Disney sometimes gets criticized for being over-protective of it's intellectual property. The Disney Company holds copyright to many many stories and characters and iconic images, but these are the lifeblood of the company, the source of the magic Walt created all those years ago. I for one am happy to see Mickey remain outside the public domain and inside the embrace of Disney, and this past weekend my son and I found a perfect example of why I feel that way.
We took a Saturday trip to Carolina Beach, an island town just up the coast from our own. Carolina Beach is a bit, ummmm, let's say tackier than Oak Island. They have what they call a "boardwalk," though it hasn't any boards and is really just a two block stretch of bars and tourist trap souvenir shops. One newer attraction on the boardwalk, though, is a small collection of amusement rides, like you'd find at a traveling fair. It was daytime when we visited and they weren't running, but they were somehow even creepier in daylight than they would be at night, I suspect. We saw a dragon-headed roller coaster and a carousel with some truly disturbing animals to ride on. Then there was a fun house. It had a "cute" animated character theme, with a hodgepodge of familiar cartoon friends. Disney was represented by Buzz Lightyear and Tow Mater and Lightning McQueen. The Cars characters weren't too bad. I mean, they were not drawn particularly well, but they weren't horrible.
Buzz Lightyear was another story. I mean wow. Check this out.