The Disney Princesses are featured in various sing-a-long video series released through The Walt Disney Company. In addition, the franchise includes dolls, miniature castles, and other toys. The princesses are also featured in the nightly Fantasmic.
n early 2000, when Andy Mooney was hired by the Disney consumer-products division to help combat dropping sales, the idea for the Disney Princess franchise was born. Soon after joining Disney, Mooney attended his first “Disney on Ice” show. While waiting in line, he found himself surrounded by young girls dressed as princesses. “They weren’t even Disney products. They were generic princess products,” he mused. Soon after realizing the demand, the Disney Princess line was formed.
Despite limited advertising and no focus groups, the various Disney Princess items released became a huge success. Sales at Disney Consumer Products rose from $900 million in 2001 to $15 billion in 2006. Today there are over 25,000 products based on the franchise.
The princesses to be featured in the line were chosen from classic Disney films. The characters were not chosen specifically for their royal titles, but rather for how well they fit into what Disney executives deemed “the Princess mythology”. Mulan is an example of this concept; she has no familial ties to royalty, but is still included in the character list. Tinker Bell was once included under the same principle before it was decided she was not suited for the "mythology". Recently, Tinker Bell has starred in her own Disney franchise, Disney Fairies. Other fairies were created specifically for the franchise. The line began with a book series by Gail Carson Levine, and has since spawned toys, direct-to-video movies and other products based on the characters.