In Japan, an AOL-like service called Open Data Network promotes itself using a Disney Pooh theme. In the US, that would mean it was targeting kids, but (as best as I can tell) they’re not particularly doing that in cute-friendly Japan. In fact, I have a sign-up disc with a video that seems to show two successful businesswomen using a service called PoohMail2Plus. (I picked up the disc when I was in Tokyo last year, and just found it in my messy office–which is why I’m suddenly bringing all this up.)
ODN’s Pooh site is available for your entertainment here. It’s 99% in Japanese, and that’s one reason why I just spent about five minutes wandering around it, being pleasantly confused. If you like oddball uses of American cartoon characters in foreign lands, I suggest you do the same.
One other note: Both the disc and the site have prominent credits for A.A. Milne and Ernest Shepard. I’m not sure why–or if they’d be pleased or disgruntled to be associated with the Disneyfied versions of their characters. But it’s nice to see an example of Disney licensing that actually credits the guys who came up with the characters in the first place.