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Disney Takes Its Princesses to a Bold New Place

Stunning new dolls bring diversity to the Disney Princess lineup

If someone says "Disney," there are a few things that might jump to one's mind. But if you have ever been or known a little girl, the first word that pops into your head when you hear "Disney" is "Princess." 

Disney Princesses are famous, and a very lucrative intellectual property for the House of Mouse (and Mattel, which has a license to make Disney Princess and "Frozen" dolls).

The Walt Disney Company  (DIS) - Get Free Report has been around for almost 100 years now. From the 1930s to the 1990s, the animated film empire's Princesses were a lineup of white, domestic damsels whose stories relied on the bravery of a prince. But by the early 2000s, Disney's animated features starring female characters started pulling from myths and stories from other parts of the world (besides Western Europe). In 2009, Tiana from "The Princess and the Frog" became Disney's first Black Disney Princess against a New Orleans backdrop.

In the coming years, Disney films started pulling more and more from diverse cultures and narrative structures, adding Merida from "Brave" as the first Princess whose story wasn't a romance. "Moana" joined the lineup with another non-romantic princess story. The lineup is looking much more diverse than it did when Gen-X and Millennials were buying Disney dolls and toys. Now, Disney has teamed up with some revolutionary creators to bring a new look to some of the company's most beloved princesses.

Disney Creative Soul Lead JS 012023

Disney & CreativeSoul Photography Team Up to Make Disney Princess Dolls

CreativeSoul Photography specializes in high-concept, deeply detailed pictures of Black children and families. The founders Regis and Kahran Bethencourt published the critically acclaimed photography book “Glory: Magical Visions of Black Beauty,” and have worked with brands like Aveeno, DirectTV, and more. Disney has tapped this creative team to help design a brand new, exciting series of special edition dolls.

The CreativeSoul Doll Collection is an Afrocentric reimagining of Disney Princesses Tiana, Snow White, Rapunzel, and Cinderella. Each doll sports a natural hairstyle, and detailed styles inspired by the African diaspora.

The dolls will be featured at Walt Disney World Resort’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts. The event will also feature photos that inspired the series, including an extra Elsa-themed print from Disney's hit "Frozen." The dolls will retail at $59.99 each. Collectors can find them at shopDisney, Walt Disney World Resort, and Disneyland Resort starting February 3.

Disney Continues to Celebrate Soulfully

These new collector's dolls are a part of Disney's initiative to "Celebrate Soulfully," which "invites families and friends to gather for experiences that honor Black heritage and culture through music, food, art, and more." 

Disney park guests can participate in the celebration with several activities, including the Tam Tam Drummers of Harambe and "Festival of the Lion King" at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Among the theme’s biggest park attractions is the highly-anticipated 2024 opening of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, a remodel of Disney’s iconic--but intensely problematic--Splash Mountain Ride.