The first production — Disney Live! Presents Pooh's Perfect Day — will premiere in New Zealand, and the show about the famed, lovable bear will then be seen in Australia and other Pacific Rim countries before heading to Europe in 2005. U.S. venues and dates are expected at a later date. All of the classic "Winnie the Pooh" characters will be seen onstage, including Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore and Rabbit. Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment, said in statement, "We are so proud to extend our long-standing relationship with Disney to offer this new realm of spectacular family entertainment. Disney Live! is a new adventure for us and we look forward to bringing classic Disney characters and stories to life for audiences around the world in a way they've never seen before."
Thomas Schumacher, president of Buena Vista Theatrical Group, added, "We are thrilled to continue our successful partnership with Kenneth Feld who consistently produces extraordinary shows under the banner of Disney On Ice. Disney Live! Presents Pooh's Perfect Day will allow us to expand our Live Family Entertainment umbrella to new audiences and reach children in what will probably be their first experience with theatre."
In other Disney news, the company is currently developing a host of musical projects for schools throughout the country: an adaptation of the film "Newsies," a version of "Aladdin" for middle-school students and versions of "Cinderella" and "The Jungle Book" for elementary students. Forty-minute scripts will be offered for "Aladdin," "Cinderella" and "The Jungle Book"; CD tracks will also be available for children to sing with karaoke-style. Schumacher told Newsday, "[School music] programs are being cut back, so if you don't have an orchestra, you can use [these tracks]. Or if you do have an orchestra, you can rent the parts from us."