Sunday, April 3, 2016

Ornament Review: Humphrey the Bear - Art of Disney Animation #8 - 2016 Disney Store Ornament

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great sculpt of a lesser known character
Cons: Many won’t know who he is, slight tip
The Bottom Line:
A little known bear
Captured in fun ornament
True DisNerds rejoice

Another Rare Disney Character Gets His Ornament

The popular Disney characters get lots of merchandise, which isn’t a huge surprise.  If it sells, Disney is going to produce it since they are in business to make money.  One thing I’ve loved about the Art of Disney Animation ornament series is that it has allowed the lesser characters a chance to step into the spotlight.  Take for example, the latest ornament in the series, Humphrey.

Wondering just who Humphrey is?  I must admit I had a vague idea of who he was, but had to look him up myself.  He’s a bear who started out playing supporting roles in various shorts the company did.  He starred opposite Donald and Goofy, for example, before getting his own series of shorts.  Unfortunately, only two shorts were produced before Disney stopped making short subjects period, although that hasn’t stopped Humphrey from showing up from time to time.  He’s even the spokesbear for the Wilderness Lodge at Walt Disney World.

Once I’d read that, I remembered that I’d seen his two shorts solo, and one of them forms the basis of this ornament.  Inspired by “In the Bag,” the ornament finds Humphrey picking up trash under the watchful eye of park ranger J. Audubon Woodlore.  Woodlore is standing on a stump holding the lid of a trashcan with Humphrey in the foreground holding a spear and a bag full of paper litter.

Now if you are thinking the set up for this ornament (and the short it is based on) sounds familiar, you aren’t alone.  When I watched the shorts and saw this ornament, I couldn’t help but see the parallels to Yogi Bear.  However, this isn’t a case of Disney copying someone else’s idea.  Humphrey’s two shorts came out before Yogi ever premiered.

And for fans of this bear, this is a must have ornament.  The two characters are captured wonderfully, and there is just enough else to remind us of the scene as well.  And yet, it is all packed into an ornament.  Granted, this is slightly larger than some ornaments you could buy (as are most ornaments from The Disney Store), but it would still look good on your tree.

And when you go to hang it on your tree, you’ll appreciate the red ribbon already attached for you.  It does tip slightly to the back, but it isn’t super noticeable, especially when you get it in the middle of branches.

Or, you can choose to display the ornament year round.  The ornament comes with a nice flat base the characters are standing on, which allows you to put it out to enjoy on any flat surface.  And in a touch I love, the base has edges that look a bit like they are the trunk of a tree.  It’s subtle, but it definitely gives that impression.

Humphrey is definitely not a familiar Disney character, but I am thrilled to have him in my ornament collection.  Anyone who is a fan of this almost forgotten character will delight to have him as well.

Looking for more animation Christmas magic?  Here are the rest of the Art of Disney Animation ornaments.

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