For any parent of a Disney Princess-loving girl who has ever wondered how long it takes to make a complete Disney Princess DVD collection, the answer is approximately five years. This fall the Disney vaults will open once again—for a limited time—for the DVD/Blu-Ray re-release of Beauty and the Beast, which had its theatrical release in 1991.
This latest news flash is included on the DVD for Disney’s The Princess and the Frog, which was just released on DVD and Blu-Ray on March 16. As most Orlando area parents know, when you are raising a daughter just minutes away from Disney World, little girls can identify the Disney Princesses long before they even see the feature film that inspired these characters. All it took was a day at Magic Kingdom just weeks before the premiere of The Princess and the Frog for our little girl to fall in love with Princess Tiana, and any child who wants to get a plot synopsis of The Little Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast can see live performances at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
In our five-year-old daughter’s lifetime, Disney has re-released Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid (and we even got a copy of Aladdin just before the vault slammed shut again). Pocahontas and Mulan have been spotted in local Costcos and Kmarts as well, but Beauty and the Beast will undoubtedly round out the collection of “top-tier” princesses who appear on just about every Disney Princess product.
By re-releasing these classic films for a limited time every few years, Disney has cleverly convinced parents to purchase their blockbuster movies while their children are still within the target demographic, although ultimately there is a timeless quality to many of these films that will ensure these DVDs will be a part of a family’s movie collection for years to come–or at least until the next technological advancement in media storage comes along. And admittedly, I would rather sit through 20 screenings of Beauty and the Beast and any of the Disney/Pixar films than re-live the 88 minutes of my life that I wasted watching a theatrical screening of Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, which will never be added to our family’s video collection.