Disney donates to U.K. hospital

Cash to help redevelopment of site

The Walt Disney Co. Tuesday donated £1 million ($1.96 million) to the U.K.’s Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity.

Move is part of a partnership to help the hospital raise $19.6 million for a redevelopment that will include a Disney-branded interactive zone for children and youths.

Disney prexy and CEO Bob Iger, accompanied by Mickey and Minnie Mouse, gave the check to Great Ormond Street chief exec Dr. Jane Collins.

Disney execs also have set up an appeal website. The first 50 people who donate to Great Ormond Street online will receive limited-edition Peter Pan lithographs from Walt Disney studios.

The relationship between Disney and Great Ormond Street dates to 1939, when Walt Disney acquired the animation rights to “Peter Pan” from the hospital. “Peter Pan” author J.M. Barrie gave the hospital, one of the U.K.’s leading providers in healthcare for children, all rights to the story in 1929.

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Proceeds from the 2004 U.K. premiere of Johnny Depp starrer “Finding Neverland,” telling how Barrie came to write the story about the little boy who wouldn’t grow up, went to the hospital.

An officially sanctioned sequel to Barrie’s tale is in the works. “Peter Pan in Scarlet,” based on author Geraldine McCaughrean’s 2006 novel, is being developed by the U.K.’s Headline Pictures, BBC Films and U.K. Film Council.