My little nieces think I’m a nut job: They hand me Cinderella Barbie and tell me we’re going to meet Prince Charming at the ball and I’m, like, “Instead, let’s pretend Barbie is a brain surgeon! Or the first female president!” Lucky for crazy aunts like me, Disney is abstaining from princess flicks for a bit. After “Tangled,” Disney’s newest flick about Rapunzel, the company will focus on non-princess-centric movies, like “Winnie The Pooh” and “Reboot Ralph,” about a video game character who has been left behind with new technology (i.e., “Toy Story” 2.0). Two princess-related movies in development, “The Snow Queen” and “Jack and the Bean Stalk,” have also been killed.
But Disney isn’t swearing off princesses because pretty women who moon after boys all day are sucky role models for little girls. (Ha!) Rather, princess flicks, the company lamented, do not rake in enough dough.Princess-focused Disney flicks like “Beauty and the Beast” have been so popular they’ve sold tons of merchandise and even made it to Broadway. But when the latest Disney cartoon, “The Princess and the Frog,” flopped, the company apparently realized the movie only appealed to little girls. (It’s unclear whether the crazy princess-ification of kids’ culture in the past decade is unappealing to little boys, or the male frog/prince character was not featured strongly enough in the flick.) While “The Princess and the Frog” was groundbreaking for Disney because it featured the first-ever African-American princess, it said the audience was too narrow to justify another princess-movie in the near future. Disney animators are now being encouraged to expand their horizons.
I guess I could be pleased that little girls might lose a little air supply from the constant barrage of princesses. But experts say I shouldn’t be so concerned: little girls are, like, so over princesses before they’re done with first grade. “By the time they’re 5 or 6, they’re not interested in being princesses,” Dafna Lemish, an expert on media in children’s lives, told The Los Angeles Times. “They’re interested in being hot (emphasis mine, while I vomit in my mouth a little), in being cool. Clearly, they see this is what society values.”
So there you have it: Disney’s next movie for young’uns will be about an 8-year-old stripper with a heart of gold! [Los Angeles Times]