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As Walt Disney Animation Studios prepares to open Ralph Breaks the Internet in theaters around the world, one of the most anticipated moments is one that's been buzzed-about for months - "the Princess scene." Officially the "Oh My Disney" segment, I happened to have seen some of it months before the majority of the public as I was in attendance at the D23 Expo in Anaheim last year. If to "break the internet" really "is a thing," those packed into the famed Hall D23 saw it happen in person as all the living Disney Princesses gathered in one room and took to the stage following the first-ever look at the unfinished Princess scene (at the time a mix of finished animation and hand-drawn animatics filling the gaps). Auli‘i Cravalho (“Moana”), Kristen Bell (Anna in “Frozen”), Kelly MacDonald (Merida in “Brave”), Mandy Moore (Rapunzel in “Tangled”), Anika Noni Rose (Tiana in “The Princess and the Frog”), Irene Bedard (“Pocahontas”), Linda Larkin (Jasmine in “Aladdin”), Paige O’Hara (Belle in “Beauty and the Beast”) and Jodi Benson (Ariel in “The Little Mermaid”) were joined by Sarah Silverman (Vanellope von Schweetz in "Wreck-It Ralph") and directors Rich Moore and Phil Johnston to bask in the glory of what they'd just unleashed - the buzziest of buzz clips, but one the general public wouldn't see for months. And somehow C-3PO and R2-D2 where there, too.
“A word I use over and over again is tenacity. I think it’s important to remember that it’s never going to be easy the first time out, so you just have to keep going at it again and again, especially if you firmly believe in what you do.” -- Kathleen Kennedy, President, Lucasfilm
It's incredible what a difference a few years can make. Upon the birth of our first daughter back in 2009, my wife and I were almost instantly inundated with information and opinions on the "Princess Complex" - what many felt was negative influence from the Disney Princesses and the like. The Walt Disney Company was completely aware, and in recent years there's been a real effort to reinvent the Disney Princess brand to be something meaningful and empowering, and since the 2016 launch of Dream Big, Princess, kids everywhere have been presented with new ideas on just what a "Princess" could be. Now, ahead of the United Nations International Day of the Girl (October 11), Disney has launched a new global video series offering advice and inspiration on achieving success for the next generation of young leaders around the globe. The #DreamBigPrincess video series, produced and directed by young women from the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up initiative, shares the stories of 20 trailblazing women across technology, entertainment, medicine, law, sports, arts, science, fashion and politics to show the next generation what’s possible if you dream big.
For my annual Holiday Wish Guide last year, one of the hottest items featured came from Dynacraft in collaboration with The Toy Insider. Months later, the Dynacraft 24V Disney Princess Carriage (featured here) is still a hot item - and it's a head-turning ride whenever The Rock Daughters™ take it out for a spin. Available now as a Walmart exclusive (order here), the folks at Dynacraft are now asking kids - "What Does it Mean to Be a Princess?" In honor of National Princess Week 2017, kids (with the help of their parents) can create a 15-second video answering that question to be entered for a chance to win a Disney Princess Carriage of their own! Check this out...
"Dream Big, Princess" - that's a message that little ones have heard often this year as part of Disney's mission to inspire girls and kids around the world to dream big, and to unlock their full potential. Being a modern-day princess brings with it a spirit of adventure that accompanies a passion for friendship and kindness, and there's no better way to seek adventure with friends than to hit the open road... or in this case, sidewalk. The term "horseless carriage" has new meaning with the release of the 24-volt Disney Princess Carriage Ride-on vehicle from Dynacraft - almost unanimously-chosen as one of 2016's Hottest Holiday Toys, and a featured pick in both my 2016 Holiday Wish Guide™ on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine™ and the The Toy Insider's 2016 Hot Holiday Toy Guide!
Since it's launch last year, the Disney Princess line of building sets from LEGO has slowly, but steadily been gaining a foothold here at Rock Father HQ. We've built a variety, from the now-retired Ariel's Amazing Treasures, to Rapunzel's Creativity Tower (reviewed here) and Cinderella's Romantic Castle. Our most recent build from this world comes from the Kingdom of Arendelle, with the first-ever LEGO set based on Walt Disney Animation Studios' Academy Award-winning FROZEN. Officially released on January 1st, we managed to score Elsa's Sparkling Ice Castle (#41062) a few days early on a post-Christmas visit to Toys "R" Us, and after teasing our build on the socials (here & here), it's time for a proper review right here on the site.
I have to say, I'm pretty excited to see the next re-imagining of Disney's CINDERELLA. The updated live-action film from Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures arrives in theaters on March 13, 2015 - bringing to life a new world based on the 1950 animated classic. Today, the first full trailer for the film arrived, along with a new poster featuring a CINDERELLA image by photographer Annie Leibovitz (I took my wife to meet her once), who also photographed the cast for the December issue of VOGUE. Check 'em out below, right here on THE ROCK FATHER...