Now that Valentine's has passed, I've posted one more Sweet Duffy update on my blog. Click the link at the bottom of this post to check out Shellie's post-facial-reconstructive-surgery super sassy cuteness!
We were sent over there with the message that only we would defend Disney quality.. We learnt quickly that the Japanese culture speaks to a level of quality that is hard to comprehend. They were all unbelievably skilled and willing to do the right thing.
Craig Russell -Walt Disney Imagineering
Thanks! I worked hard on it. Actually, there were more people than ever this time. Easily over 100 over the course of the coming and going of several groups. One woman even called her friend on the phone to tell her to come over!
I remember in one of the old Duffy threads, someone said that people come to the parks with their Duffys or badge plush or homemade fashion or whatever, and they're doing it because they are "desperate" for attention. I thought it missed the mark at the time, but now I think such a comment is utterly presumptuous to the point of offense. While it is flattering in a way that people are impressed by or interested in my work, I still also have the paranoia that really they're thinking what a "weirdo" I am to spend so much time on this hobby. I also can't move around and set up photos freely. When 30~50 people have been patiently waiting with their cameras for ten minutes while you set up a pose, only a real jerk would just take his own shot and walk away with the bears.
But my reason for doing this was never about other people. As many of you know, I'm actually still rather surprised by and shy about the position Disney and Duffy have taken in my life. My love for this legacy has become entwined with my love for America itself, and for its creative potential. My love for that little teddy bear is so deep that I have felt a very genuine pride at watching his popularity grow from limited social acceptance to the present, "You don't know (and ) Duffy? What's wrong with you?"^^ His role in "Be Magical!" looks potentially even bigger than "Candlelight Reflections" from his merchandise feature. I feel like I've watched (and perhaps even played a role in) watching Duffy "grow." The armatures were about making precisely the photos I wanted, bringing the character to life. These photos were about using my own creativity to merge my visions of this character with the world of the parks, deepening the experience and value of both. This is essentially what I think "Duffy magic" means. The process of completing and photographing Shellie May sealed my affrction to the character/object the way children do when they carry them everywhere. I can't take them everywhere, but they can be in most of my park memories. Plus, it's just fun! But it was never about hoping people would react so much. I had every expectation that people would just walk by snickering with their friends, as some surely do.