After the box-office failure of Disney's The Princess and the Frog, rumor was that Disney decided that fairy tales were a thing of the past; according to the LA Times, targeting only the little-girl market just wasn't enough. The studio's latest offering, Tangled, combines a take on a classic fairy-tale princess story with more modern elements, like CGI and wacky wise-cracking sidekicks, in order to attract a broader audience. And the movie did well on opening weekend, second only to the blockbuster success of the latest Harry Potter film- what’s more, it was indeed little girls and their moms who overwhelmingly came out to see it.
What makes this all so significant: besides fairy tales, few of the popular kids-focused movies star girl characters. Logic holds that while little girls may see movies starring boys, anything with a young female protagonist becomes solely a girl's movie. Problematic as the classic princess genre may be, it has endured as a girl-focused arena, where little girls and what they buy, watch, and wear actually wield a significant amount of economic power.
With the exception of The Princess and the Frog, you’d be hard-pressed to find any recent kid’s movies that feature girl characters- the popular Pixar movies have virtually zero, and it doesn’t look like there’s anything in the works when it comes to that market. So hopefully the success of Tangled means that the big studios will continue to value little girls as consumers.
PHOTO COURTESY LATIMES.COM
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