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Disney Pulls Back On Princess Brand

By Sierra Black |

2716155694_1756902454_mTwo 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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About Sierra Black


Sierra Black

Sierra Black lives, writes and raises her kids in the Boston area. She loves irreverence, hates housework and wants to be a writer and mom when she grows up. Read bio and latest posts → Read Sierra's latest posts →

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12 thoughts on “Disney Pulls Back On Princess Brand

  1. Citizen Mom says:

    Is it just me, or does that Ariel have less on than a Vegas show girl? I showed that pic to my husband and he immediately began looking at Disney vacation packages.

  2. Louise says:

    Hee hee hee…yes, that was my thought, too, Citizen Mom.

  3. lanie's mom says:

    girls will be okay, you have forgotten about tink and all her friends. all strong females who have racked in their share of profits also

  4. cocobean says:

    There has been a really great Disney movie that has a strong woman in it but for some reason doesn’t get much attention. Mulan. I have always loved this movie because of it’s powerful woman image but for some reason this movie seems to be forgoten. Sad but Disney just gives people what they want and people obviously want their daughters to be slutty looking princesses. I want more than that from my kids.

    Citizen Mom that’s so true! Serious side boob!

  5. SagePixie says:

    Ummm.. those are girls dressed up as princesses not sanctioned Disney princesses. Other than the Ariel umm.. giving it away.. the snow white is wearing a straight up black lace corset…

  6. Caleb Powell says:

    Our three daughters have princess disease (well, our baby has yet to develop this), though they do like Mulan as well, they just go gaga and run around the house in princess clothes, wearing pink, etc. etc.

    Just one more of the Princess-Pink-Disney axis of evil that gets little mention in the press.

  7. MomofBeans says:

    Our household is currently caught up in Princess fever, thanks to The Princess and the Frog. I actually liked the movie, though, and if my daughter is going to go nuts for a princess, I’m glad it’s Tiana. The woman had two jobs in that movie…not a bad role model!

  8. Eric says:

    The Salon piece wraps up Disney’s position pretty well: damned if they do, damned if they don’t. Are there lot’s of pretty princesses who want rescued in their films? Yes, but there are also a lot of strong-willed, intelligent women who do more than pine for a man. If Disney wants to try to rake in (even) more money from boys, that’s their prerogative. The Salon piece makes it sound as if Disney owes the public super feminist role models, and that changing to appeal more to boys means they are ‘giving the short end of the stick’ to girls.

  9. Amanda says:

    My daughter is just 15 months but there is no way I’m pushing the princess thing. Right now she is more than happy to play with musical toys and her older brothers superheros. Although thanks to the tips above I will actually check out Mulan.

  10. Scott says:

    Yikes. Aeriel – hit the gym, huh? And cover up a tad….there are kids at Disneyland.

  11. Ashley Marie says:

    I love Mulan and The princess and the frog, 2 very strong willed women who “fight” for what they want, I own Mulan 1 and 2 and watch them more than my daughter lol, I dont see anything wrong with Disney trying to pull in boys attention, I mean, whoever said disney was JUST for girls?? Can you really ask Ariel to cover up? I mean thats what she wears in the movie isnt it?

  12. Ashley Marie says:

    Adults are the ones who think of it as sexy, not kids..

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