Two days ago, my 5-year-old stood in the living room with one hand on her cocked hip and said, “Those princesses, that’s not really what I’m going for right now. Princess are, like, old-fashioned. They’re really not my style.”
Apparently, Disney really does have marketing reps spying on every house in America, because they’ve just announced that they’re changing the name of their upcoming animated version of Rapunzel to “Tangled” so that people won’t think it’s a fairy-tale flick. Which it totally is.
While I applaud any move away from the princess obsession, Salon’s Broadsheet points out that this isn’t exactly good news for girls.
It’s not savvy girls like my kindergartner Disney is trying to keep up with. They’re moving away from the ubiquitous princess marketing machine in the hopes of attracting more boys to their brand.
In addition to changing the name of Rapunzel, they’ve added a “bad boy” male lead who they hope boys will identify with. I assume we’ll be getting action figures instead of themed Barbies for this one, too.
Apparently after the Princess and the Frog turned in mildly disappointing box office results, the bigwigs at Disney decided that marketing to little girls wasn’t profitable enough. Never mind that they raked in almost $4 billion dollars on their princess brand last year alone.
Moving away from princesses is great. I’d love to see more self-rescuing heroines, wearing something that doesn’t drip glitter all over the house. But it sounds like Disney is pushing aside the princesses to make room for boys, not more powerful girls. And that’s not exactly empowering to our daughters either.
What do you think? Is it about time Disney turned their marketing mojo on those with a “y” chromosome? Or are the girls getting the short end of the stick again? If the princess craze subsides, what will take its place?
Photo: Ewen and Donabel
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