It’s official – Merida from Disney/Pixar’s Brave will have her coronation as the 11th member of the Disney Princess Line Up in July of 2013!
A big thank you to commenter Gijs Van Dyck, who broke the news to me and gave me a link to find the info. Disney Roadshow convener, Kylie Watson Wheeler, shared this at a recent Disney Roadshow convention in Melbourne, Australia:
The Disney Princesses will show off a sparkling new look from January and will kick off new consumer campaigns, the first of which is the Disney Princess Movie Festival for five weeks over February and March at Event, Greater Union and Village Cinemas showing: Cinderella, Pocahontas, Mulan, Princess & The Frog and Tangled. In July, Disney’s newest princess, Brave’s Merida, will have her official Princess coronation and the celebration of Ariel will take product and retail under the sea.
Hooray! And right on schedule, as I previously predicted:
Tangled came out in November of 2010, and Rapunzel was officially welcomed into the Disney Princess franchise on October 2, 2012. Therefore I am extending my deadline to this time (July) 2013, because apparently it can take up to a year for the paperwork to clear. :) It’s also worth noting that Rapunzel had a procession and coronation ceremony at Kensington Palace in London, which is pretty darn fancy. Hopefully Merida will get the same treatment – but perhaps in Glasgow, Scotland?
Why so late after the movie premiered? Perhaps because:
That event (Rapunzel’s coronation) was carefully timed for maximum brand benefit. I don’t have proof of this or anything but it sure seems like common sense to me. Disney marketed the hell out of Tangled, and then rode out the peak of the interest wave. By waiting until almost a full year later, they were able to reignite interest that may have waned. And the official coronation then offered new products, new events, and new merchandising that has kept Tangled/Rapunzel relevant long after the movie left theaters. That’s how I would time it if I were them, anyway, and I’m pretty sure Disney knows more about effective branding than I do.
If Brave and Merida follow the same pattern, Disney will wait until sales/interest have died down a bit before making Merida an official Disney Princess. Then they can keep her franchise relevant for years to come, just like they’ve done with all the others!
I will include further details on her coronation ceremony and new branding as I find it. Congrats, Merida!
For more information, see my guide to all of the unofficial and official Disney Princesses.