The Disney bait-and-switch

Disney is now making use of the same trick to sell its movies that the Pink SF crowd has been pulling for decades, in this case, selling princess movies to the public under the guise of a film for boys.

The first teaser trailer for Disney’s new animated musical Moana has been released online, and it’s a little short on… Moana. The film’s titular heroine is a Polynesian princess (voiced by native Hawaiian teenager Auli’i Cravalho, in her film debut) who journeys across the sea to find a legendary island, with the help of demi-god Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson). When the film opens in November, Moana will be the newest Disney princess and is expected to be absorbed into the multibillion-dollar Disney Princess franchise. So why is the trailer (below) all about Maui?

It’s not because Dwayne Johnson is the biggest-name star in the film, although that is true. It’s just the latest example of a very specific Disney marketing strategy, designed to broaden the appeal of its fairy-tale movies by making them appear less girl-centric. Because a movie for the female half of the population is a “niche” film, whereas a movie aimed at boys is fun for the whole family! Or so the thinking goes.

This all began after 2009’s The Princess and the Frog underperformed at the box office. That film had a few notable issues — like a meandering story, in which the princess spent most of her time being a frog — but per the Los Angeles Times, Disney execs came to the conclusion that The Princess and the Frog didn’t attract an audience because boys didn’t want to see a movie about princesses. 

Which brings us to Moana. To its credit, Disney hasn’t excluded the main female character in its marketing to the extent that it did with Frozen and Tangled. The first image released from the film featured the princess and the demi-god side by side and a video posted online in October introduced actress Cravalho to the world. So it’s disheartening that the first teaser essentially excludes Moana. Maybe the full-length trailer will be a little more balanced?

The bait-and-switch of the trailers is also indicative of an issue with the princess films themselves: Since 1989’s The Little Mermaid, male characters have had the majority of dialogue in Disney fairy-tale movies. Even though the protagonists of these movies are girls, they exist in a world of male sidekicks and supporting characters who get the last word.

Boys don’t want to see movies about princesses. Boys don’t want to read books about romances either. But rather than simply making movies that boys want to see and publishing books that boys want to read, the SJWs in Hollywood and in publishing think that the secret to success is making princess movies and publishing romances, then deceiving everyone as to the content.

It’s remarkable what contempt they have for their customers; one imagines they must understand that even the most dimwitted boys and parents are going to eventually figure out the bait-and-switch and simply stop buying anything from them.

SJWs always lie. Always.