Friday, May 06, 2005

Everybody run!!! It's the attack of the Tinker Bell!!!

Family in town (hers) and sickness in the family have hampered me somewhat from getting new stuff out here. Apologies (as if anyone cares!! ;)). Now I have coffee and an inspiration (due to reading a blog from a like minded cheapquel hater like myself). Matt detailed the list of new cheapquel projects in the pipe for the next few years, and one ("The Tinker Bell Movie") reminded me of an article that I saw a while back (that I can't seem to find now... grr... maybe it was in print and not on the computer... Disney Magazine, perhaps?) detailing the plans for Tinker Bell. It appears that the plan is being brought to fruition...

In addition to the aforementioned movie, Disney Consumer Products has recently announced the autumn release of the book Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg. Written by Ella Enchanted's Gail Carson Levine, it sounds like it will probably be a well written book for it's target, pre-teen girls. It will offer "dreamy, intricate illustrations [that] were inspired by the great tradition, craft and magic of early twentieth century European children's book illustration" written by "a master of the modern fairy tale." Nothing bad, right? Here's where it ties back to the article I read a year or so ago...

"This magical book is the literary cornerstone of Disney Fairies, a new collection of stories that invites girls into a world of enchantment and whimsy," Deborah Dugan, president of Disney Publishing Worldwide.

Ahhh... a new product line... shoulda known... The story introduces "the newest Never fairy, Prilla, as well as their friends Beck, Rani, Terence, and Mother Dove, and all of the tiny inhabitants of Fairy Haven." Expect a marketing push of toys, clothes, books, videos, etc. as DCP tries to create a new product line to sit along side the Fab Four, Pooh, Adventures and Princess lines. Since they have hit a wall in the Princess line and are reaching the end of the life-cycle (no new Animated Features, no new Princesses... duh...) , Disney is desperately looking for a new hook into the pre-teen girl market. Voila...

Look... I have no problem with Disney trying to create new product to suck in a new generation of girls or boys. Making $$$ is their business... without $$$ there is no Disney. I'm all about the capitalism! But why in the h$!! can't they create NEW product instead of rehashing old characters that we have a fondness for and blanding them out in out-of-character situations and taking away their mystique and specialness created in their origin (Ariel's series.... ugh...; Goofy movies... worse...; Cinderella spin-offs... painful...; etc.)?

Case in point as to how to do it right? Kim Possible. Create a fresh new character that is well-written and plotted and the fans will come. This series just ended it's original run and is likely the most popular thing on Disney TV. They developed an original character in an original situation, stole heavily from and made good fun of past spy shows (Bond, etc.), gave it all a good sense of humor and it worked. My kids love it... I love it... I have yet to find a person with kids who doesn't say that it is the one Disney cartoon on TV that they don't mind watching with their kids. Disney TV Animation can do it right if they are not milking a previously conceived character until the udder is empty.

But it looks like we'll be stuck with more Cinderella III's and Peter Pan XVII's. sigh...





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