Eleven fruit and vegetable-based characters dreamt up by Disney have been unveiled as official mascots of Expo 2015, the world fair set to take place in Milan, Italy, between 1 May and 31 October 2015, placing fresh produce centre stage at the event.
Emphasising Expo 2015's theme of sustainable international food supply, the show's official symbol also has a fruit and vegetable theme, taking the form of a smiling face comprising the same eleven products in the style of renowned Milanese artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo.
Children have been invited to take part in a competition to name the eleven characters, which include a clove of garlic, a watermelon, a banana, a fig, a blue corn cob, a mango an apple, a pomegranate, a pear and a trio of radishes.
Expo Commissioner Giuseppe Sala said Disney Italia's decision to pitch not just one but a group of mascots to represent the event sent out a positive message about teamwork as well as individual endeavour.
"Each animated food will bring an aspect of the exhibition's theme to life and be a spokesperson for good habits," Sala commented. "For this reason, we decided that young people should take the lead in terms of how the event is presented. There is no better audience than children when it comes to judging whether or not a creative proposal will succeed and be liked. We are increasingly sure it will be."
Daniel Frigo, managing director and president of Disney Italia, said he was delighted that his company had been chosen to create the mascots.
"For us, making the message 'Feeding the planet. Energy for life' a reality meant unleashing artistry and story-telling, values which are very much the strongest part of Disney's DNA," he said.
Disney's approach was based on creating a family of fruits, each one with a different personality, that would behave like real celebrities with their own back storiesand character traits.
"We will see the fruits interact with humour, intelligence and a hint of unpredictability," Frigo added. "Disney has always attracted a global audience, inspiring positive lifestyles, and that's our aim in launching the official mascots of Expo Milano 2015."