Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Disney characters not authorized for Kim Jong Un-attended concert in N. Korea

North Korea Disney Characters

AP Photo/KRT

In this image made off North Korea's KRT video footage, North Korea's new Moranbong band and performers dressed as America's cartoon characters perform in Pyongyang, North Korea, Friday, July 6, 2012. Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh took the stage for new leader Kim Jong Un, in an unusual performance featuring Disney characters in North Korea.

North Korea Disney Characters

AP Photo/KRT

In this image made off North Korea's KRT video footage, North Korea's new Moranbong band and performers dressed as America's cartoon characters perform in Pyongyang, North Korea, Friday, July 6, 2012. Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh took the stage for new leader Kim Jong Un, in an unusual performance featuring Disney characters in North Korea.

North Korea Disney Characters

AP Photo/Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service

In this photo released by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) and distributed in Tokyo by the Korea News Service on Monday, July 9, 2012, Mickey and Minnie have a chat on left as North Korea's new Moranbong band performs in Pyongyang, North Korea, Friday, July 6, 2012. Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh took the stage for new leader Kim Jong Un, in an unusual performance featuring Disney characters in North Korea

North Korea Disney Characters

AP Photo/KRT

In this image made off North Korea's KRT video footage, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, second from right, watches performances by North Korea's new Moranbong band in Pyongyang, North Korea, Friday, July 6, 2012. Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh took the stage during the concert for Kim in an unusual performance featuring Disney characters in North Korea.

North Korea Disney Characters

AP Photo/Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service

In this photo released by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) and distributed in Tokyo by the Korea News Service on Monday, July 9, 2012, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center right, and others clap as they watch performance by North Korea's new Moranbong band in Pyongyang, North Korea, Friday, July 6, 2012. Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh took the stage during the concert for Kim in an unusual performance featuring Disney characters in North Korea. The source did not identify a woman standing next to Kim.


Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh and other members of Disney's dynasty performed in a concert in Pyongyang on July 6, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in attendance. The Walt Disney Company, which mercilessly manages its merrymaking menagerie, told The Associated Press that it was not an authorized use of its characters.

This is not the first time the family has fallen under the spell of Disney magic. In 2001, the leader’s older brother, Kim Jong Nam, was removed from succession consideration after being caught by authorities trying to enter Japan on a forged passport, reportedly on his way to visit Tokyo Disneyland.

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Disney goes bearded, Sundance goes silent, Vanilla Ice goes hipster and Tracy Morgan goes home

somethingstartedcrazy/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

Marina Abromovic at New York's Museum of Modern Art

Today's pop culture roundup:

  • Clearly staged, but if seeing Vanilla Ice singing "Ice, Ice Baby" and "Ninja Rap" as an Echo Park indie rock hipster doesn't make you happy, you, sir or madame, have no heart:
    (via the Daily What)
  • Disney is finally lifting their legendary ban on facial hair for theme park employees. So next time you're at Disneyland, you may see some well-groomed goatees. Well-groomed, because there are still limitations, such as keeping the facial hair less than a quarter of an inch. Still banned? Soul patches. Disney knows that's still wrong.
  • Tracy Morgan returned to Los Angeles after collapsing at Sundance, but it sounds like it was unrelated to his struggles with alcohol. He's blaming the high altitude. Morgan also suffers from diabetes, which is known to be harder to manage at high altitudes. (via The Atlantic Wire)
  • Read More...