10 Disney Characters We’d Love to See in Topiary Form
The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival opens and March 1, and with it come some of the most imaginative and beautifully topiary creations in the world. Some fan favorites include The Three Caballeros, Anna and Elsa from Frozen, Kermit and Miss Piggy of Muppets fame, and a whole slew of others sure to delight festival goers.
It got our imaginations churning. Who are some lesser-known characters that it would be fun to see in topiary form? It turns out, there are a bunch!
Ferdinand the Bull
Released in 1938, the animated short Ferdinand the Bull was released, based upon the illustrated children’s classic “The Story of Ferdinand” by Munro Leaf. The short film would go on to win an Academy Award and is considered a classic of Disney animation.
Ferdinand, as a character, is a perfect fit for the Flower and Garden festival. While the rest of the bulls long to fight matadors in the arena, Ferdinand is happy to sit and smell the flowers. It’s hard to imagine anything that this peaceful bull would love more than to be surrounded by beautifully cultivated foliage.
The star of the Adventures in Music series, Professor Owl first appeared in the 1953 short Melody and then in its sequel, Toot, Whistle, Plink, and Boom (which won an Academy Award). In later years, he appeared in the Disney Sing-Along Songs series. Besides being utterly adorable (he’s a blue owl with spectacles, a suit coat, and bow tie for goodness’ sake), his role as a professor makes him a perfect character to inhabit the educational atmosphere of Epcot.
Ranger J. Audubon Woodlore
If any character in Disney history knows about the beauty of the great outdoors, it’s assuredly Ranger J. Audubon Woodlore. Granted, he works in National Parks, which are a bit wilder than your average garden, but he’s fussy enough that I think he’d do a great job looking after the various horticulture around Epcot. Don’t believe me? Check him out in shorts like Beezy Bear and In the Bag. The latter is especially important. If any Guests happen to leave behind their trash, he knows just the solution (and the bear) to clean it up. Besides, with his oddly pear-shaped head and big round belly, he’d be ridiculously cute in topiary form.
Lambert the Sheepish Lion
Personality-wise, Lambert is a bit like Ferdinand the Bull: a hulking beast who, in reality, is gentle as a…well, lamb. The main character of the 1952 short Lambert the Sheepish Lion, Lambert is raised by mother lamb, and so grows up seeing himself as one of the flock, even if the other sheep make fun of him. But when a coyote attacks, he discovers his inner ferocity to keep his adopted family safe. A big, cuddly cat with a dopey grin, seeing Lambert at the festival would be sure to bring a smile to even the most cynical of Guests.
The Circus Bugs
Look, without pollinators, none of the festivals beautiful flowers would exist. Despite that fact, bugs tend to get a bad rap. Don’t believe me? Hop over to Animal Kingdom and hear it from the bug’s mouth in “It’s Tough to Be a Bug.” So, we think that our creepy, crawly friends should be part of the flower and garden festival. The circus bugs from Pixar’s A Bug’s Life in particular. After all, lady bugs, spiders, and mantises are all good for gardens. And just think of all the tasty leaves that Heimlich could eat!
Ludwig von Drake
Dipping back into the educational roots of Epcot, it’d be great to see a topiary of the famed Ludwig von Drake. The paternal uncle of Donald Duck, von Drake made his first appearance in 1961 in the cartoon An Adventure in Color, a part of “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color.” In the segment, von Drake performs “The Spectrum Song” that celebrates all of the colors of the spectrum. It’s a perfect link to the ocean of colors created by the gorgeous flowers seen at the festival!
In “The American Adventure” Guests take a trip through American history. Their guides on the tour are Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin. With that in mind, the character of Amos Mouse would be a fitting topiary for the America Pavilion. The star of Disney’s 1953 animated short Ben and Me, the cartoon tells the story of how Amos Mouse helps Benjamin Franklin with some of his most notable inventions, and even ends up inspiring Thomas Jefferson in the writing of the Declaration of Independence. Given all he did for Franklin, and for the United States of America, transforming him into a topiary seems like the very least we can do.
Over recent years, we’ve seen a revival of interest in some iconic Disney Parks characters. Figment is having a full-blown Renaissance and appears regularly all around Epcot during festivals. The same can be said of Orange Bird and Spike the Bee. With that in mind, we humbly propose that Epcot pay tribute to its glorious past by giving us a topiary of Buzzy, the hero of Cranium Command from the Wonders of Life pavilion. Epcot fans are a passionate bunch, and seeing this iconic character back in the park would be sure to raise a cheer.
The Colander Combo and Fiesta Fruit
While we’re on the subject of classic Epcot, what could be better than seeing the Colander Combo and Fiesta Fruit displayed in vibrant topiary form? Their cartoonish appearance and vibrant colors would be sure to grab the eye. As the group that gave us the legendary song “Veggie Veggie Fruit Fruit” during Kitchen Kabaret, including them as part of the Flower and Garden Festival would be a great way of honoring Epcot’s 40-year history.
The Spring Sprite
Finally, the Spring Sprite from Fantasia 2000 would make a stunning addition to the park’s displays. As shown during the Firebird Suite portion of the movie, the Spring Sprite can make flowers, trees, and grass grow. Her colors change based on her surroundings, she can communicate with insects, and can summon nourishing rain to pour down on the earth. She is spring personified. Given the way that butterflies seem drawn to her, she could even be located near the festival’s butterfly garden!