Disney’s new modern princess: Still a tough sell with hipster pre-schoolers

Nathan, age 4, whose T-shirt read, “COOL BEYOND MY YEARS,” declined to share an opinion.

via Sofia the First: Disney Junior Test-Markets a Modern Princess – WSJ.com *

Fascinating story about Disney’s new princess, Sofia. Daughter of a single working mom (though she marries a king), she purposely doesn’t hew to the princess stereotypes of looking for a prince; the moral of one story says “breaking the rules is an exercise of your own free will.” The character went through a five-year development process with “writers, child-development and early-education experts and storytelling consultants” and quite a bit of pre-market testing with little kids. To me, the process they followed there is as compelling as the product that came out of it.

The character sketch is certainly interesting. As someone who’s generally anti-princess, I’m interested enough to check it out on Abigail’s behalf. The picture of Sofia in the typical princess attire with Cinderella-like birds flitting around her does make me wonder why Disney spends that kind of time and money to just create another princess. The paranoid side of me wonders if Sofia is a gateway drug to capture hearts and minds otherwise uninterested in typical princess stories and then while they’re in the princess toy aisle  “Say, have you met Ariel…?”

* If you hit WSJ’s paywall, Google “Test-Marketing a Modern Princess” and click through via search.

1 comment for “Disney’s new modern princess: Still a tough sell with hipster pre-schoolers

  1. April 10, 2013 at 9:08 am

    I watched the film Sophia the First: Once Upon a Princess and was a bit surprised by the film presenting her as almost a combination of numerous characteristics of princesses already part of the Disney Princess line while also mixing in characters like Cinderella. It did come across to me as an attempt to draw people into the Disney Princess franchise, but it might come across differently to a parent.

    At least it’s not as bad as Calliou.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *