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Toon Talk: Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dream
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by Kirby C. Holt
Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dream
MPAA Rating: G
“I Wish I Were a Princess”
What little girl hasn’t said just that at some point in her young life? While it is not surprising that Disney has found a way to capitalize on these nascent feminine inspirations, what is surprising is that it took them as long as it did to recognize the moneymaking capabilities of a “Disney Princess”.
After all, Snow White, Cinderella and Aurora were around for decades without much out-of-the-ordinary going on. It took the one-two-three punch of Ariel, Belle and Jasmine to wake up the suits to the idea of a merchandise line based solely on these fairy tale divas. As more movies came out, some leading ladies made the grade (Pocahontas, Mulan), while others did not (Esmeralda, Megara), and it didn’t seem to matter much whether they were actual princesses or not. And forgive me if I sound jaded, but surely the in-the-works The Princess and the Frog was green lit at least in part to add a long overdue African American princess to the lineup. (“To bad Rapunzel isn’t a Latina,” I could here the marketers say, "we could really give Dora the Explorer a run for her money!")
Once the “Disney Princess” ball got rolling, nothing could slow it down. From dress-up dolls to easy-bake ovens to Halloween costumes to jewelry (real and fake) to band-aids to breakfast cereals … the list goes on and on. And that’s not even touching on the dozens of CDs, video games and DVDs produced, which brings us to the matter at hand: the latest DVD release, Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams.
Ostensibly built around teaching simple life lessons, this first volume of the series takes on the theme of learning “perseverance”. (Volume 2, subtitled A Kingdom of Kindness, will teach youngsters how to play nice; I can only imagine such future subjects as The Magic of Manners or Etiquette Enchantment.) The big draw of this particular title (and the main reason it is being reviewed here) is the fact that this is the first “new adventure” of Princess Aurora since the 1959 Sleeping Beauty. Maybe they should have waited longer.
When all the men of the kingdom leave for some kind of “royal convention”, Aurora is left in charge. So the first thing she does is plan a party. She is then presented with such bureaucratic duties as paperwork … and more paperwork (who knew there was such a thing in medieval times?). And when she must deal with all the problems of the common folk, she is tempted to take the easy way out by using Merryweather’s wand, left with her by the fairy “just in case”. The castle is soon overrun with various farm animals of every size and shade, but Aurora learns to “persevere” and all is set right by the time her prince (who actually calls her “my sleeping beauty” at one point) returns home.
The whole tale is a little too cutsie to be anything more then a wane footnote to the grand elegance of the original movie. In other words: they should have left this sleeping beauty lie.