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Story Time


As part of its research leading up to Winnie the Pooh Storytelling Academy, The Walt Disney Company found that busy parents are still struggling to find the time for


storytelling, with just 30% of parents in the UK reading to their young children on a daily basis. Busy lifestyles and long working hours were cited as the primary


obstacles to sitting down with a good book. A massive two thirds (67%) of respondents felt that modern technology in the home distracts them from storytelling, while almost a third said they are too tired for tales or get home from work too late.


A lack of confidence in storytelling abilities may also be partly to blame, as over one


third of those polled wish they were better storytellers – although a whopping 81% of those aged over 55 regard themselves as good storytellers!


storytelling initiative, taking inspiration from Pooh's heritage and re-establishing his literary roots. “We believe our biggest opportunity


to keep the franchise relevant for mum is through storytelling, and


we’ve developed the Winnie the Pooh


Storytelling Academy to help us build on that element of his character,” said Justine. “The franchise lends itself so well to storytime that it made sense for us to leverage that as much as possible, in order to secure and build upon Pooh's heritage in this area.” Winnie the Pooh's


Storytelling Academy launched in October 2012. A panel of expert storytellers – including television presenter, DJ and mum Zoe Ball – came together to show how both traditional and multimedia storytelling techniques can provide the rich, shared experience of a family storytime.


The academy primarily exists as a virtual entity at


Tell Me A Tale


Tales of Friendship launched on the Disney Junior channel back in October 2012. The storytelling series airs daily as part of the bedtime block, and is narrated by popular actor and comedian Robert Webb. Set deep in the Hundred Acre


Wood and produced locally in Wales, the show was the original inspiration behind the storytelling academy, and is supported across the whole Disney business from digital to publishing.


Disney.co.uk/winniethepooh/storytelling, offering guidance designed to show modern parents and carers how to select the right tools for every storytelling occasion. It uses 'how-to' guides, tips and tricks to teach them how to encourage their children's lifelong love of stories. “We set up the academy as an online


resource where those who face storytelling challenges such as a lack of confidence or distractions can go to pick up tips and tricks from our panel of experts," explained Justine. "We also want to help keep the art of


storytelling alive for the next generation via a whole host of media like iPad apps, audio books and the


traditional hardback, to create memorable shared family experiences.”


The next 12 months will see


Disney following


this strategy across all areas of the business, delivering this message through TV channels, digital, social media and marketing.


A SPECIAL MAX PUBLISHING


44


disney PUBLICATION 2013 © Disney. Based on the “Winnie the Pooh works by A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard.


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