This week’s round-up: CSMonitor.com, princess seeds, and princess week

A few quick things to share:

  • I’ve joined the Christian Science Monitor’s Modern Parenthood blogging team! Check out the blog here; my contributor’s bio is here.
  • Yesterday, Peggy Orenstein blogged about my post on the Disney Princess seed packets–and she pointed out that Disney has declared this week to be the first annual National Princess Week! Ugh. And here I thought that for preschool girls, every week is princess week.
  • The blog Animation Anomaly also blogged about my Disney Princess seed packet post, adding an excellent point: All this princess branding is actually NOT THAT GOOD for the princess brand. Blogger Charles Kenny explains:

While her post does a great job of analysing how such merchandise is bad for kids and parents, I can’t help but conclude that it is bad for the Disney company also. How is that, you say? Surely they are simply getting a cut and/or fee from the licensing rights and nothing more. Why should they care about it any further than that?

Well, because it’s a sign that they’re failing to care for their characters. The Disney Princess brand is a faux collection of said characters who supposedly represent the best in female traits. Now you could argue about that until the cows come home, but what’s more important is that each of the princesses is only a good fit for her particular context. In other words, the film they appear in.

The Disney Princess brand takes that context completely away, and instead mashes the characters together in a manner that attempts to blend them all into a singular idea of what good female characters should be like; read: princesses. This would be OK if it was for a once-off thing or a singular celebration of the characters, but branding them in such a manner (and licensing them to everyone under the sun) only serves to devalue the characters themselves, and worse, the films they originally appeared in.

What do you think? Are the princess seed packets a sign that Disney has, essentially, jumped the shark when it comes to its own branding?

One Comment on “This week’s round-up: CSMonitor.com, princess seeds, and princess week

  1. I absolutely agree, the princess brand has reduced what once were considered unanimously disney classics to a “lame girly ghetto”. It’s the very same ghetto that suposedly drove boys away from going to watch “The princess and the frog”. Besides, this merchandising makes these characters nothing more than manequins for dresses, if they were smarter, they could make so much more out of each princess. Honestly, consider the possibilities:

    – Products with Ariel could include sea themed toys, there could be an ariel adventure set where kids would built the scenario and ship Ariel’s exploring at the movie…

    – There could be sets after sets about Jasmine and Alladin’s adventures (based on the tv series).

    – Mulan toys complete with Mulan, mushu, the cricket and the horse dolls. Toys where she’d wield a sword like in the movie.

    The “princesses” are not nearly as lame in the movies as their marketing sells them to be.

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