It’s one of the realities of Disney Animated Features, they’re just plain expensive to produce. So much that sometimes even a $400 million box office earning film, like Cars, just breaks even for the company after marketing and production are accounted for. So how does Disney make money off these animated beauties? One word, merchandise.
That makes Dara Trujillo a very important person at Walt Disney World. She’s the Manager of Merchandise Synergy and is in charge of coordinating the theme park’s line of products with the animator’s vision for the film.
I got to speak with Trujillo at the premier of Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee, the Magic Kingdom’s tie-in to the launch of “The Princess and the Frog”. She was presiding over a very full and very beautiful table of merchandise to be sold in the parks. Much of it already available and flying off the shelves even with the film’s debut more than a month away.
Tiana is the Walt Disney Company’s newest princess in 12 years and the first princess under Trujillo’s watch. So she was excited about the possibility of making dreams come true for a whole new generation of theme park guests.
Central to those dreams is the Princess Tiana costume. It’s a theme park exclusive and very similar to the dress that Tiana wears in the film and the park. There were already a number of little princesses wearing this dress at the Magic Kingdom, anxious to spot the ‘real’ Princess Tiana as she made her way through the park. It was very cute.
Another item that I think will be a bit hit are the Kissing Frogs. These are a pair of frogs from the film representing Tiana and Naveen in amphibian form. A magnet in their heads keeps them together in the kissing pose.
All this merchandise is currently available in every park in at least two locations, said Trujillo. And they’ll roll out to more locations as the film’s premier draws closer.
See anything you like?
Adorable. The dresses (and the little girls in the dresses) and the kissing frogs.
Man, I love Disney Princesses! 22 years old and still haven’t outgrown it.
Preview of The Princess and the Frog merchandise available at Walt Disney World – http://is.gd/4LF1g – Princess Tiana dress is very popular.
Glad to see they’re pushing this so hard, especially after last year’s “Bolt” shebackle. Can’t wait to see all this stuff in person next week when I go!
It’s all insanely popular. We literally can’t keep this stuff on the shelves. I think this movie is going to dominate the holidays and make Disney buckets of money for the bin.
I must admit , i’m not much into princesses but let me tell you , i can’t imagine Disney Cars had just “broke even”.
3 Years after the release of the movie , you can still see toys anywhere . in fact , the sales are so high that Disney went producing a sequel (Should be released in Summer of 2011) , a series of Disney Cars Toons and Cars Land.
The box office just broke even, the merchandise made TWDC over $4 billion. That’s great! But you can’t make every movie to be a merchandise monster, the audience will catch on eventually.
Please, tell me, where can I buy the lovely dress of Princess Tiana ? It’s a fantastic gift for mij little doughter (almost 5 years old). We live in the Netherlands, so we must wait too long before all this is available in our country. Who can tell me more about this ?
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