August 3, 2009

Retro Lookback: The Orange Bird

"Orange Bird is to Figment as Anita Bryant is to Dreamfinder."
-- Lou Mongello, WDW Radio September 2, 2007
This quote is also how i feel about the Orange Bird, many people not know who this little Orange Bird is i sort of reference him as the First Disney Original Character at WDW, calling him sort of like Figment but not.... He was the unoffical mascot of Adventureland for a lot of 1970s Magic Kingdom.
Coming from a 1967 aggreement between Walt Disney Productions and the Florida Citrus Growers for a "tropical tiki room show". The next year WED Enterprises created this little Orange Bird to serve as the mascot of Florida Citrus Growers. With the Florida Citrus Growers also sponsoring the Sunshine Tree Terrace snack/drink pavilion, the Orange Bird also became the mascot of the Sunshine Tree Terrace.
In 1968, the Florida Citrus Growers contracted Anita Bryant, former Miss America, and she signed as a spokesperson for the Florida Citrus Growers. THree years later, she teamed up with the Orange Bird for publicity photos and commercials. For the commercials, the Sherman Brothers wrote "The Orange Bird Song", that put a whole backstory for the the little Orange Bird.
"Little Orange Bird in the Sunshine Tree
Won't you think of something sunny just for me?
Think funny thoughts or sunny words
That will make me happy, little Orange Bird
He thinks beautiful orange pictures and beautiful orange words
Though his little feet can't even make a squeak
All the thoughts he ever spoke appear in orange smoke
That's what makes Orange Bird unique
When you're just about green with envy
Or gonna be feeling blue
And you could use
An orange thought or two
When you start in blushing pink
Or your temper turns you red
That is when the Orange Bird
Can see you through With his beautiful orange feathers
And beautiful leafy wings
He's a fluffy little puffy sight to see
He can turn your frown around
When you see him looking down
The little Orange Bird up in the Sunshine Tree"
From there, the little Orange Bird, was placed in a tree in the Sunshine Tree Terrace, that was the "Sunshine Tree", where he lived which was basically an orange tree. In 1977, Anita Bryant got into some controversy while getting into politics and such. The Florida Citrus Growers quickly dropped her from the campaign, and then that was also basically the end of the Orange Bird... In 1981, the FCG signed another contract to continue sponsoring Tropical Seranade, Sunshine Tree Terrace, and adding a new juice pavilion the Enchanted Grove in Fantasyland. In 2000, the Sunshine Tree prop was removed in a STT refurbishment, and the Orange Bird prop was removed in the 1980s. Years later after the FCG and Disney seperated, teh Orange Bird still lives, throughout the world, but most popularly in Japan, but he is still an "underground" mascot of FLorida. Why Japan you ask??? Well it seems in April 1996, Japan authorized a "Orange Day" in which people give gifts of citrus and such... He also gained popularity in Japan for being "cute" like Hello Kitty, and Pikachu. With Disney still owning the rights to the Orange Bird, Disney can still make merchandise...
This movie in the 1970s was released to schools, to educated children on healthy nutrition and such for "Health" classes around the country...Here are some collectibles... THis first one is a sticker...Now here since we are a "pin" site, here are some Orange Bird pins... THis first one is from WDW in 1970s...These next couple are from Japan Disney Stores...

This art, we showed last week of upcoming Orange Bird pins coming out... SHowing that the Orange Bird and still lives on in many Disney Fans and such...

My opinion is that the Orange Bird lives on still, and will be coming back, with this set of pins, a Annual Passholder exclusive Orange Bird Vinylmation coming out in 2010, and him being a symbol for the Find the Dee Bees viral campaign... I have hope, do you???


That is it for today... Tomorrow we will start a new series, like this Retro Lookback article, tomorrow we will do a Fan Favorite... Stay Tuned...

Pics and Infro from WDW Radio,, and Widen Your World

No comments:

Post a Comment