Saturday, March 13, 2010

Disney Worried Princess Mania Is Alienating Boys

More Disney-related news today!  With profits from The Princess and the Frog not living up to its expectations, Disney is considering the fact that it may be alienating its potential male audience.

I think the layout of the World of Disney store located in Downtown Disney is a pretty good example of the Princess mania abounding today.  Yes, there is a section featuring more boy-oriented characters such as those from Toy Story and Pirates of the Caribbean.  But you have to admit, Princesses have become much more prominent in Disney merchandising over the last few years.  Just step into the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Cinderella's Royal Table, or Akershus Royal Banquet Hall and you'll see how much Disney is capitalizing on this Princess obsession.  And do you remember the plans to basically turn most of Fantasyland into Princess Ville?  Now I'm not saying that I think the Princess Mania is bad, but I can definitely understand how young boys and their families might feel isolated if these girl-oriented shops, meals, and attractions do not appeal to them.

But today's article is specifically related to Disney movies.  The article, titled Disney doesn't want princess cooties, discusses the company's recognition that Princess Mania might be negatively affecting their films' popularities and profits.  This has already affected two upcoming projects:

"Concluding that it had too many animated girl flicks in its lineup, Disney has shelved its long-gestating project 'The Snow Queen,' based on the Hans Christian Andersen story." And just to be on the safe side, the studio has also "renamed its next animated film with the girl-centric name 'Rapunzel' to the less gender-specific 'Tangled'" and beefed up the male lead.
Now the article discusses not only the positive effects of drawing back on Princess Mania, but also the negative effects it might have on the female Disney audience.  And it does so from a very feminist perspective, since Disney has been responsible for so many female role models, good or bad.

I have a special idea coming up for tomorrow's post, so stay tuned!  Have a magical weekend!


Abigail Nora said...

I think a really interesting point about this whole thing is that the great "princess movies" of the Disney renaissance were incredibly successful without ever being marketed as "princess movies." The merchandising of Disney Princesses didn't start until 1999... so they didn't even worry about it before then, and the movies did just fine on their own.

Anna said...

This is true! I think Disney found success with Princess marketing and went a bit overboard with it. And I feel that the Fairies have the potential to do the same thing, with how much attention they are getting recently.

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