Thursday, November 18, 2004

Second star to the right, and straight on 'til Wal-Mart

The folks at Disney, you know, the people who bought CrossGen, do believe in fairies (they do, they do) -- at least when it comes to making billions of dollars from little girls.

According to a Wall Street Journal article, the House of Mouse plans to follow up its financial success with they "Disney Princess" brand -- that's just a repackaged Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Belle and the Little Mermaid -- with a franchise based on Tinker Bell and a new faction of fairy friends:
Disney says its research shows that Tinker Bell has remained a popular character, despite little exposure in recent years. Last year’s live-action movie version of Peter Pan, which wasn’t produced by Disney, did little to promote the waif. But Disney says girls and young women still warm to her “sassy” attitude, style and looks.
The company hopes that with a pinch of pixie dust and some savvy marketing, the "Disney Fairies" line can pull in more than $1 billion in three to five years through the sales of illustrated books, animated movies, clothing and dolls:
While Tinker Bell retains some of her Victorian feel, she’s updated with new emotions, expressions and a voice (she didn’t speak in the original movie). The book gives her a set of pals including Beck, a fairy that can talk to animals; Vidia, a “troubled” fairy; Prilla, a neophyte fairy; and Rani, a fairy with a generous heart – the aim being to give girls a range of personalities to identify with. There’s a queen of fairies; mother dove (inspired from a bird drawing in the original Bambi movie); and the “sparrow men” – a band of male fairies but Disney didn’t want to use the “fairy” label to identify them.
Yes, for the love of God, don't call the "sparrow men" fairies. That would be like ... like ... calling G.I. Joe a doll! He's an action figure, thankyouverymuch. And the "sparrow men" are -- well, I don't know what they are, but they're definitely not fairies.