Update: According to the LA Times Fun Blog, both Disney Parks and WDI have denied that there will be characters added to the attraction, which still leaves one to wonder why the attraction will be closed for such a long time when it just experienced an extensive refurbishment about five years ago.
“We are thrilled to be associated with such an icon of the Disney experience. At SYLVANIA, we are creating ways to see the world in a new light. Our association with ‘it’s a small world’ is a perfect fit for our own vision,” said Rick Leaman, president and CEO of the Siemens lighting unit, OSRAM SYLVANIA.
“‘it’s a small world’ is a celebration of the hope we all share for peace on Earth,” said Walt Disney Imagineer Tony Baxter, who is the creative lead for Disneyland. “It’s an illuminating global message, so it’s fitting that this classic attraction should be sponsored by a company that literally helps illuminate the world.”
A new illuminated marquee, the only change to the attraction, will brighten the overall experience for guests and is slated for installation in early 2010. The design is a visual celebration of what the attraction represents, the happy spirit of children everywhere.
This sponsorship is part of a 12-year agreement between The Walt Disney Company and Siemens. The agreement includes marketing and promotional rights, attraction sponsorships and a promotional presence that features Siemens products and services at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California. Siemens also is the sponsor of the Epcot icon, SpaceShip Earth.
“it’s a small world” originally was created for the 1964 New York World’s Fair as an exhibit that would benefit UNICEF, which is dedicated to the welfare of children all over the world. The attraction moved to its Anaheim home in 1966.
Considered a quintessential Disney theme park experience, “it’s a small world” contains more than 300 Audio-Animatronics® figures, representing children around the globe. It also features more than 250 toys and 80 animated props. After a full year of work, an enhanced version of the attraction opened in February 2009, including stylized dolls and toys dressed as several classic Disney characters seamlessly integrated and geographically located in the lands where their stories take place.