Grading the Disney Princess Magazine Covers Part 4

Continuing out look at a series of magazine covers featuring the Disney princesses as created by the Petite Tiaras tumblelog, (previously parts 1, 2 and 3), we’re onto the final post.

Tiana in Vanity Fair

Yet another one by Conde Nast, Vanity Fair describes itself as:

a cultural filter, igniting the global conversation about the people and ideas that matter most. With a dedication to journalistic excellence, brilliant photography, and powerful storytelling, Vanity Fair is the first choice and often the only choice for the world’s most influential and important audience. From print to the social stream, big screen to smartphone, Vanity Fair is the essential arbiter of our times.

So VF basically proclaims that it’s the best magazine in the world. End of story. Although is Tiana the right character to grace the cover?

Perhaps focusing in on the “igniting the conversation” part of the description, Tiana herself was stirring debate long before she made it to the big screen. Notable for being the first African-American “Disney Princess”, there was much debate about how the character would turn out, and whether it was simply corporate pandering for the sake of political correctness.

All that was dispersed when the film was released, and although it didn’t light the box office on fire, Tiana was praised as a character with much integrity.

Overall, it’s a B+

Rapunzel in Teen Vogue

Although we’ve already covered Vogue, Rapunzel gets a turn in Teen Vogue:

Influence Starts Here. This simple mandate sets Teen Vogue apart. Style-conscious girls everywhere know there’s only one source for relevant fashion, beauty, and entertainment news communicated in a sophisticated tone with the power of the Vogue brand.

Confused? It’s basically marketing speak for “hook ’em when they’re young”.

Compared to Snow White, Rapunzel makes a much more appropriate character for Vogue simply because she is much closer the typical teenager of today, and as a result fits right into Teen Vogue’s target demographic.

Right from the off, it’s clear that the pink is very apt, even if the film itself used lavender instead. All of the stories seem appropriate too.

Overall: A-

Megara in Marie Claire

This magazine bills itself as:

…a compelling media destination that combines provocative features and outstanding fashion to inspire every woman who wants to think smart and look amazing.

That’s probably a bit brief, but I did have to grab it from the Facebook page.

This is perhaps the blandest cover of the lot, but that’s because Megara a a character is quite unique from the others. She’s a bit of an anti-hero in many ways and that makes any “stories” that would be relevant to her not ideal to the front of a women’s magazine.

Other than that, I think style-wise, her own unique style is something that would probably better suited to Harper’s Bazaar or even Jalouse.

So point’s for effort, but ultimately, this cover gets a B- but only because Megara herself is a tricky character to place.

Grading The Disney Princess Magazine Covers Part 3

Continuing on with the series (after part 1 and part 2) of taking a look at the Disney princesses on the covers of various magazines as created by the Petite Tiaras tumblelog.

Jasmine on Cosmopolitan

Cosmopolitan describes itself as:

…the lifestylist and cheerleader for millions of fun, fearless females who want to be the best they can be in every area of their lives.

Cosmo edit inspires with information on relationships and romance, the best fashion and beauty, the latest on women’s health and wellbeing as well as what’s happening in pop culture and entertainment…and just about everything else that fun, fearless females want to know about.

Jasmine is one of the more powerful Disney characters and it is disappointing to see that this cover chooses to focus solely on her looks and sex appeal as opposed to the character behind it all.

While Jasmine is undoubtedly beautiful, she is also extremely intelligent and smart. It is difficult and indeed, incomprehensible that she would stoop to using her looks in the manner that this cover suggests.

Overall, this cover is a good fit for the magazine, but the character is a good fit for neither and as a result, this gets an F.

 

Pochahontas in Nylon

Unfortunately, I had to grab the description from Wikipedia:

Nylon is an American magazine that focuses on pop culture and fashion. Its coverage includes art, beauty, music, design, celebrities, technology and travel. Its name references New York and London.

On first glance this is a very apt use of the magazine as the tale of Pochahontas does straddle the old and new worlds (i.e. America and Britain).

On the flip side, the cover naturally can’t deal with the technology and music side of things, so it focuses on things like art, beauty and fashion. Although the skew towards these goes a wee bit against the character herself, the cover nonetheless does an OK job of representing the character.

Overall: B-

Mulan in Harper’s Bazaar

Harper’s Bazaar (not to be confused with Harper’s Magazine) has the following mission statement (screenshot because it’s meant to be read this way):

So, does such a pompous mission statement fit for a princess like Mulan? I would say, yes. the cover is tastefully done and although there is a hint of sensationalism about it, it does not jump out at you as it does in some of the other covers we’ve looked at.

Overall: B

Don’t miss next week’s final installment when we look at Rapunzel, Tiana and Megara.

 

 

Grading The Disney Princesses on Magazine Covers: Part 2

Continuing this series of posts (part one if you missed it), where we look at a series of faux magazine covers created by the Petite Tiaras tumblelog that feature the various Disney Princesses.

Princess Aurora in Glamour

Glamour magazine has a title that pretty much says it all, but does the Princess live up to the standard? from the official description, Glamour is:

…a magazine that translates style and trends for the real lives of American women. Our award-winning editorial covers the most pressing interests of our 12.4 million readers: from beauty, fashion and health to politics, Hollywood and relationships. We’re often optimistic, always inclusive, beyond empowering and can always separate the Dos from the Don’ts.

Our readers live for fashion, live for beauty and most of all, live for Glamour.

For the most part, it is a good match. Aurora’s story is compelling, and the tale and all that surrounds would certainly be useful in a magazine like Glamour. There’s a good dose of style content and there are personal articles in there too. Living up to the billing are the articles that provide advice to the reader.

Overall: B+ (if only because she’s asleep for a good portion of the film)

Arial in Seventeen

Seventeen magazine in each issue:

…reports on the latest in fashion, beauty, health and entertainment, as well as information and advice on the complex real-life issues that young women face every day.

So “young women” in this case presumably means “teenagers”. Arial is perhaps the most well known of the Disney princesses for being a rebellious teenager so naturally Seventeen would be the perfect fit. Is this the case?

Yes, it is. The cover is filled with a good mix of kiss-and-tell stories, “best of” lists, advice and tips and tricks on how to do things.

Overall: A+

Belle in Jalouse

Well, this one is certainly the odd one out thus far. Jalouse magazine is French in origin and originally:

…conceived as a Jalou family idea that a totally young magazine, for the young and by the young, was essential to complete L’officiel, has been the magazine for the trendy in crowd in Paris for its daring and contemporary editorial positions since 1998. Devoted to women from 18 to 30, looking for an avant-garde view that shakes up preconceived ideas, Jalouse constantly innovates.

So it’s an über trendy fashion magazine for any girl who dreams of living in Paris and is looking for a sophisticated alternative view from established publications.

Naturally, Belle is French, so that part makes perfect sense. The rest of the cover seems to live up to the concept. There are plenty of fairly mundane articles that undoubtedly have a special twist and are likely to be more comprehensive in nature than some of the other publications featured here.

Overall: A-

Stay tuned for part 3 with Jasmine, Pocahontas and Mulan

Grading The Disney Princesses on Magazine Covers: Part 1

You may have already seen these floating about the internet recently. Created by (I presume) whoever runs the Petite Tiaras tumblelog, they’re quite an interesting collection.

Are the magazine a good fit for the characters though? This 3-part weekly series of posts aims to find out.

Snow White in Vogue

Vogue is described on the official Conde Naste site as:

America’s cultural barometer, putting fashion in the context of the larger world we live in- how we dress, live, socialize; what we eat, listen to, watch; who leads and inspires us.

From its beginnings to today, three central principles have set Vogue apart: a commitment to visual genius, investment in storytelling that puts women at the center of the culture, and a selective, optimistic editorial eye.

Vogue’s story is the story of women, of culture, of what is worth knowing and seeing, of individuality and grace, and of the steady power of earned influence. For millions of women each month, Vogue is the eye of the culture, inspiring and challenging them to see things differently, in both themselves and the world.

So does Snow White fit into that kind of magazine? Perhaps not. She is not really a cultural figure per se and her story is far from the usual high-society gossip that one would expect from the pages of Vogue. The cover itself is good, but it does completely neglect any aspect of the fashion scene for which Vogue is [in]famous for.

Overall: B-

Cinderella in ELLE

Surprising enough because she’s facing away from the reader, Cinderella is the cover girl for ELLE magazine, whose mission is:

…to influence women’s whole lives, helping them to be chic, smart, and modern. With intelligent, in-depth writing and a razor-sharp curation of fashion that is at once aspirational and accessible, ELLE’s readers and users are building not just personal style, but personal power.

Cinderella does fit this, for the most part. The stories touch on aspects of fashion with a strong emphasis on the women behind them. Cinderella herself is an aspirational story, as she overcomes the difficulties of being imprisoned in her own house to marrying the prince.

Overall: A-

Tinkerbell in InStyle

Tinkerbell is one of the most well-known Disney characters and has endured and progressed far beyond the original Peter Pan movie.  Featuring on InStyle magazine, which according to the official description has:

…emerged as the world’s premier media brand in celebrity, style, fashion, beauty and beyond. InStyle takes a uniquely fun and inviting attitude towards celebrity style in all its forms including its flagship magazine which reaches an audience of 9.6 million readers each month.

Tinkerbell is most certainly a celebrity in this day and age; being a merchandising powerhouse for Disney and a star in her own movies. InStyle is a good fit for her. She’s a fun character with a positive attitude and it is fair to say that she’s more than just a little bit sassy. This magazine cover is fairly accurate, with a “53 Great Outfit Ideas” article, a few personal articles and even a recipe guide to round it out.

Overall: A

More to come next week in part 2, including Aerial, Princess Aurora and Belle

This Post Contains A Serious And Important Discussion About Bronies

Via: Total Media Bridge

It’s true, this post does contain a serious and important discussion about bronies. Although they are sometimes vilified by folks, they nonetheless represent a very special kind of fan that a lot of animated TV shows are sadly lacking.

Let’s be honest, there have always been fans who reside outside a show’s intended audience. This is nothing new and should come as no surprise to anyone, fan of animation or not. What is surprising about My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, is that the show’s producers have not shied away from acknowledging the existence of bronies.

Why would they do this? Why would the choose to break with unofficial tradition, which states that you shouldn’t engage with anyone outside the target demographic lest you alienate the intended audience? The answer is straightforward and simple, such fans are what shows like MLP need in order to grow.

Yeah, you could say that it’s really the little girls that are lapping up the toys, but at the end of the day, that is small potatoes to what fans with real disposable income can do. Now you could say, and I do agree, that such fans are not nearly as common nor as numerous than the targeted one, however, they do tend to:

  • buy more merchandise

  • buy more expensive merchandise

  • tune in regularly

  • participate in online/offline discussion.

All of these things are oxygen for a show like MLP for a number of reasons:

  1. It is broadcast on The Hub, a brand new network with no real audience to being with (it was a replacement for Discovery Kids).

  2. MLP as a TV show was as dated as ever and might as well have been a new show as far as its target audience were concerned

  3. Even though it had the might of Hasbro behind it, The Hub still needed viewers and consumers to watch its shows and buy its merchandise. Marketing and ads will only get you so far.

Arguably the greatest boon to the entire show was the now famous (infamous) post by Amid Amidi on Cartoon Brew. That brought the show a lot of mainstream media attention and focus. Not only did this bring this formerly obscure group of fans into the public consciousness, it also brought MLP and The Hub a lot of free publicity and attention that it never would have received otherwise.

All of this was undoubtedly beneficial to the show and network, however, it is outside of the show that is the most interesting; even though Bronies were tuning and and buying merchandise, they were also forming their own extensive ecosystem both on and off the internet.

Numerous (and I do mean numerous) fan sites have popped up. Yes, they are all the usual kinds you expect to see from a show, but they were all that and much more. They cater exclusively to fans, they help newbies get acquainted with the show, they run competitions, they have downloadable content, they post fan-fiction, they link to merchandise (both official and unofficial), they actively discuss whole aspects of the shows universe, they organise real-life meetups and conventions and yes, they run personality quizzes (that actively embrace new fans):

similar to Applejack.”]

And what is the one truly, unique, magical, fantastic thing about all of this?

The Hub embraced it! All of it!

They didn’t stand there and say: “Hey, there’s a whole bunch of 30-something year old guys watching our show. They’re going to give it a bad name, or worse, make it seem like its for “old people” or something.” No. Instead they said: “Hey, we’ve managed to gain a whole bunch of fans they we never thought we would have. We can’t openly cater to them for fear of skewing the perception of the show, but let’s be nice to them anyway because we’re gaining a benefit!”

Via: Daily Billboard

Via: Daily Billboard

That’s right, while the network was in a bit of a bind in that it was never going to actively cater to Bronies in the mainstream public’s eye, they at least had the wisdom to actively court fans in ways that would be construed as friendly. Examples include the parody ads for season 2, and the exclusive figurine sold at the San Diego Comic Con in 2011.

The very existence of the Brony fanbase has benefited those on all sides of the show. The creators know that they have created a product that is superior to what they were tasked with, the network got a lot of free publicity as well as extra viewers and consumers, and fans got a show that they really enjoy and relate to which gives them a sense of satisfaction.

Every show should have some Brony fans.

For the record, I am not a Brony.