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depicted on Princess merchandise, though for a different reason. T heir rustic garb has less bling
potential than that of old- school heroines like Sleeping Beauty . (When Mulan does appear, she is
ty pically in the kimonolike hanfu, which makes her miserable in the mov ie, rather than her
liberated warrior’s gear.)
T he first Princess items, released with no marketing plan, no focus groups, no adv ertising, sold
as if blessed by a fairy godmother. T o this day , Disney conducts little market research on the
Princess line, rely ing instead on the power of its legacy among mothers as well as the instantread sales barometer of the theme parks and Disney Stores. “We simply gav e girls what they
wanted,” Mooney said of the line’s success, “although I don’t think any of us grasped how much they wanted this. I wish I could sit here and take credit for hav ing some grand scheme to
dev elop this, but all we did was env ision a little girl’s room and think about how she could liv e
out the princess fantasy . T he counsel we gav e to licensees was: What ty pe of bedding would a
princess want to sleep in? What kind of alarm clock would a princess want to wake up to? What
ty pe of telev ision would a princess like to see? I t’s a rare case where y ou find a girl who has
ev ery aspect of her room bedecked in Princess, but if she ends up with three or four of these
items, well, then y ou hav e a v ery healthy business.”
Ev ery reporter Mooney talks to asks some v ersion of my nex t question: Aren’t the Princesses,
who are interested only in clothes, jewelry and cadging the handsome prince, somewhat
retrograde role models?
“Look,” he said, “I hav e friends whose son went through the Power Rangers phase who
castigated themselv es ov er what they must’v e done wrong. T hen they talked to other parents
whose kids had gone through it. T he boy passes through. T he girl passes through. I see girls
ex panding their imagination through v isualizing themselv es as princesses, and then they pass
through that phase and end up becoming lawy ers, doctors, mothers or princesses, whatev er the
case may be.”
Mooney has a point: T here are no studies...
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This document was uploaded on 02/17/2014 for the course ENG 101 at Roosevelt.
- Spring '12