Future Pixar film to feature a new Disney Princess?

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Future Pixar film to feature a new Disney Princess?

Post by Daniel » November 20th, 2007, 3:19 am

Saw this thread over at UD and it looks legit.

Here's the article:
Disney reaches to the crib to extend princess magic
By MERISSA MARR,AP
Posted: 2007-11-19 10:24:59
Eds: Via AP.

By MERISSA MARR

The Wall Street Journal

At the recently opened Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Cinderella's castle in Walt Disney World, hordes of young girls in ball gowns jostle every day to get their hair coiffed, their nails painted and their faces plastered with make-up to imitate their favorite princess.

It's an image that's become classic of the Walt Disney Co. Princess revolution. What started out in 2001 as a few princess outfits became an overnight sensation as Disney enchanted 3- to 6-year-old girls throughout America with everything from princess comforters and princess backpacks to princess-emblazoned sneakers. Smartly-packaged releases of classic princess movies have helped bring girls back for more each year.

But while Disney appears to have exploited every corner of princess mania, it is also under pressure to keep its $4 billion princess franchise growing. So Disney's princess minders are hoping to hook even younger girls and their moms on the craze with a new range of princess products aimed at newborns. The princess clan will feature on cribs, diaper-changing mats and other infant products next year.

Also on tap: adding new princesses to the core lineup that includes Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, Belle and Jasmine (more-recent characters, Mulan and Pocahontas, are largely on the sidelines). Disney plans to introduce a new African-American princess called Tiana in an animated film, "The Princess and the Frog," a response to demands for more diversity among princesses. Two other animated princess-based movies - one starring Rapunzel and another starring a Scottish princess in a new Pixar production - will be rolled out after that.

Meanwhile, Disney's first live-action princess movie, "Enchanted," will hit screens this week and is being tapped to sell more princess products. The movie - in which an animated girl betrothed to a prince is propelled into modern-day, live-action New York City - was originally conceived as a chance to introduce a new princess, Giselle, to the lineup, according to people familiar with the matter. But Disney abandoned that plan when it realized securing the life-long rights to the image of Amy Adams, who plays Giselle, was harder than an ugly step-sister squeezing into Cinderella's glass shoe.

Andy Mooney, Disney's head of consumer products who launched the Princess brand, concedes that the heady growth of recent years is likely to slow at home and that the company is looking to push the brand more aggressively overseas. That initially means Europe, then Asia. Disney has been trying to introduce the brand in countries like India, where it launched a search for an Indian princess.

One challenge in the more mature home market: a brewing backlash against what Disney Princess represents. Tomi-Ann Roberts, a professor of psychology at Colorado College, complains that the princesses have become more sexualized, with more skin showing and bigger heads, eyes and breasts. "The ever increasing marketing to younger and younger girls of an adult sexualized version of the princesses is concerning," says Ms. Roberts, who co-authored a report on the sexualization of girls.

Other critics worry that encouraging young girls to obsess about being a princess sends the wrong message, with too much focus on being beautiful and not more substantive achievements.

Disney doesn't see that as a problem, and says most parents understand that Disney Princess is simply a role-play phase that kids go through. "For every mother that sees an issue, there are a million that don't," says Mr. Mooney, who adds that even beyond the target age group of 3 to 6, "girls do princess in private."

Still, many parents of princess-obsessed daughters notice they abruptly drop the brand at about age 6. In an attempt to keep girls enchanted longer, the company launched Disney Fairies, a slightly edgier group of characters (including Tinker Bell) aimed at 7- and 8-year olds. Mr. Mooney estimates the Fairies franchise will generate $750 million in retail sales this year.

The ultimate aim is to waltz girls from one franchise to another well into their teens. After fairies, Disney is attempting to hook them on "Kim Possible," "That's So Raven" and "Hannah Montana," all playing on the Disney Channel, and then serve up "High School Musical" for older kids.

"Then they come back to us as brides and mothers," says Mr. Mooney. Earlier this year, his group launched a range of princess-themed wedding gowns. Unlike the kitschy outfits made for kids, the wedding gowns are high-end, selling for $1,100 to $4,000. Walt Disney World also offers Cinderella-style weddings.

A gaping hole was babies. Mr. Mooney says mothers are highly gender aware these days (he estimates at least 80 percent elect to know the ______ of their baby before it is born). Disney had historically sold gender-neutral characters like Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh in the infant market, but mothers surveyed have shown more interest in gender specific products, selecting princesses for a girl and "Finding Nemo" for a boy. Disney has both in the works.

The key for the princess infant line was to make sure it didn't damage the core business - something they tried to get around by making it a more subtle, less character-driven design. Mr. Mooney says, "We don't want to turn off the older kids."

Indeed, one issue for Disney is that many of its franchises are skewing younger each year. In the beginning, the princess franchise appealed to a slightly older audience. Also, competition has been growing. Toymakers like Mattel Inc. have pushed hard into the fantasy market for young girls. And many of the traditional characters like Cinderella exist in the public domain. In fact, MGA Entertainment has introduced a line of edgy, more modern dolls called Bratz Princess.

Independent toy analyst Chris Byrne says Disney Princess is one of the most "strategically sound properties and branding initiatives in many years." He adds that "princess fans really are fans."

Disney does have the huge advantage of a powerful movie studio to fuel the brand. All of Disney's princesses originated in the movie world and the studio is core to introducing new characters. But Disney's new head of animation, John Lasseter, put a stop to direct-to-DVD sequels that had included "Cinderella" out of concern they were cheapening the brand. The studio will continue to make direct-to-DVDs in the princess world, just ones with original stories and bigger budgets. Disney, meanwhile, has contemplated extending the brand to the Disney Channel, but has so far concluded it could damage the channel by skewing it too female.

Another question is whether the brand could suffer from overkill. But Mr. Byrne, the analyst, says, "We're talking about 3- to 6-year-olds - there's no such thing as overkill."


Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
11/19/07 10:23 EST
If it is true, strange how it got leaked so soon, knowing how Pixar is with future projects. If TS3 becomes a reality, this may very well be Pixar's 2011 flick. That's just a guess on my part, though. ;)

I would be so happy if this is true! Not only would it be breaking away from the formulaic approach, but she's scottish! :)

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Post by Meg » November 20th, 2007, 7:17 am

I like them and all, but...Do we really need more princess movies? I'd love to see more animated features starring, you know, non-princess females once in a while.

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Post by Once Upon A Dream » November 20th, 2007, 10:16 am

I don't believe.
Acorrding to this,Giselle,a classic character won't be a Disney Princess,but a heronie who means nothings exept the fact that she is black and even a character from a Pixar film will be a princess? i don't believe this (espiaclly since i think that Giselle will be my favorite Disney character and princess with Ariel) and i hate this idea of those black\scottish princess,what's next? a jewish princess? a lesbian princess? a swidish princess? stop it,this is getting annoying.
If it's true then not only i"ll hate Tiana,i"ll disbeise that Pixar scottish princess,why Giselle won't and they will? this sucks.
But i don't believe this,i think that Disney will make her a Disney Princess,right now they are just waiting to see if the film will do well in the box office and it will they will make her a Disney Princess.
And also i think that Pixar souldn't make Princess films,they should make their films.
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Post by CharlieBarkin » November 20th, 2007, 10:25 am

I think its more to do with the fact that Giselle appears in a mostly live action film with just 12 minutes of animation, as opposed to Tiana who appears in a completely animated film.
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Post by eddievalient » November 20th, 2007, 10:33 am

Once Upon A Dream wrote:I don't believe.
Acorrding to this,Giselle,a classic character won't be a Disney Princess,but a heronie who means nothings exept the fact that she is black and even a character from a Pixar film will be a princess? i don't believe this (espiaclly since i think that Giselle will be my favorite Disney character and princess with Ariel) and i hate this idea of those black\scottish princess,what's next? a jewish princess? a lesbian princess? a swidish princess? stop it,this is getting annoying.
I really hope you're kidding, cause if you're not then you probably need to take yourself somewhere else. I come to these forums to enjoy some good converstation with friendly people and when I see posts like that I feel violated. If you're going to continue to post here, please keep those sentiments to yourself from now on.
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Post by Once Upon A Dream » November 20th, 2007, 11:37 am

Violated? anyway maybe you got me worng but i didn't meant it.
Anyway if it's sounds angry i"m sorry and i didn't meant to and i think it's not fair if Giselle won't be a Disney Princess but still,i do like The Frog And The Princess and i"m actually happy that Pixar are making Princess movies.
Last edited by Once Upon A Dream on November 20th, 2007, 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Foxtale » November 20th, 2007, 11:45 am

I saw that in the article and got excited/confused. I think the princess thing is getting out of control but I would love to see what a story about a scottish princess would be like. I mean it sounds like it would have a magnificent story behind it, more like mythology and not classic disney fairy tale princess. I do think it's weird that pixar would be doing it but I guess since they are branching out it might be okay. Still I seem skeptical. Maybe since it is so far in advance they got the story line mixed up. I know this happens often where since early news leaks out about a movie it may be about just a regular girl but they took the word princess from it or the story may change as time goes on. Who knows.
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Post by ShyViolet » November 20th, 2007, 1:20 pm

Interesting. I actually do remember reading in DisneyWar a quote from Eisner saying that Lassetter really wanted to do a princess movie, and how he (Eisner) was also psyched for Pixar doing it.

This is quite exciting. Maybe I misjudged Lassy! :wink: :P


Anyways, as far as "too many princesses" goes--come on. :wink: We've barely had ANYTHING yet--Enchanted hasn't even come out. IMHO this is the princesses' just due after being ignored for so long. :(
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Post by Once Upon A Dream » November 20th, 2007, 2:07 pm

ShyViolet-Yeah,i guess that when Enchanted will be out and will do well Giselle will be a Disney Princess.
Anyway i"m exited about the Pixar Princess altought people might think that they are copying Disney.
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Post by Daniel » November 20th, 2007, 2:23 pm

That's not the way it works, Once. If she was going to be a 'Disney princess', she would've been one already. No box office income is gonna change that.

Anywho, agreed with Vi and Foxtale. Although, Vi, we do have Enchanted Tales, y'know. ;) And Foxtale, that's weired, I was thinking almost the same thing! I'm skeptical sometimes too, this being no exception. :)

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Post by Ben » November 20th, 2007, 3:20 pm

It's the PRINCESS OF MARS!! ;)


What's next? An ALIEN princess!! :)

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Post by Once Upon A Dream » November 20th, 2007, 5:05 pm

Daniel wrote:That's not the way it works, Once. If she was going to be a 'Disney princess', she would've been one already. No box office income is gonna change that.
Why? anyway i think they thought that her movie might fail so they'll ignore her,like Elinowey and Kida.
Anyway i do believe she will be a princess,but does you think it matter if she is a Disney Princess or not?.
And yeah,Ben,she might be next :P.
This getting out of control,it's not a franchise about classic Disney heronies any more,they are just adding more and more girls to this franchise.
It's nice to make princesses from other cultures but making millon new ones dosn't sound good.
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Post by Meg » November 20th, 2007, 6:03 pm

Interesting. I actually do remember reading in DisneyWar a quote from Eisner saying that Lassetter really wanted to do a princess movie, and how he (Eisner) was also psyched for Pixar doing it.

This is quite exciting. Maybe I misjudged Lassy!
Maybe I misjudged him too...I thought Pixar was a bit above the whole princess thing. :?

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Post by Daniel » November 20th, 2007, 6:36 pm

I don't know, I have a feeling there's going to be a twist or something.

Regardless though, I don't really see this as copying Disney. Pixar should be able to make a princess film if they want, it shouldn't be exclusive to Disney.
Once Upon A Dream wrote:Why?
Its Disney's decision.
Once Upon A Dream wrote:Anyway i do believe she will be a princess,but does you think it matter if she is a Disney Princess or not?.
If I understand you correctly, no, I don't think it matters.

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Post by EricJ » November 21st, 2007, 3:05 pm

Once Upon A Dream wrote:It's nice to make princesses from other cultures but making millon new ones dosn't sound good.
Considering that a much earlier Disney first floated "Enchanted" as a mean-spirited Shrek-kissup, back when Eisner had "Shrek"'s success on the brain and thought he had to protest too much in joining the negative borscht-belt fairytale-bashers...
You just HAVE to love the way that--after Big Green started losing steam and turned out people still liked Disney films after all--the script drafts were gradually softened and mainstreamed to just a "cute Pretty Woman comedy"...
And now Disney seeing that we're so stoked on Princess/Frog, they're bending over backwards to say "What? Fairytale-bashing?...Us??", proclaim Enchanted "the Next Disney Classic" for the whole family, and usher Giselle into the pantheon of Classic Disney Princesses.
(And even promote the movie's "Annoyingly breakingly into 90's-style song" gag as "Six new songs by Alan Menken!! ")

Taking it in the historical big-picture...Gee, I wonder WHO WON? :P
Meg wrote:
Maybe I misjudged him too...I thought Pixar was a bit above the whole princess thing. :?
For lack of other information (as anything Pixar past Princess of Mars or San Francisco hasn't hit the headlines yet) I'm taking it as a guess at either:
A) Movie analysts can't tell the difference between an in-house Disney or a Pixar project anymore, period, and thought Pixar was doing "Rapunzel", or
B) Pixar had their own faux-Robert Louis Stevenson project on the board, regardless of princess marketing, complete with obligatory Catriona-style kickass highland babe, who always has to show up in one of these adventure-type stories, rowr-rowr... 8)

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