Tag Archives: disney

Demographic Quandry

When we were in St. Louis of Christmas, I had a sudden panic when I realized I had failed in my Santa duties to get ANYTHING for Violet. Sure, she doesn’t technically need anything because she’s only 7 months old and she has two big sisters worth of toys and clothes, but I know Lily and Rose would be pissed at Santa if he forgot their favorite baby.

Being Santa is rough, isn’t it? I thought I’d enjoy it more, but it’s actually a huge pain in the ass. I just bought the girls eight Hanukkah nights worth of presents and I’m expected to do what now? I mean, I don’t even get mom-credit from them for the awesome things Santa brings. Some imaginary guy gets all the brownie points. Not to mention it’s really hard to hide presents during a road trip. My cover is so going to get blown soon. Why am I even doing the Santa thing? I’m Jewish! And my husband recently informed me that he doesn’t think his parents did Santa for him. If they had done Santa, I’m sure he’d have some memory of it. I only started this Santa thing because I figured if we were going to celebrate Christmas with my husband’s family that we should do the fun part, but the fun part hasn’t been all that fun so far!

Anyway, on my last minute Santa mission, I was determined to find Violet a Tiana baby doll. Rose said Violet needed a baby Tiana doll since Rose and Lily have baby Cinderella and baby Aurora.

The Walmart in St. Louis did not have baby Tiana. Instead, they had something way better that I didn’t even know existed. I had never ever seen it before in the store and I’ve been to the toy sections of pretty much every Target, Walmart and Toys R Us in the greater Toledo area. They had a baby Mulan doll.

Baby Mulan was a huge hit with all three girls, and not just because they were excited to have a doll that was Asian like them. In fact, I don’t think that the Asian thing even registered with them. They were just happy to have another Disney princess baby.

Why don’t the stores in Northwest Ohio have baby Mulans? I suspect I was able to find her in St. Louis because there are almost 3 times as many Asians living there. St. Louis’s population of 319,294 people was 2.9% Asian in the 2010 census, while Toledo’s population of 287,128 was 1% Asian. EDIT: Checking more specifically, the St. Louis suburban area where we were shopping was 6-7% Asian. So I wonder, do they only stock Mulan dolls where they know there are Asians around to buy them? Do they think populations of mostly white kids don’t want baby Mulan dolls?

I don’t have conclusive proof and can’t find anything on the internet to support I am right about this, but based on how many stores I’ve been to locally I can’t help to think this is what’s happening.

My kids may be half Asian, but I am white and I can tell you with certainty that I and most of my friends growing up would have wanted a baby Disney princess from each and every movie, regardless of that princess’s race. It makes me sad that the little girls in my area aren’t even given the opportunity to shop for this doll in stores. Sure, everything is available on the internet, but most of us still find out what our kids want for holidays and birthdays by taking them to the toy store. There’s usually no reason to use the internet for toys.

Let’s make all the princesses available in all the stores, not just the stores with the appealing racial demographics.

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Cinderella WTF

For the sixth night of Hanukkah, Rose got “Cinderella II” AND “Cinderella III”. I gave the gift early in the day so we could watch both movies. Since Rose is 3, she wanted to watch “Cinderella III” first. “It’s 3 like me! I’m 3!”

“Cinderella III” was fantastic. The Evil Stepmother gets her hands on Fairy Godmother’s wand and makes it so the prince believes he fell in love with the ugly stepsister Anastasia. Aside from the main plot where Cinderella is trying to get out of the hell world her stepmother forced her into and prove to the prince that SHE was the one he loved, a big part of the story is that Anastasia dreams of finding love. She just wants SOMEONE to love her because no one has ever loved her before. Doesn’t she deserve love? She goes on and on about it.

Except when we watched “Cinderella II” later, we discovered that one of the storylines involved Cinderella helping Anastasia achieving her dream of getting together with the baker, whom she loved. The baker was also in love with Anastasia.

It wasn’t like this was just a little thing in passing. It’s a major part of the movie. It’s part of the title “Cinderella II: Dreams Come True”. At the end of the movie, Anastasia declares something along the lines of “Dreams really do come true” after she’s able to be with the baker she loves. It implies they live happily ever after.

So my question is did the makers of “Cinderella III” even watch “Cinderella II”? It doesn’t make any sense for Anastasia to be after love in “Cinderella III” if her goal of finding it was a major story line AND achievement in “Cinderella II”.

I don’t understand why Anastasia was used in both movies. There’s a perfectly good second stepsister to use for the love lusting in “Cinderella III”. I know Drizella is pretty mean, but does she not also deserve love in her life?

WTF, Disney? This doesn’t make any sense!

To be fair, “Cinderella III” was a far superior to “Cinderella II”. I had trouble paying attention to “II” and honestly didn’t see the whole thing because I was a) bored and b) taking care of a tired baby. Maybe “III” was just supposed to be a reboot? I don’t know. But seriously, Drizella was right there. All plot conflicts could have been solved if SHE was the one seeking true love in “III”. Or, better yet, if the stepmother wanted the riches of royalty so badly, why didn’t she use the magic to get herself married to the prince?

Disney, WTF?

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Princess School

The girls have been big into playing princess school ever since they watched Disney’s new princess series, “Sofia the First”. Sofia goes to princess school, I guess. I don’t know. I didn’t really pay attention. I should really watch it all the way through to see what happens, I suppose. It looks cute. I saw a lot of other princess cameos in the few moments where I paid attention.

Anyway, before you go to princess school, you have to go to sleep for the night. I didn’t realize what was going on with this until the other day when I suddenly realized it was VERY VERY quiet around here. I was worried something had gone wrong until I came around the corner and found this.

The princess beds are located on the stairs.

Obviously.

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Toy WTF: Disney Princess Dolls

A few weeks before Lily’s birthday, we got her the Ultimate Princess Collection from Target. For $65ish, you get seven Barbie-sized princesses. I was especially excited because the set included Jasmine. Jasmine is often hard to find in stores. She gets the snub in the princess department and I really don’t know why. She’s one of my favorites. You also can’t usually find Mulan or Pocahontas unless you are at the Disney store.

Do you sense a theme here? There are plenty of Belles and Cinderellas and Snow Whites and Ariels to go around. Everybody likes a white princess. American Indian, Chinese and Arab princesses? They clearly don’t belong in Walmart or Target, as far as I can tell.

If you think I’m exaggerating this, watch what happened to the Ultimate Disney Princess Collection one week later.

Pay careful attention who got booted for the newbie, Merida, another white girl.

That’s right, Jasmine was kicked to the curb. The box that once contained five white princesses, an Arabic princess and an African American princess now contains SIX white princesses and an African American princess. Instead of getting rid of the princess who sucks the most (Snow White), they booted Jasmine, who is way more current and also brings diversity to the table.

WTF, Target and Disney? I mean, yes, you chose Jasmine over Aurora in the previous Ultimate Princess Collection, but then you boot Jasmine for Merida? Where’s Mulan? Where’s Pocahontas? How many white princesses do my girls need in a box? I mean, it took years to even get a hint of diversity in Disney princess films, but then you take it away in the merchandising? Really?

Is it really that hard to sell Mulan, Pocahontas and Jasmine dolls along with all the other dolls in most mainstream stores like Walmart, Target and Toys R Us? I can’t imagine my girls are the only ones who want these dolls in their collection. It makes me sad to think other girls only want the white princesses to the extent that you can’t even find the princesses of color unless you specifically hunt them down on the internet or a Disney store.

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The Case of the Missing Princess

A few weeks ago while Lily was out of town, we got Rose the Little People Disney Princesses. Before Lily even came home from her trip to my parents’ house, Tiana was missing. I know this because Lily came over to the computer and saw a previous post on this blog that had a picture of all the princesses together.

“Mommy, there are seven princesses in this picture, but we only have six princesses here. Where’s Tiana?”

Where indeed. I thought Tiana would show up. Most toys usually do, but Tiana wasn’t turning up. When it had been a couple weeks and I hadn’t seen her despite a deep playroom clean, I emptied every toy bin and every toy shelf to see if she was hiding. She wasn’t.

Tiana’s disappearance was truly a mystery.

I looked through Rose and Lily’s room, then Violet’s room. Nothing. I hadn’t searched my own room yet because no missing toy has turned up there yet.

I had all but given up on Tiana when today my husband emailed me this picture of himself from work.

Tiana had been hitching a ride in his work backpack for weeks! He went to grab his lunch and out came Tiana!

One of my friends tells her son that his missing toys have gone on vacation and will have good stories to tell when they eventually show up again. Well, Tiana truly did go on vacation. I wonder if she picked up much organic chemistry while she was at the university!

Why Rose put Tiana in Dr. Toy Warden’s backpack, we’ll never know, but it sure made four out of five of us laugh a lot when we found out where she’d been.

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Cinderelly, Cinderelly

I think someone must have spilled juice or something in the kitchen and the floor has been mop and 409-resistant sticky, so I scoured the floor today. And it’s still kind of sticky. Aren’t children marvelous? Before kids, I used to mop maybe four times a year. Now I mop weekly and even getting on my hands and knees with a scouring brush doesn’t get things completely clean.

When Rose discovered me in there on my hands and knees, she got very interested and sat next to me watching my every move. After non-stop commentary about how I had bubbles and water and a scouring brush and a sponge and how I was washing the floor, Rose revealed why she was really watching me.

“Mommy, you’re being Cinderella.”

If you don’t recall, there’s a scene in Cinderella where she is washing the floor while singing.

I shouldn’t have been surprised that she made this association because she and Lily recently told me they loved Cinderella because she washed the floor and had a nice stepmother.

I certainly FELT like Cinderella, but sadly my prince has already come and I’m still scrubbing floors, doing laundry and mending clothes. Somehow I don’t think Cinderella was still doing chores after the prince married her.

Rose is as obsessed with Cinderella as ever. She thankfully will accept non-blue dresses now, but most of the day she plays with princess dolls, talks about how blue is her favorite color and sings songs from Cinderella. As she watched me clean the floor she got more and more insistent that I was Cinderella.

Before I was washing the floor like Cinderella, Rose donned a blue dress and showed her little sister two of her Cinderella dolls.


“I want to be Cinderella too. I need a sponge.”

Who can argue with a kid who wants to wash the floor?

I gave her a sponge and taught her how to dunk, ring and wipe with it. She was actually pretty good for someone who is not quite 3 years old yet. Lily came in to find us and announced she also wanted to wash the floor.

“Oh! You’re both washing the floor like Cinderella!”

They were very focused on being as Cinderella-like as possible.

I gave her a sponge too. This kept them occupied for well over an hour. I stopped washing because I was out of floor cleaner, but they kept right at it with just water. My floor is cleaner from it (but still sticky by the fridge. Going to tackle it with vinegar and dawn next.).

I might just have them “play Cinderella” on a weekly basis! If it weren’t for the constant requests to change out of wet dresses, I might do this every day.

I’m glad this Cinderella obsession finally got put to good use.

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Manipulation

Last week we were walking through Target and I saw this.

ZOMG Disney Princess Little People


I almost passed out, I was so excited.

And no, no one is paying me to endorse this toy. I’m just saying I was super duper excited. I wanted these dolls BAD. For the kids, of course.

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know my kids LOVE Little People and have created an entire Little People universe that replicates their own world. They have a Little People figurine to represent each of their important family members. They’ve made appropriate houses for each family. They also love the Disney princesses and play with their stupid little plastic dolls with impossible rubber dresses just about everyday. Little People that are Disney princesses? There couldn’t be a more perfect toy for my kids.

As perfect as it was, I had to wait for a REASON to buy them this toy. Their birthdays are soon, but not soon enough. I needed this toy NOW. They needed this toy now.

So when Rose started using the potty and we told her she could have any toy she wanted, I made sure we went back to Target (it’s a Target exclusive toy) to “pick out” the toy. I led her right up to the princess Little People and asked if she wanted them. Of course she said yes. And we left with them.

And that’s how Rose “chose” her potty training reward. I didn’t show her any other toys, I just took her to the toy I wanted for her.

It was probably a little too manipulative of me, but you know what? She’s been playing with those Little People princesses since the second we took them out of the box. As predicted, she loves them and they fit into her toy world perfectly.

But then again, the same thing probably would have happened with any other toy she actually picked out for herself instead of having me stack the cards to get the toy I wanted for her (and Lily).

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Princess Ladder

The princesses have taken to firefighting lately. Or something. I don’t think Rose actually knows what firefighters do. We haven’t talked about it, but lately the princesses have been driving our Mega Bloks firetruck.

They drive it around the playroom until they get to our recliner. There, the princesses climb up the ladder to sit on the chair and… nothing. They climb up and later they climb down and drive away. It’s all very exciting with some high-pitched talking I can’t quite understand.

Is there a fire at the top of the chair? A party? Who knows. I asked Rose and she didn’t have answers. I asked Lily why Rose does this and she said “She just likes to make them go up and down the ladder. And up and down. And up and down. And then they drive around the room.”

It was an incredibly helpful answer, as you can imagine. Lily sometimes helps with this particular game, but still doesn’t know what the point is. In fact, I’ve heard her say “No Rose, I don’t want to play Princess Ladder! I just want to play Birthday Cake!”

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Cinderella is awesome because…

The answer to “Where’s Woof Woof?” is that Woof Woof is in every single picture except the one with my brother-in-law reading “Fairy Tales For Girls”. Oddly, Woof Woof didn’t go to the grocery store with us today, but Rose brought Baby Woof Woof who has been largely ignored lately. It MIGHT have had something to do with my putting Baby Woof Woof’s Cinderella dress back on her.

I asked Rose today why Cinderella is her favorite thing on earth.

“Because she cleans the floor! She cleans the whole floor!”

Apparently cleaning the floor makes you an awesome role model, which is interesting because Rose herself has never ever cleaned the floor.

Lily chimed in, “She has a stepmother who is SO nice!”

I kept asking if she was sure the stepmother was nice because, hello, Cinderella’s stepmother is notoriously evil. In fact, she’s known as “Cinderella’s Evil Stepmother”. I mean, that’s what she’s called! But Lily thinks she’s nice. I asked if she was sure she didn’t mean the Fairy Godmother.

“The Fairy Godmother is nice too, but the stepmother is REALLY nice.”

Is this because the stepmother makes Cinderella clean and I make Lily clean? Does this mean I’m like the evil stepmother and people who boss you around are always nice?

And those are the things I’m paranoid about today.

For the record, here are the things Lily is expected to clean: HER toys, HER books and HER crayons. It’s true that she cleans up after her mess-making accomplice Rose too, but I really don’t think it’s at an evil stepmother level AND there are rewards– stickers that can be turned into prizes such as a new dress for Woof Woof.

I think we need to have a “Tangled” level talk about what characters in “Cinderella” are nice and mean. Maybe the part where the stepmother tells Cinderella she can go to the ball if she does all her work is confusing to her?

Disturbing.

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Princess Train

The princesses seem to have kicked the My Little Ponies out of the train to Indiana.

They are inconsistent on their final destination, but they seem to like to go all the way down the hall from the play room to our living room so they can visit our Cinderella’s castle kitchen.

Lily and Rose are convinced this castle kitchen is “the palace” and the princesses are going to the ball there. All the princesses get out of the train and dance on top of the stove. Somehow their feet don’t get burned in the process.

As I’ve said before, I hate these little princess dolls, yet we seem to keep accumulating more of them. Our crappy princess population recently doubled when I found a bag of the buggers for $1 at a garage sale. Now there are tiny princesses everywhere all the time. It drives me crazy, but it makes them so happy.

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