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Posted at 9:45 AM ET, 06/17/2010

Was Pixar behind that viral bear ad? The 'TOY STORY 3' writer talks

By Michael Cavna


Beyond their talents at delivering humor and heart and pathos and tremendous craft, the makers of "Toy Story 3" (opening tomorrow) are masters of plumbing audience nostalgia. Even when it's "invented" nostalgia.

The Disney/Pixar wizards notably spotlight a Ken doll (voiced by Michael Keaton) in the new film, but "TS3" also masterfully summons feelings for another new character: Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear (voice of Ned Beatty). Not that this Lots-O' ad ever existed in any of our childhoods.

Lots-O' was the subject of a viral campaign some weeks back, when "McCrazy commercials" featured the bear in a '80s-style "ad" -- along with 17 real kiddie commercials from decades of yore.

So Comic Riffs put the question to "Toy Story 3" writer Michael Arndt yesterday: Was Pixar itself behind Lots-O's ad of uncertain parentage. Arndt "cleared things up" by saying with mock authority: "I can neither confirm nor deny whether Pixar was responsible for that ad."

Ahh. Gotcha.

( Tomorrow: Comic Riffs' full interview with Michael "The pride of Virginia" Arndt. )

THE REAL-FEELING "LOTS-O' " AD:

ONCE THE HOTTEST THING TO HIT JAPAN:

By Michael Cavna  | June 17, 2010; 9:45 AM ET
Categories:  The Animation  | Tags:  Disney Pixar, Michael Arndt, Toy Story 3  
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Next: 'Riffs Interview: How Michael Arndt went from celebrity assistant to 'TOY STORY 3' screenwriter in two moves

Comments

Oddly, I am starting to recall remarkably detailed memories of Lots o' Huggin Bear. Which is especially alarming because in 1983 I was 21.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 17, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Are you sure it didn't exist? My daughter had one and she named it BaBa. I know I have a picture here somewhere. Hmmmm, maybe not, come on you remember the commercial, don't you, besides the girl in the commercial is the daughter of a neighbor's Aunt's second cousin.

Posted by: 2old2readcomics | June 18, 2010 2:09 AM | Report abuse

These comments are reminding me of the recent Slate series: "The Memory Doctor" http://www.slate.com/id/2251671/landing/1

Pixar might actually inadvertently (or not?) be implanting real memories in us with these fake commercials. ;)

Posted by: RKaufman13 | June 20, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

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