Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Disney Princesses, Packs One and Two

Saw this on a recent trip to the Magic Kingdom. I might have have been experiencing that thing that happens to you at Disneyland, where you try really hard to be all jaded and skeptical of the wonder of the Disney Experience™ so you don't become a true believer or anything. See, I did it there again, by adding that little trademark to "Disney Experience". But I saw this, and got kind of pissed off.

I hardly need to spell it out; basically someone had the bright idea to make two separate sets of princesses, the first with all the white princesses, and the second with the Asian, Native American, and NON-HUMAN princesses. I think the point of this is not segregation per se, but so that they can make 25,000 sets of white princesses, and sixteen sets of the ethnic/non-human princesses, and have it come out even in the end. In theory. No idea how this plays out.

This doesn't actually bum me out that much anymore. I think it just looks bad, is all. Doesn't send the best possible message to racist little girls everywhere. I'm probably just mad because they didn't sell them in singly, and I didn't want to deal with stupid Jasmine and stupid Aurora and stupid Cinderella just to get Snow White (with Travel Cloak!) and Mulan.


Fugu said...

Is interesting that I noticed completely the opposite philosophy at the LEGO store. You can't get all the Jedi in a box. You've got to buy like 4 sets to get them all (not that anyone would really want face-burn Anakin, but whatever). This ploy made sense to me business-wise, but kind of pissed off the racist in me since I had to buy an Ewok or something if I wanted to get Darth Maul.

I see what you're saying about wasted production on dolls, though. I wonder if girls and Barbies are different, and that girls would naturally be content with a mixed box and not feel compelled to collect all the white ones, like a guy might. Or something.

rowlh said...

Ooh, I got this one!

Other Race Pack of Princesses:
Jasmine: Sassy, Headstrong, Wants a life her own, goddamit, not her father's life.
Ariel: Sassy, Headstrong, also wants life of her own, willing to become human to escape father's tyranny
Mulan: Sassy, Headstrong, chooses to impersonate a man rather than be married off.
Pochahontas: Sassy, Headstrong, chooses true love over father's mate assignment

White Princesses:

Snow White: helpless
Belle: superficial
Cinderella: victim
Sleeping Beauty: sleepy victim

I think a girl/parent would purchase the pack that they , identify with the most. Pack one movies were much more interesting. Pack two are from older movies. It's "classic" stereotypically helpless but pretty princesses vs. awesome "almost feminist" stupid hot princesses.

Mr. Pony said...

Nice! I agree with everything you're saying from a theoretical standpoint—So much easier to identify with the modern ladies in pack one—and they are stupid hot.

One weird thing that happens in practice, though: Almost no little girl walks into the Happiest Place on Earth dressed as Pocahontas. The vast, vast, vast majority are wearing something from pack two. Just what the hell is going on here?

FAKA! said...

Hmm.. so where is Tiana aka the Frog Princess from New Orleans? I think we need to get Rev. Al Sharpton involved in this one folks.