Tag Archives: #money

Fact #59 and #60

Sorry for the sabbatical. In apologies, have two princess facts for today

 

#59: Pocahontas is the only princess depicted with a tattoo

 

#60: Tiana is the only princess depicted with a paying job.

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Merida, the new Disney Princess

There has been a lot of hype recently surrounding Merida, from Disney’s Brave, officially becoming the 11th Disney Princess on the 11th May. She joins the ranks of Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Jasmin, Belle, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana and Rapunzel.

Unfortunately, it came as a surprise to many people when Merida was revamped for the part.

Now, I’m not going to argue whether she should have been revamped or not, but I am going to say my piece.

Quite frankly, i don’t care that she has been revamped. Yes, really. And here’s why.

Suddenly appearing more ‘cartoonised’ doesn’t change the fact that the movie Brave happened. It doesn’t change the fact that she could shoot an arrow and rejected marriage and was totally bad arse.

Suddenly having hair that is slightly less messy doesn’t mean her character has changed. It means she has been put into a form that is going to be easily reproducible for mass media, as is the intent of the whole Disney Princess franchise.

Being more curvy and having brighter eyes, lighter skin tone etc are all part of the same also. All of the Princesses underwent a revamp for the project. She has hardly been hypersexualised, as some have claimed, not in comparison to some of the other princesses.

And the last cause of outrage is her dress. It does of course come as shocking that a Disney Princess would have a formal dress. Because none of the princesses are known to be shown in formal dresses, no. Mulan, legendary warrior who saved China, never appears in her battle gear, she only ever appears in her bride outfit, which she very distinctly casts away at the beginning of the film. Belle only appears in her ball gown for the Tale as Old as Time song, yet hardly appears out of it in any official line up and Snow White doesn’t even have a ball gown in the film, and has magically been made one.

So yes, all of these things have happened, and questionably they are shit (personally, I just don’t like the new look). But I don’t understand why that, and not other inconsistencies inherent in the whole marketing of the Princesses, is what is cause for outrage. The whole franchise is money making ploy to exploit little girls and their parents pockets. There are no Disney Princes range (which is rather sexist in itself) because it could just never bring in the amount of money that a Princesses range could.

So maybe, instead of just defaulting to an angry position when Disney does something, you should look at the social mechanisms that have allowed it to be so. They market it this way because they know that’s what’s going to sell. They pay a lot of people a lot of money to figure that out. If you have a problem, look at why those things sell, stop and have a talk to younger children about what makes it appealing, what they would really rather see and whether they in fact even care, because I know I sure didn’t. What she looks like doesn’t change who she was as a character nor what the movie represented.

I’m not much of a ranter, and definitely not much of a feminist ranter at that, but boy things really annoy me.

Fact #20

Disney’s Fantasia only began to make a profit after its return to theatres in 1969. It was advertised with a ‘psychedelic’ advertising campaign and thus became popular among teenagers and university students, many of whom were believed to have taken drugs to heighten the psychedelic experience of the film. 

 

TL;DR: Drugs made Fantasia popular.

Hot Spot on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

                                                                                                             Snow_White_1937_poster

 

While not as awesome a princess as Belle, Snow White and her Seven Dwarfs was still and amazing feat of cinematic ingenuity.

Released in 1937, it was the first full length cel animated feature made. With a budget of $250,000, ten times the budget of a usual short film, it ended up costing $1,488,422. Fighting to get the film produced, with criticism from both his wife and brother and needing to remortgage his house to finish the film, it grossed $8 million internationally on its initial release, assuming the record of highest grossing sound film. Adjusting for inflation, it still ranks in the top 10 highest grossing films of all time.

At the 11th Academy Awards, Walt Disney was awarded an honorary Oscar for “a significant screen innovation which has charmed millions and pioneered a great new entertainment field”. In 2008, Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs was named by the American Film Institute as the greatest American animated film of all time.

There were many changes that occurred during story development that resulted in the film that was released. The names of the 7 Dwarfs were chosen from a about 50 potential names, some of them including: Jumpy, Deafy, Dizzey, Hickey, Wheezy, Baldy, Gabby, Nifty, Sniffy, Swift, Lazy, Puffy, Stuffy, Tubby, Shorty and Burpy. Also, the character of the Queen was initially going to be a ‘fat, batty, cartoon type, self-satisfied’ Queen. The story line was going to be more of a comedy, using the Dwarfs as comedic possibilities through the movie, and the Prince was going to be more clown like, serenading Snow White more comically. However, it was decided that the Queen should be a more beautiful, stately type, and that the story line should focus on the relationship between Snow White and the Queen, so many scenes involving the Dwarfs were cut.

The initial story line was also going to follow the original Grimm fairy tale more closely, with the Queen poisoning Snow White with a comb, the Prince arriving in time to remove the comb, and then himself being captured by the Queen. The Queen then puts him in a dungeon where she tries to convince him to marry her, and makes skeletons dance around him, in a display of power. The Prince refuses, and is left to die in the dungeon. Meanwhile, the Queen returns to Snow White with the traditional poisoned apple. The Prince manages to escape, but does not get to Snow White in time to prevent her being poisoned  but does manage to save her with true love’s kiss.

That would definitely have been a more intricate story line, but there are few complaints about the story as it is, and its international success as a feat of modern cinema has certainly made Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs one of, if not the, best American film ever made.

Fact #7

Fantasia cost 4x its budget to create, nearly sending Disney bankrupt in the process, as the original release did not do well in the box office. 

 

Trying to find a solution, as half of his workers were on strike, Disney went under government contract to produce 32 animated short propaganda films from 1941-1945.

Fact #6

On the 13th August, 2010, Disney celebrated Toy Story 3 becoming the highest grossing animated film of all time.

However, this is a bit of a contentious title, owing to inflation and the fact that Toy Story 3 was released in 3D, which many films previously were not, and also meant that more was being charged per ticket for the same film.

Adjusting for inflation, a list of the 25 highest grossing animated films (at the US Box office) are as follows:

1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs ($853 million)
2. 101 Dalmatians ($782 million)
3. The Lion King ($697 million)
4. Fantasia ($650 million)
5. Jungle Book ($576 million)
6. Sleeping Beauty ($569 million)
7. Shrek 2 ($556 million)
8. Pinocchio ($527 million)
9. Bambi ($498 million)
10. Finding Nemo ($441 million)
11. Lady and the Tramp ($436 million)
12. Aladdin ($410 million)
13. Toy Story 3 ($408 million)
14. Toy Story 2 ($374 million
15. Shrek ($370 million)
16. Shrek the Third ($367 million)
17. Beauty and the Beast ($355 million)
18. Monsters Inc. ($353 million)
19. Toy Story ($343 million)
20. The Incredibles ($312 million)
21. Up ($307 million)
22. Who Framed Roger Rabbit ($298 million)
23. Cars ($291 million)
24. A Bug’s Life ($267 million)
25. Tarzan ($263 million)

Out of 25, Disney/Pixar films were mentioned 21 times. Not a bad effort, really.