Disney To Focus On Characters With Broader Appeal

Disney started the princess movie tradition in 1937 with Snow White. So if the classic princess tales come to an end with Tangled, what will Disney do instead?

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Up next for Disney, a different kind of princess. A lot has changed since the beginning of the princess genre in the late 1930s, as NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates reports.

KAREN GRIGSBY BATES: Say Disney princess and you probably think this...

(Soundbite of movie, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs")

Ms. ADRIANA CASENOTTI (Actor): (as Snow White) (Singing) Someday my prince will come. Someday we'll meet again.

BATES: Earlier Disney heroines like Snow White later gave way to feistier young women, like Princess Jasmine in 1992's "Aladdin."

(Soundbite of movie, "Aladdin")

Ms. LINDA LARKIN (Actor): (As Princess Jasmine) You are the boy from the market. I knew it. Why did you lie to me?

Mr. SCOTT WEINGER (Actor): (As Aladdin) Jasmine, I'm sorry.

Ms. LARKIN: (As Princess Jasmine) Did you think I was stupid?

BATES: Disney's princess franchise even spawned a fond parody.

(Soundbite of movie, "Enchanted")

Ms. AMY ADAMS (Actor): (As Giselle) (Singing) Come my little friends as we all sing a happy little working song.

BATES: Amy Adams' Princess Giselle in 2007's "Enchanted."

(Soundbite of movie, "Enchanted")

Ms. ADAMS: (Singing) Hosing down the garbage pail and scrubbing up the toilet. Ooh.

BATES: Miley Cyrus's Hannah Montana has usurped a lot of Disney's princess audience.

(Soundbite of music)

Ms. MILEY CYRUS (Singer): (Singing) Fantastic (unintelligible).

BATES: So it's decided to move on. But that doesn't mean you won't be seeing the ladies at all. They'll still be at theme parks and in stores. And soon they'll be joined by a different kind of heroine.

(Soundbite of music)

BATES: Rumored to be next, a fearless Scot lassie who can swash and buckle with the rest of them in a movie called "Brave."

Karen Grigsby Bates, NPR News.

(Soundbite of music)

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