Disney belatedly discovers that people liked John Carter's dog

I know I said no more John Carter, but the appearance in my inbox of an email from Disney marketing announcing the existence of a clip and a poster for Woola, the faithful Martian Calot who steals every scene he’s in in the the film, is just so odd!

Studios rarely send out post-opening PR! It’s as if…someone somewhere said, “Hey, people like that Woola thing, let’s push it a bit.”

If this kind of light-hearted contemporary tone had been set earlier…we might have saved the atmosphere plant in time.

Was this an Andrew Stanton decree?

So many things we will never know.



  1. says

    I wondered why there really was no mention of the character anywhere. The movie is for the most part kid friendly especially if you compare it to all the extremely violent stuff that studios try to pass off as kid appropriate. He was a nice touch. Then again I liked the movie for the most part

  2. Rich says

    After seeing the movie I wanted a Woola toy for my desk or bookshelves. But… it doesn’t look like such a thing exists. Bummer.

  3. says

    My friend William Todd-Jones performed the motion capture for that wee beastie and did a great job of bringing it to live. Todd’s probably been in most every SF/fantasy film imaginable buried, of course, under layers of CGI.

  4. R. Maheras says

    Frankly, I don’t think anyone can watch “John Carter” and NOT come away liking Woola. Woola is the “John Carter” equivalent to “Star Wars'” R2D2 — right down to the cute little sounds. But Woola’s a helluva lot faster.

  5. rich says

    Any press release about Woola is at the right time.

    Perhaps there was a great deal of trepidation about Woola. He’s as likeable as R2D2 … but some marketers may have feared he’d get a reception similar to Jar Jar Binks.

  6. R. Maheras says

    If I were working for Disney, I’d make a trial Woola cartoon, ala Roadrunner, with a goofy-looking giant white ape as the surrogate Wile E. Coyote (think red-haired monster in the Bugs Bunny classic “Hair-Raising Hare” cartoon).

  7. Brad says

    I agree with Andrew — the more John Carter talk, the more they (media,Disney,Faceless Illuminati) see they backed the wrong thoat….in…er..not backing it (you know what I mean).

    Pop culture determines pop culture, not critics, box office, or board room — try as they might.

  8. RegularSyzedMike says

    Why don’t I have a Woola, Tars Tarkus and White Ape action figures all to scale with each other?! This is an outrage!

  9. Sphinx Magoo says

    Lack of Woola merchandise makes me think of that line from Toy Story 2 and short-sightedness.

    I think Disney has a hit on its hands despite the story the media is telling.

  10. Sphinx Magoo says

    Oh. And please, more John Carter.

    No need to hide your love away.

  11. MBunge says

    This all ties back into the whole “victim or flop” thing. From the ridiculous budget to the pitiful marketing effort, it’s pretty clear that things with this film got a little out of control and then, rather than try to salvage it, everybody at Disney just ran as far away from it as possible.


  12. Eric H. says

    R. Maheras, the red monster is Gossamer. “If an interesting monster can’t have an interesting hairdo…”

  13. R. Maheras says

    Eric — I can’t believe someone actually felt compelled enough to give the red monster a name… and more than 30 years after his (its?) first appearance, no less.

    And Gossamer??? How random a name is that???

    If they were going to go the random route, why not just name him Fred, Bob or Lumpy?

  14. says

    Last night while watching Toon Disney there was an all Woola commercial. It was actually the most engaging commercial for the movie I’ve seen.

  15. sugarplum says

    i just fell in love with woola he is to cute =) i do hope they make some toys out of these characters if they do i am so getting woola….

  16. Lynne97060 says

    Am training a service dog to escort me to the movies, and Dobby reacted toward Woola as if there were a real dog in the theater, following him around with his ears.

    There were no toys on the market for the first Toy Story release; they didn’t show up until the next Xmas season. I’m sure we will eventually have our Woola, and we’ve got FrankenWeenie to look forward to as well!

  17. says

    I loved “John Carter” and especially wanted a Woola plush toy after our first screening, but the Disney gift store had practically nothing related to the film except for an unattractive t-shirt design and the coffee table book. Meanwhile, that sad little display was surrounded by loads of Avengers and Toy Story toys and anything they could slap Tinker Bell on! Woola is the most adorable Disney animal character in many years; it’s insane that there is no toy version for the fans. Disney shamefully just left “JC” to its own devices even before it opened; thank goodness the fans haven’t abandoned it!

  18. nikki says

    I Loved woola! i dont really understand all this negative media attention for this movie…john carter was artful, fun, engaging, with a wonderfully crafted world and characters…i applaud the team behind the scenes who made a living alien mars come to life.

  19. says

    Woola is intent on raising John Carter and his descendants like Lummox in Robert A Heinlein’s “The Star Beast”…..We want more Woola!

  20. RobertC says

    I think they should have done a tee-shirt of Woola and maybe a Woola stuffed animal for the children.Disney dropped the ball on merchandising amongst other things like marketing and the title of the movie which was to generic.

  21. jgard_7 says

    woola is a great side kick in the john cater movie they really should have made figures for this movie why not? avatar had figure merchandise.

  22. Rob Smith says

    This movie is one of Disney’s best of the past decade. It’s going to take a little while, but I bet a huge cult following will build up. Literally every aspect of this movie was perfect. The marketing should have been MUCH better. I hope we get a sequel to this movie in the future, and merchandise!

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