ClaracluckfeatThe great monolithic Disney has just launched a new project called D23, which is an official fan club aimed at very serious Disney fans. Hardcore. People who own every copy of a Gemstone comic, basically. The site saves most of its goodies for paying members, but there’s also tons of free historical info. For instance, this page containsbiographies for Disney’s Top Ten cartoon characters and as soon as we saw Clara Cluck was there, we were satisfied.

Clara Cluck was born — make that hatched — to shine in the spotlight. Blessed with buxom good looks, aristocratic bearing and a magnificent singing voice, Madame Cluck was known as “the barnyard nightingale,” the illustrious title with which Mickey Mouse introduced Clara in Orphan’s Benefit (1934). No stranger to the thrill of applause and curtain calls, Clara is a performer serenely confident in her singing abilities. This not-so-little hen radiates stage presence whether she’s squawking an aria or just being a good neighbor to Mickey and Minnie.

The site also features Q&A’s with legendary Disney archivists Dave Smith, and daily comics strips, including Mickey, Donald, and Scamp. They go up every day but last only a day, so repeat attendance is encouraged.

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Yes, it’s corporate as all hell but if you’re a serious Disneyphile, they’ve got you coming and going.

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  1. Before the hoi polloi begin to wonder why their favorite characters are not on that top ten list… Disneyphiles (I am a junior member) define “Classic Disney” as the recurring characters depicted in the animated shorts. In fanboyspeak, it’s the Disney Universe populated by Mikey, Donald, Goofy, and their friends. Sometimes they cross over with other Disney Universes. From a publishing viewpoint, the Classic characters are published by Gladstone/Gemstone, while other characters are published by Marvel, Boom!, and Slave Labor.

    My fave? Chernobog.

  2. They expect me to fork over $74.99 for a charter (next year will be more) membership?

    For a quarterly magazine,
    a “membership card and certificate,”
    a “surprise collectible gift,”
    “exclusive special events and merchandise” that will doubtless cost extra, discounted admission to the “D23 Expo” which sounds like a re-branding of their usual annual merchandise fair.

    I love these guys but that’s a rip off. Independent internet research on the Disney oeuvre is far ahead of anything these people are likely to bestow on we “fans.” Ten minutes on google will get you started on months of follow-up reading and thinking (not scholarship, anything but that!) about the works of Walt and his people. If you’re a merchandise completist they’ve got you, I guess, but if it’s fan excitement you want, as usual, the Disney organization is the last with the least.

    Btw, anyone on the internet who wants an interesting, well-researched top eleven (!) list of Disney characters can get one from me at the discounted price of 74.50 and I’ll be happy to send you one of the surprise collectibles amassed over the years that even now threaten to choke me like so many overbreeding nanobots.

    And this numerology naming fetish with the Disney orgs (the Disney/railway buffs have one, the Disneyland lunch club has another) is going to sooner or later infringe on Freemason copyrights.

  3. They even overlooked Clarabelle Cow’s appearance as Pegleg Pete ‘s evil sidekick in Mickey, Donald and Goofy’s Three Musketeers movie of 2004.

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