Sunday, April 25, 2010

Look familiar?

Think about where you may have seen this bear before..

This very interesting video was uploaded to YouTube a few days ago and was noticed on Twitter yesterday evening by reader Matthew Ebisu (@MattEbisu).

It purports to be a worn-out VHS copy of a vintage (c. 1983) TV commercial for Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear, aka Lotso, the most important new character in Toy Story 3. The idea is to (sneakily) convince viewers that Lotso was an actual toy from decades ago, like Chatter Telephone and Animal Lovin' Ken who appear in the movie.

After a bit of reading and research a number of things make clear that the commercial is, in fact, a brilliant viral video for 'TS3'.

First of all, nobody's ever mentioned before that Lotso was based on a real, classic toy. Secondly, no reference to The Huggin' Company alluded to in the commercial can be found anywhere on the web.

But the crucial piece of evidence comes in the form of a tweet. The Lotso video was posted by a new YouTube user named MrCrazycommercials. Another one of this user's videos was linked to by director Lee Unkrich on Twitter on April 16, a full three days before the Lotso commercial was uploaded. That's way too big a coincidence. Is MrCrazycommercials actually Mr. Lee Unkrich?

If you're wondering, Disney Consumer Products is rolling out a real-life strawberry-scented Lotso plush bear as part of the Toy Story Collection. They've already started arriving at some Disney Store retail outlets and are shipping from the Disney Store website.

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