Rebecca Hains Discovers Disney Princess…Flowers???
Yes, these are entirely real, believe it or not. Media studies professor and author, Rebecca Hains, came across them at her local Home Depot recently. Kinda reminds you of the Disney Princess grapes I stumbled across at the grocery store last year, don’t they? Rebecca’s written a great post about on these seeds which you should all read (as well as the comments).
While her post does a great job of analysing how such merchandise is bad for kids and parents, I can’t help but conclude that it is bad for the Disney company also. How is that, you say? Surely they are simply getting a cut and/or fee from the licensing rights and nothing more. Why should they care about it any further than that?
Well, because it’s a sign that they’re failing to care for their characters. The Disney Princess brand is a faux collection of said characters who supposedly represent the best in female traits. Now you could argue about that until the cows come home, but what’s more important is that each of the princesses is only a good fit for her particular context. In other words, the film they appear in.
The Disney Princess brand takes that context completely away, and instead mashes the characters together in a manner that attempts to blend them all into a singular idea of what good female characters should be like; read: princesses. This would be OK if it was for a once-off thing or a singular celebration of the characters, but branding them in such a manner (and licensing them to everyone under the sun) only serves to devalue the characters themselves, and worse, the films they originally appeared in.
The original films are masterpieces, they evoke they very best in art and character. These seeds and the grapes which precede them do not. They are a cheap attempt to imbue otherwise unexciting products with some sort of luster, and while even the humblest of grape can make the finest wine, a grape is still a grape, no matter which character is on the packaging or how superb the film she appeared in is.
Unfortunately, it would appear that the brand is making big bucks for Disney and shows no sign of abating.