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Do you consider the Disney Princesses to be something controversial?


Do you find the Disney Princesses to be controversial/ a bad influence?  

  1. 1. Do you find the Disney Princesses to be controversial/ a bad influence?

    • Yes, they are a bad influence, and we don't allow them here
      29
    • Some of them are worse than others, so we limit exposure
      98
    • I don't find them to be controversial at all
      241


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I managed to avoid Disney princesses for the first two dd. They got past me with the third.

 

I have some objections to the movies - lack of respect toward parents, specific scary parts that still give my dd6 nightmares, totally unreal representation of "true love," merciless slashing of original tales, etc. However, my real objection is the commercialization. It makes me feel like my wallet is being manipulated through my dd by some unknown product designer, putting me on the defensive through most stores.

 

I've heard people pull some good stuff out of them, and I understand why they're revered by a certain segment of the population. I think, anyway. But, me? <shudder>

 

And then, there's my apparent prejudice against cartoons in general . . .

 

<sigh> Too many problems, too little time to list them!

 

Mama Anna

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Yes, they're controversial.

 

Yes, we have pretty much every single movie, and plenty of the merchandise. Relatives regularly gave us the stuff for birthdays, Christmas, etc.

 

We also read all sorts of versions of the stories from which the Disney versions are drawn (including the Chinese Cinderella that involved a fish). Believe me, if SOTW Activity Guide mentioned fairy tales in the lit. selections, we read it! Also Andrew Lang's Fairy Books, various other version of Grimm ... the list goes on and on (not much Hans Christian Andersen, though, because I always thought they seemed particularly creepy, and wasn't surprised to learn that much of his family was insane).

 

Just last week my older dd was talking about dressing up as Disney princesses for Halloween -- she and a group of her friends had divvied up who would be who (based on hair color), and they will all go to a trunk-or-treat at a church to hand out candy to little kids. For some reason dd started discussing her views on the various Disney princesses' personalities, and presenting evidence for her opinions. She thought Disney Cinderella was a total loser who was waiting around for some guy to rescue her, Disney Snow White was a nitwit ... it was really eye opening.

 

All those hours immersed in the Disney versions did NOT end with her buying into their version of the female role in society, let alone their corporate view of the female consumer's role in the marketplace.

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I don't like them, but I won't ban them. (In fact, we're planning a trip to Disney this year.)

 

We have a book with stories on Ariel, in which the comment is made that lying is OK if it's done to keep you out of trouble. I don't have much other exposure to princess stuff, but if this is any indication, I can see why they are controversial.

 

I also don't like the level of sexualization, which is completely inappropriate for the target audience.

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I love Disney movies. They open the door to many relevant conversations.

Cinderella-victim of child abuse.

Snow White-victim mentality. You can't wait around waiting for some man to save you. You need to live your life.

Jasmine-overprotective parent.

Mulan-The real Mulan was left to die in the snow because she was a woman. No saving China rewards for her.

Belle-Woman who knows what she wants.

 

We have had some excellent conversations over the years.

 

As for the controversy I think it is a tempest in a teapot. Children learn what they live. As long as you are modeling the type of person you want your children to be then the princesses will be just a fairy tale.

 

This. :iagree:

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I've never found them to be controversial. One dd loved Disney princesses, the other didn't really care. The dd who loved them is now not a girly-girl at all. The one that didn't like them is my most girly. :001_smile: I feel they're just movies, and I don't really think movies influence (at least us) that much. They're just entertainment.

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OP here.

I have another question. Is there anything marketed more to boys that is considered similar? As in mass marketing, etc, etc?

Just curious, as I'm sitting here thinking about it and (with the exception of superhero movies, which aren't really geared toward children) I can't think of anything. But I may be missing things. :)

I just find it interesting that girls are being marketed to more than boys. But I guess that plays into the fact that women do more shopping?

Hmm... just pondering.

 

My boys are both currently obsessed with Star Wars. And Lego. And Lego Star Wars. LOL. I heard there is a new Lego Star Wars cartoon coming on, but we no longer have TV, so my boys won't know about that unless they hear it from scouts, church, or soccer.

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My boys are both currently obsessed with Star Wars. And Lego. And Lego Star Wars. LOL. I heard there is a new Lego Star Wars cartoon coming on, but we no longer have TV, so my boys won't know about that unless they hear it from scouts, church, or soccer.

 

The cartoon is hilarious. Just for the record. Dh and I were rewinding it and watching some parts over and over. Too funny.

 

About the princesses - I could care less. The girls liked some of the stuff. They watched the movies - now we're done with that. If I could convince them to get finished with the One Direction and Justin Beiber attachment I'd be a happy mom. Of course, you never know what's next, so maybe I should bite my tongue. My next step as a teen after boy bands was NIN. Really don't want to go there with my kids. Really makes the princesses look harmless.

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I don't worry if my girls sees one of the movies. I don't get upset if they get a princess related item for their birthday or Christmas.

 

What had taken over our house are the Barbie movies. They sometimes get toys related to Barbie movies, and I don't mind that either. They use all the dolls they have to play all kinds of adventures, not just the movies they have seen. Plus, all the dolls take turns wearing the other's clothes, so they don't have a problem mixing it up. (Actually, the girls have really kind of outgrown them now. They aren't into them as much as they used to be.)

 

My older dd's favorite tv shows are Mythbusters, Cake Boss and America's Funniest Home Videos. She wants to learn about how things work, AND bake and decorate an awesome cake, all while laughing. :D

 

My younger dd doesn't really have a specific favorite, but she likes watching How It's Made, Mr. Bean Animated, Scooby Doo.

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I have zero beef with them. My girls know their value and worth, with or without a man. Disney is fun, plain and simple. I love the Princesses for what they are. Surface fun, make believe.

 

Yep...:iagree: My daughter is still young, but I don't read deeper than the surface. If she really, really likes them when she gets older, I'll be totally cool with it. I'm already planning on getting her Disney princess stuffs for Christmas and I'm so excited. :thumbup:

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I think they're dumb, and that they do misrepresent femininity, but I'd hardly consider them controversial. :001_smile:

 

:iagree: My little dd loves them. To her a princess is a princess, she doesn't care and doesn't really get anything negative out of them. I don't see the big deal. I think like the above quote they misrepresent femininity but honestly I have more issues with Barbie for that than disney princesses. Or those ugly brats dolls, and I think monster high dolls are just creepy. I have more issues with all of those than cinderella, ariel, etc

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I don't really like the whole idea that little girls are (or should aspire to being) princesses. I also prefer to avoid scripted or predetermined play scenarios and encourage playthings that are open ended. For example, a swathe of pretty fabric can be a princess dress, but it can just as easily become a nun's habit, a cloak of invisibility, a toga or whatever. Of course, a little girl (or boy) could put on a Disney Princess dress and play suffragettes or soldiers, but it's probably easier to play out the movie plot.

 

Having said that, though, it's not a huge issue here, more of a preference. I wouldn't view it as a controversy.

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Personally I don't get what the big deal is. A little fantasy is a good thing. Boys fantasize about being Spiderman or whoever the current superhero is. Why should girls not fantasize about being a princess.

 

As for the marketing well that happens on both sides. Lego, Starwars, Marvel are just as bad as Disney with their marketing to children.

 

I get that not every little girl will grow up and be the next Kate Middleton, but they don't need to have that bubble burst until they are older. Which inevitably happens by the time they are 8 or so. So let them play at being princesses, ballerinas or fashion designers.

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I need the obligatory other :lol:!!!

 

I USED to find them horribly controversial back when my child was never ever going to ever watch TV or eat chicken nuggets...ever. ;)

 

Seriously, I did have a problem with them...I mean, how can Jasmine FIT ALL HER ORGANS IN HER ABDOMEN :confused::confused::confused:? But then I found out there are much bigger fish to fry, so to speak. Disney Princesses look VERY good in comparison to some of the other toys available.

 

I do understand and respect people who have a problem with them. I know some people who have a problem with Barbie, and I have to say the Disney Princess Barbie type dolls seem much nicer than Barbie to me. I particularly like Belle and Mulan. And we have Barbies, but we are very careful about what clothes Barbie can have. The Disney Princess dresses are generally very nice for Barbie to wear too.

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I WISH...WISH I tell you!!!! That my daughter would show some interest in a princess anything!:glare:

 

Someday maybe, but right now I am trying to find a way to enjoy the total tom boy I have. ;)

 

She did burst into the room crying and emotional yesterday, after reading the short story The Dog of Pompeii or something. If it isn't a horse, animal, or stuffed animal, she has no interest.

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Not controversial, but I don't think they're good role models for girls. We didn't do them. If DD had gotten into them I wouldn't have banned them, but fortunately they never appealed to her. The only princess she ever loved was Leia. :D

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My 3 y.o. is into all things princess/pink/fairy/pony etc. We have a number of items with princesses on them, many hand-me-downs from her older sister. I really don't care - it's no big deal. She just put on a dress and ballet slippers, even though we have to leave for school in less than 30 minutes :glare:

 

I doubt her princess phase will go much beyond kindergarten.

 

(Same girl, who has four older brothers, runs around the backyard carrying a plastic gun bigger than she is, with all the neighborhood boys, and currently sports stitches in her forehead from contact with a baseball bat. No shrinking violet, this one!)

Edited by wapiti
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Um, I kind of hate them. They're stereotypical, and all the swag is expensive b/c of branding, but is in fact cheap Chinese plastic that won't last. (I particularly loathe Disney Princess birthday parties, for several reasons). The Beauty and the Beast movie is very derivative of Robin McKinley's book, Beauty, without crediting her (huge library, dog footstool, etc.). I agree that Disney sucks all the marrow out of real fairy tales-- give me a Miyazaki film any day! There's a very flat, caricatured, black and white dichotomy, always a marriage = success ending, etc.. I end up irritated because the things I want to like (Belle's bookishness and willingness to look past exterior appearances, Rapunzel's self-defense and art skills, Tiana's work ethic) are sandwiched between these other problems until the film as a whole is a lesson in deconstructing stereotypes...which prevents it from being entertaining. Merida is really the only Disney princess who breaks that mold, but then again, she's a Pixar character. I have much more respect for Pixar films.

 

We have a Rapunzel doll and a Merida doll. We wouldn't have the Rapunzel one, but we went to Disney and dd had mad money from her grandparents. They have this waifish series of toddler princesses, and I think dd was drawn in by Rapunzel's abundant hair...but now that we're home, she says, "Usually a I know a doll is really mine when I can see its smile. But I can't get Rapunzel to smile, no matter what I do." It's like one of those boo-hoo babies people used to prop in the corner for decoration. I always found those things so depressing.

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I voted "some" and "limit exposure," because that was the closest I could find, but it sounds more restrictive than things actually are around here.

 

We're big Disney fans, but there are a few films that have messages I find less than healthy for kids. For example, my daughter had never seen the Disney Cinderella until a friend insisted on showing it to her while they were in college. I've always been bothered by the combination of plot and character in that one. It feels to me like Cinderella is a vapid dishrag who finds a way out of her situation solely on the basis of her beauty, and that's not a relationship model I want my daughter to absorb.

 

Another one that bugs me is The Little Mermaid, in which Ariel is a spoiled brat who breaks her father's quite reasonable rules, gets in all kinds of trouble and is then rescued by the same father she disobeyed. There is a sort of "kids are right, and parents are wrong" tone to that one that I find troubling.

 

On the other hand, I love Belle from Beauty and the Beast as a role model for my daughter. And there are many, many other Disney flicks that my kids had memorized when they were little. So, it's not so much that I find any of the characters "controversial," but more that we always tried to be thoughtful and selective about the media our kids absorbed.

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OP here.

I have another question. Is there anything marketed more to boys that is considered similar? As in mass marketing, etc, etc?

 

Anything superhero. Have you been to a store since The Avengers opened?

 

Disney tried to create an analogous brand for boys. First, they tried Disney Heroes, which did more of less the same thing with Hercules and Aladdin and Tarzan and such as they did with the princesses, creating a line of merchandise that put together all of the characters. My son loved it, but the brand didn't work. Their next effort was the Disney XD channel, which was originally designed to showcase "boy-friendly" shows. However, I think that idea fell flat, too (although the channel still exists).

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They're stereotypical, and all the swag is expensive b/c of branding, but is in fact cheap Chinese plastic that won't last.

 

If they're expensive it's b/c the American manufacturer, Disney, prices them that way knowing some sucker will buy them. If Disney uses cheap plastic, it's because the Disney pays for cheap plastic and figures some sucker will still buy them.

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I need the obligatory other :lol:!!!

 

I USED to find them horribly controversial back when my child was never ever going to ever watch TV or eat chicken nuggets...ever. ;)

 

Seriously, I did have a problem with them...I mean, how can Jasmine FIT ALL HER ORGANS IN HER ABDOMEN :confused::confused::confused:? But then I found out there are much bigger fish to fry, so to speak. Disney Princesses look VERY good in comparison to some of the other toys available.

 

I do understand and respect people who have a problem with them. I know some people who have a problem with Barbie, and I have to say the Disney Princess Barbie type dolls seem much nicer than Barbie to me. I particularly like Belle and Mulan. And we have Barbies, but we are very careful about what clothes Barbie can have. The Disney Princess dresses are generally very nice for Barbie to wear too.

 

:iagree::iagree:

 

I used to have all those "standards" as well. :D. Now my daughter's nickname is princess and I just ordered a box of Disney dress-up clothes for Christmas.

 

.

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I have zero beef with them. My girls know their value and worth, with or without a man. Disney is fun, plain and simple. I love the Princesses for what they are. Surface fun, make believe.

 

And that's awesome if you happen to have kids who will take media in that way. I don't. Each of mine connects very strongly to story, although the specifics are different. Well into her teens, my daughter uses Harry Potter as a touchstone in her everyday life. And film and literature gave my son ways to talk about emotions and big ideas.

 

Each of them also seemed to believe when they were little that our allowing something was the same as endorsing it. So, we always had to be very careful and do LOTS of talking.

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I honestly don't care.

 

Princess views them as more dolls to play w/. She really doens't differentiat btwn them and any Barbie (or Barbie like) dolls. They're all for playing w/in her doll house.

 

My mother was the biggest Anti-Barbie, foam at the mouth, ranter about how Barbie is bad for young girls, blah blah blah.

 

Funny, she started buying them for Diva was she was 2.

 

*shrug*

 

I'd rather have Disney Princess dolls that Princess uses in loads of imaginative ways, than toys that run on batteries and the kid is basically an accessory.

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Anything superhero. Have you been to a store since The Avengers opened?

 

Disney tried to create an analogous brand for boys. First, they tried Disney Heroes, which did more of less the same thing with Hercules and Aladdin and Tarzan and such as they did with the princesses, creating a line of merchandise that put together all of the characters. My son loved it, but the brand didn't work. Their next effort was the Disney XD channel, which was originally designed to showcase "boy-friendly" shows. However, I think that idea fell flat, too (although the channel still exists).

 

I have a superhero obsessed son. Obviously, he isn't watching the new movies (he's only 5) he's watching old cartoons. He desperately wanted a superman and wonder woman action figure for his birthday. They were nearly impossible to find! All because there have been recent Batman, Spiderman, and Avenger movies.....that was all that was readily available. It also REALLY irritates me that there are all of these toys tied to PG13/R rated movies.

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If they're expensive it's b/c the American manufacturer, Disney, prices them that way knowing some sucker will buy them. If Disney uses cheap plastic, it's because the Disney pays for cheap plastic and figures some sucker will still buy them.

 

We don't disagree.

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:iagree: I have a DD, and she's aware of some of the Disney princesses just through exposure to other kids, discussion in dance class, etc. But we don't really do the movies, mostly because my DD is very sensitive and it would just be too much for her. We do very little TV or movies at all anyway, so if I'm going to put one on, it just isn't a priority.

 

I dislike the marketing, so I try to avoid buying anything with the Disney princesses, and DD doesn't seem to care, quite honestly. She likes generic princess play and so forth at times, but even that is not a frequent thing. At least that is more open ended IMO.

 

 

I voted for your first option, but that's a little too strongly worded for our situation. In our case, we don't really promote it, she doesn't get much exposure to it, so it hasn't really been a "ban" but more of a...I'm not going out of my way to introduce it or focus much on it type of situation :)

 

This is pretty much our situation. Besides my dd just isn't very girly. She might like the Brave heroine but she is not likely to want to imitate a heroine that is not wielding a sword herself. She has not seen Brave or Mulan yet.

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I'm not real thrilled with them but I don't stress about it too much. I try to focus on other things more. I hate the merchandising as I don't like the cheap toys that break and I just find them ugly to be honest. Thankfully neither dd has been very into the princesses so far and I hope it stays that way. I don't have a ban on the movies but it is not something they seem to want to really watch. Dd does like Tinkerbell but is not obsessed. They prefer My Little Pony but then again it is not an all the time thing. We have some dress up clothes but I don't much care for them either as they seem to be poorly made for the cost. I'm trying to fill the dress up chest with more occupation based outfits- like doctors coats and such or other real clothes as they seem to like those more.

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I honestly don't care.

 

Princess views them as more dolls to play w/. She really doens't differentiat btwn them and any Barbie (or Barbie like) dolls. They're all for playing w/in her doll house.

 

My mother was the biggest Anti-Barbie, foam at the mouth, ranter about how Barbie is bad for young girls, blah blah blah.

 

Funny, she started buying them for Diva was she was 2.

 

*shrug*

 

I'd rather have Disney Princess dolls that Princess uses in loads of imaginative ways, than toys that run on batteries and the kid is basically an accessory.

 

I agree with your mom! Most likely for different reasons though. I hate Barbie my youngest never has owned a barbie and never will I am very open to people about giving her one as well, I will throw it away she will never ever open it, they will never be in my house. I don't allow other children to bring them over either period.

 

My oldest was a barbie girl. I mean she had it all. The dolls the clothes the bedroom done in barbie the whole nine yards. Everything was barbie. She was about 9 when the war of pick up this barbie stuff all over my house ended. She informed me that she hated barbie and wanted nothing to do with them anymore.

 

We sold all her stuff redid her room and never looked back. My youngest will never have a barbie!

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They're not controversial--just mostly men-dependent IDIOTS. The ones who actually use their brains are allowed here. We even watch the others, but we discuss them together and contrast them with real life and what we'd really do if we were there. And then send the DVD back to the library. :lol:

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We've always limited access to all things Disney Princess and Barbie like. I think most of them are not healthy representations of women. All doe eyed and waiting for a man to make them complete. There are a few amongst them that are better but in general we don't have any interest in them. We also avoid branded merchandise as most of it is just junk. I have a total tomboy of a dd so I doubt she'd be all that interested anyway.

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OP again :)

 

You know, I didn't really consider the marketing of the superhero stuff to be anywhere near what it is on the Disney princesses.

Idk, it just doesn't seem as prevalent to me. And I love love LOVE the marvel movies. :)

 

It seems like the superhero stuff is spread out more among manufacturers. I can go onto ThinkGeek and buy a pair of Captain America shield earrings (I think -- maybe I saw those somewhere else), or I can go to Target and buy a plastic shield -- they're sold by different groups and targeted at much different audiences.

 

And you can get a variety of Thor stuff all over the place, and sometimes you're hard-pressed to differentiate whether it's superhero-based or Norse-myth-based.

 

There's been so much Spiderman and Batman stuff put out by various places during my lifetime that I don't associate either one with any particular company. When I think "Batman" I might think of the old television cartoons, or the new movies, or anything in between.

 

But the Disney princess stuff is tightly controlled and licensed. The Disney Cinderella is iconic, and not to be confused with plain ol' Cinderella. Everyone KNOWS that Disney Cinderella is supposed to be a blonde who wears blue, PERIOD (well, everyone except me -- I had to ask dd because I couldn't remember if she was pink or blue). And if Cinderella appears in blue, you know it's a reference to Disney Cinderella.

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We avoid them. It's not that we ban them in the house or anything, we just formed our dd's interests in other directions. There were no princess phases here. I have several problems with the whole concept: unhealthy expectations for romantic relationships, one dimensional views of women, etc. They've seen the movies, and we've talked about the message. No Barbie here, either, or Bratz, or Polly Pockets, or the million other similar ones. We stuck with dollhouse families and baby dolls.

 

Not a Disney fan in general, though, or marketing to kiddos either.

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I'd like to add that I think kids are far more influenced by the general family culture and values than by the physical toys they have.

 

I was one of those parents who was NEVER EVER going to allow Barbie into the house (or any other "fashion" dolls). Until my mother had a big declutter and found a few 1980s Barbie dolls that were once mine. I gave them to my kids with a lot of trepidation. I was seriously worried that they would suddenly all want to be skinny with fake breasts, dangerously high heels and more makeup than brains. But no, apparently these Barbies were vets, astronauts and all kinds of other things. The stiletto shoes were discarded by the second day ("because they'd be bad for their feet") and several comments were made about how sad it was that the dolls clearly didn't have enough food to eat, and did they live in a country that has famines.

 

That was probably when I started to loosen up about what things we'd allow the kids to have.

 

Although occasionally I wonder whether my daughters might need just a little dose of "patriarchal oppression". Today they asked me what leg waxing was. When I explained that some people like to remove their leg hairs and have smooth legs (I'm a hairy hippy so they're not used to this idea) my 7yo said "But I want to be covered in hair, so I can be more like a horse"!

 

ETA - re Disney compared to other brands, we do actually try to avoid cross promotional branded stuff altogether. So we have no Superman, Spiderman, Star Wars, Dora, etc. We do have Lego, but only the generic sets (no Harry Potter and whatever else). Basically if it's a toy based on a movie/television character, we don't buy it.

Edited by Hotdrink
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I don't mind the movies, but I can't stand the cheap, overpriced junk that they sell. Seriously, there are two entire aisles in Target that sell solely Disney Princess stuff. It's ridiculous. We don't have any of the dolls, or the dress up clothes, or any branded clothing items or books. We haven't banned them, there are always just other things my daughter is interested in that we would rather have.

 

Interestingly, they have recycled a lot of their animation. If you go to youtube and search "recycled Disney animation", some videos come up and show you. It saves them money and time.

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