|Created by||Andy Mooney|
|Original work||Animated films|
|Book(s)||Disney Princess Chapter Books|
A Jewel Story
|Novel(s)||May 7, 2005 – present|
|Films and television|
|Film(s)||Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams|
|Clothing||Disney Fairy Tale Weddings collection|
Disney Princess, also called the Princess Line, is a media franchise and toy-line owned by The Walt Disney Company. Created by Disney Consumer Products chairman Andy Mooney, the franchise features a line-up of fictional female protagonists, who have appeared in various Disney franchises.
The franchise does not include all princess characters from the whole of Disney-owned media, but rather refers to select specific characters from the company's animated films and series. The 12 characters in the franchise are Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana, Rapunzel, Merida, and Moana.
The franchise has released dolls, sing-along videos, apparel, beauty products, home decor, toys and a variety of other products featuring some of the Disney Princesses. Licensees for the franchise include Glidden (wall paint), Stride Rite (sparkly shoes), Hasbro (games and dolls), Fisher-Price (plastic figurines), and Lego (Lego sets).
Former Nike, Inc. executive Andy Mooney was appointed president of The Walt Disney Company's Disney Consumer Products division in December 1999. While attending his first Disney on Ice show, Mooney noticed that several young girls attending the show were dressed in princess attire—though not authentic Disney merchandise. "They were generic princess products they’d appended to a Halloween costume," Mooney told The New York Times. Concerned by this, Mooney addressed the company the following morning and encouraged them to commence work on a legitimate Disney Princess franchise in January 2000. Walt's nephew, Roy E. Disney, objected to the creation of the line, as the company has long "avoided mingling characters from its classic fairy tales in other narratives, worrying that it would weaken the individual mythologies."
The original line-up consisted of princesses Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, and Mulan. Tinker Bell was once considered part of the line-up, but was removed soon after; she would go on to headline the sister franchise Disney Fairies. This was the first time the characters would be marketed in a separate franchise to their original films. Mooney decided that, when featured on marketing advertisements such as posters, the princesses should never make eye contact with each other in an attempt to keep their individual "mythologies" intact. "[Each] stares off in a slightly different direction as if unaware of the others' presence."
In an unconventional manner, Mooney and his team launched the Disney Princess line without utilizing any focus groups and with minimal marketing. By 2001, Disney Consumer Products (DCP) had generated about $300 million, but by 2012, the division had increased revenue to $3 billion, making it the top seller of consumer entertainment products globally. DCP issued princess product licenses to Hasbro for games, Mattel for dolls, and Fisher-Price for plastic figurines in 2000, allowing the franchise to meet the $1 billion mark in revenue in three years.
Tiana became the first additional character to the Princess franchise officially on March 14, 2010, taking Tinker Bell's short-lived place as the ninth member. Her "coronation" took place at the New York Palace. Tinker Bell was already heading up another franchise starting in 2005, Disney Fairies. Rapunzel was crowned and inducted into the Disney Princess franchise as the tenth member on October 2, 2011, at Kensington Palace in London, England, United Kingdom. On May 11, 2013, Disney added the first Pixar character Merida as the eleventh member to the franchise in a coronation ceremony in front of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. By May 2019, Moana was added to the line-up as the twelfth member in the franchise without having a coronation ceremony, but rather being included in future merchandise.
With Target Corporation as its marketing partner, Disney held the first National Princess Week the week of April 22, 2012. During the week, there was the release of The Princess Diaries Blu-ray and The Very Fairy Princess book. Harrods, already having a Disney Store within, followed with their Christmas theme being Disney Princess by having Oscar de la Renta designed dress for the Princess on display. In August, the dress were on display at D23 Expo before being auctioned on November 13 to benefit Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity.
Mattel added a Barbie princess-themed line in late 2010 then the fairy tale based Ever After High in 2013. With these competing lines and an expiration of the brand license at the end of 2015, Disney offered Hasbro a chance to gain the license given their work on Star Wars, which led to a Descendants license. DCP was also attempting to evolve the brand by marketing them less as damsels and more as heroines. In September 2014, Disney announced that Hasbro would be the licensed doll maker for the Disney Princess line starting on January 1, 2016.
The June 2013 release of the Disney Princess Palace Pets app from Disney Publishing, led DCP to turn Palace Pets into a Disney Princess franchise extension, with the release of the Palace Pets toy-line in August from licensee Blip Toys. The line was also selected by TimetoPlayMag.com for its Most Wanted List Holiday 2013. In 2015, Disney Publishing released animated shorts series Whisker Haven Tales with the Palace Pets. The shorts journey to a magical world of Whisker Haven, a secret realm deep in a fairy tale land between the Disney Princess kingdoms.
Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media launched the Princess Comics line, which was started with Princess Comics graphic novels by Joe Book, in August 2018 at Target with Hasbro figures and Hybrid Promotions apparel. This expansion featured Belle, Jasmine, Ariel, Rapunzel, and Pocahontas.
Official canon of Disney Princesses
The official canon of Disney Princesses consists of the female protagonists, most of whom have royal ties within their fictional universes, from twelve selected Disney films. Princesses were given an official number in the franchise lineup based on the chronological order in which their films were released, starting with Snow White as the first and original Disney Princess, with Cinderella being the second, followed by Aurora and so on.
- Snow White – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
- Cinderella – Cinderella (1950)
- Aurora – Sleeping Beauty (1959)
- Ariel – The Little Mermaid (1989)
- Belle – Beauty and the Beast (1991)
- Jasmine – Aladdin (1992)
- Pocahontas – Pocahontas (1995)
- Mulan – Mulan (1998)
- Tiana – The Princess and the Frog (2009)
- Rapunzel – Tangled (2010)
- Merida – Brave (2012)
- Moana – Moana (2016)
Eleven out of twelve official Disney Princesses are, within their fictional universes, princesses or the cultural equivalent. Snow White, Aurora, Ariel, Jasmine, Rapunzel, and Merida are daughters of kings and queens; Pocahontas and Moana are daughters of tribal chiefs. Cinderella, Belle, and Tiana become princesses by marrying a prince. The lone exception is Mulan, the daughter of a married couple, who is a heroine and remains unmarried (and in love with someone of her own rank) at the end of her film.
With the exception of Jasmine, every princess is the main character of their respective films; nine out of twelve serve as title characters.
Meet-and-greets and live events
Currently, all the princesses are available for meet-and-greets at Disneyland Resort in California. Additionally, In 2006, as part of the "Year of Million Dreams" celebration, the Fantasyland Theater began hosting the Disneyland Princess Fantasy Faire, a show featuring Lords and Ladies that taught young boys and girls the proper etiquette to be a Prince or Princess and featured appearances from the Disney Princesses. In 2010, Rapunzel was given a Tangled meet-and-greet location. The Carnation Plaza Gardens bandstand, adjacent to Sleeping Beauty Castle, was closed to be replaced by a new Fantasy Faire area in the Spring of 2013.
|Opening date||March 3, 2013|
|Replaced||Carnation Plaza Gardens|
|Name||Princess Fairytale Hall|
|Opening date||September 18, 2013|
|Replaced||Snow White's Scary Adventures|
|Website||Princess Fairytale Hall|
|Name||Once Upon a Time|
|Opening date||June 16, 2016|
|Attraction type||Meet-and-greet location|
|Theme||Gothic-inspired village & fair|
The Fantasy Faire area at Disneyland officially opened on March 12, 2013, as the permanent home for the Disney Princesses; consisting of a Royal Hall, a Royal Theatre, Maurice's Treats food cart, and a Fairytale Treasures gift shop. The theater features two small shows based on Beauty and the Beast and Tangled. The hall is used for meet and greets with the princesses, which have a rotation schedule with three princesses scheduled to appear at a time.
Walt Disney World
At Walt Disney World, the princesses are available for meet-and-greets in more specific locations. The Cinderella-based character dining and interaction, located at Cinderella's Royal Table in her Magic Kingdom castle, as well as "Cinderella's Happily Ever After Dinner" (formerly known as the "Cinderella's Gala Feast Dinner") at 1900 Park Fare in Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa are common places for Cinderella and other Disney characters to appear. The Princesses also can be found at the Princess Storybook meal at Epcot. On September 18, 2013, a new meet-and-greet attraction called Princess Fairytale Hall opened at the Magic Kingdom.
Films and television
Princess Party Palace (formerly known as The Princess Power Hour) was a programming block on Toon Disney from 2000 until 2007, where it used to air episodes of The Little Mermaid and Aladdin.
The Disney Princesses' television appearances were compiled into the Disney Princess Collection, a series of compilation VHSes containing episodes from Aladdin and The Little Mermaid as well as two Beauty and the Beast specials. A later DVD series was released, entitled Disney Princess Stories, featuring content similar to the previous release.
Belle had her own live-action television series titled Sing Me a Story with Belle. The first eight Disney Princesses also made appearances on the animated TV series House of Mouse. Cinderella, Belle, and Snow White also made cameo appearances in the TV animated series Mickey Mouse. The television special The Little Mermaid Live! starred Auliʻi Cravalho as Ariel.
In early 2007, Disney announced Disney Princess Enchanted Tales, a new series of direct-to-video features that feature new stories for the Disney Princesses. The first film in the series entitled Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams, was released on September 4, 2007. It is a musical film featuring a new tale about Princess Jasmine and the first new tale about Princess Aurora since the original Sleeping Beauty.
Originally, Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: A Kingdom of Kindness was announced as the first film in the series, which contained a different Princess Aurora story, and had a Belle story rather than a Princess Jasmine story. Disney made this change without any sort of notice. The series was cancelled and only Follow Your Dreams exists.
The TV series Once Upon a Time that aired on the Disney-owned ABC, featured live-action versions of Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, Aurora, Mulan, Ariel, Rapunzel, Merida, Jasmine, and Tiana. Snow White and Belle were main characters, while the rest made recurring and/or guest appearances. Beginning in season 7, Cinderella, Tiana, and Rapunzel were main characters. Many of these characters are patterned after the Disney versions, but a few draw inspiration from older stories.
The TV series Sofia the First premiered on January 11, 2013, on Disney Junior. Cinderella appeared in the first film, Once Upon A Princess. Jasmine, Belle, Aurora, Snow White, Mulan, Tiana, and Merida have appeared on the show, and Ariel and Rapunzel appeared in the TV specials The Floating Palace and The Curse of Princess Ivy, respectively. However, Sofia is a minor princess and not in the royal court. She is voiced by Modern Family star Ariel Winter. In 2017, the TV series Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure debuted with the made-for-television film Tangled: Before Ever After serving as the pilot. In December 2020, it was announced that Tiana and Moana would have spin-off TV shows debuting on Disney+ in 2022 and 2023, respectively.
In the films Maleficent (2014) and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019), Elle Fanning plays Aurora. Lily James portrays Cinderella in the 2015 film of the same name. Emma Watson is seen as Belle in the 2017 film Beauty and the Beast. Naomi Scott stars as Jasmine in the 2019 film Aladdin. Liu Yifei appears as Mulan in the 2020 film of the same name. Halle Bailey has been cast to play Ariel in a live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid.
The Princesses make guest appearances in the 2018 film Ralph Breaks the Internet. This film marks the first direct interaction between the characters in an animated Disney feature. Rich Moore and Phil Johnston, the directors of Ralph Breaks the Internet, said that a film focusing on the Disney Princesses could be made depending on the audience's response and "if there's a good story to be told."
Disney Princess Chapter Books
A Jewel Story
In Kilala Princess, a Japanese fantasy/romance manga produced by Kodansha that debuted on Nakayoshi in April 2005, a girl named Kilala and her adventures to find her kidnapped friend with the help of the first six Disney Princesses: Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, and Jasmine. However, Kilala herself is not considered part of the franchise.
On February 24, 2016, a Disney Princesses anthology on-going comic book's first issue hit the stands. The series is published by Joe Books. Joe Books expanded Disney Princess to a graphic novel line as an exclusive for Target along with a Hasbro figure line and a Hybrid Promotions apparel line.
Disney Princesses have appeared in various other media, such as video games, including Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey, Disney Princess: Magical Jewels, and Disney Princess: My Fairytale Adventure. Rapunzel can be found as a character in the 2013 game Disney Infinity. Disney Infinity: 2.0 Edition has the addition of Merida and Jasmine. However, Merida is also included with Stitch in the Toy Box Starter Pack. Disney Infinity 3.0 has the addition of Mulan. Merida can be found as a character via Pixar Family Builds in the 2018 Lego game Lego The Incredibles. All Disney Princesses are also playable characters in the mobile game Disney Magic Kingdoms, with Cinderella, Rapunzel, Aurora, and Pocahontas being part of the main storyline, while the rest are limited-time characters.
In the Kingdom Hearts game series, the seven "Princesses of Heart," are young ladies with entirely pure hearts who would open the way to Kingdom Hearts if gathered together. Five of these maidens include the Cinderella, Belle, Aurora, Snow White, and Jasmine. The remaining Princesses of Heart are Alice from Alice in Wonderland and game series' heroine, Kairi. While both Ariel and Mulan are not Princesses of Heart, they are instead party members of their respective worlds. The Disney Princesses make various appearances throughout the series:
- While Snow White, Cinderella, Alice, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, and Kairi all appear in the first game, only Belle, Ariel, and Jasmine reappeared in Kingdom Hearts II with Kairi, though the others are mentioned. Mulan, however, makes her first appearance as the player visits her world. She serves as a tradeable character in the party similarly to how Ariel was in the first Kingdom Hearts.
- Belle, Jasmine, Ariel, Alice, and Kairi appear in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories as figments of Sora or Riku's memory, but their roles as Princesses of Heart are not brought up.
- Belle and Jasmine reappear in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days when they each meet Roxas. Wonderland reappears as well, but without Alice.
- Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora appear in the prequel Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, as the game's playable characters Terra, Aqua, and Ventus assume prominent positions in the princesses' original stories.
- Digital versions of Alice and Jasmine appear in Kingdom Hearts Coded.
- Kingdom Hearts III introduces the "New Seven Hearts," which is a new set of princesses inheriting the roles from the previous princesses, with Kairi being the only princess from the original seven retaining her role.
- As of Kingdom Hearts III, Pocahontas, Tiana, Merida, and Moana are the only Disney Princesses who have yet to appear in the series.
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