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  1. #1

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    New Disney Line Targets Tween Fashion

    Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana" is opening her closet to fans, launching a full collection of clothes, accessories, home decor and even real electric guitars as Disney goes after the increasingly powerful tween market.

    Hannah's alter ego, Miley Cyrus - wearing a hot-pink sequined tank top, white jeans and a white leather jacket - first displayed the Disney Consumer Products line in Manhattan.
    The look mimicked Hannah's overall style, sweet and appropriate for school with flashes of sparkle. (The premise of the show is that Hannah is a country girl-turned-pop star who tries to keep her celebrity life a secret from her classmates.)

    Among the offerings, modeled by wannabe Hannahs even younger than 14-year-old Miley: a denim jumper with rhinestones, slim-cut Bermuda shorts, cargo-pocket capris with swaths of silver, a sundress topped with a denim vest and a sheer peach-colored beaded bolero worn over a regular tank top.
    A handful of the T-shirts were covered with Hannah's face, but otherwise logos and literal references to Hannah were kept to a minimum. "It's not a costume. A tween girl isn't doing dress-up, they want to look like they could be Hannah Montana's friend," said Donna Sheridan, vice president and general manager of apparel, footwear and accessories for Disney Consumer Products. "This is a fashion line."

    See the complete article here: http://www.coloradoan.com/apps/pbcs....TYLE/708280301

  2. #2

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    Re: New Disney Line Targets Tween Fashion

    Ugh. This tween and teen stuff really needs to be rebranded to ABC Family - - it's confusing the Disney image.

  3. #3

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    Re: New Disney Line Targets Tween Fashion

    ^^ Not at all. The Disney Channel stuff -- Hannah Montana, HSM, and all the rest -- is all clean, wholesome, family-friendly stuff (from what I've seen anyway). I think that's exactly the right Disney image.
    "I'm working on changing Hollywood...at the studio that fired me twice."
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    Re: New Disney Line Targets Tween Fashion

    ^^ Not at all. The Disney Channel stuff -- Hannah Montana, HSM, and all the rest -- is all clean, wholesome, family-friendly stuff (from what I've seen anyway). I think that's exactly the right Disney image.<<

    It has supplanted the timeless animation, fantasy and Americana angles of the traditional Walt Disney experience with trendy consumerism and budding sexuality. It's clearly profitable to have that market, but why confuse it with classic Disney/Pixar, which has a special vibe - - why not market it separately as ABC Family?

    Even back in the day, Annette's Beach Party LPs and the like were "Vista" not "Disneyland." That teenage thing was utlilized but kept a bit distant from the family franchise.

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    Re: New Disney Line Targets Tween Fashion

    I guess one of the things I like about HSM in particular (I have spent less time with the other Disney Channel offerings), is that it really seems to reject the "budding sexuality" angle you mentioned. Both of the HSM films are remarkably chaste and innocent, and in a way that is completely un-ironic. The second one features a little bit more affection between the characters but it's still very G-rated. Compared to the rest of the stuff that's marketed to the tween and teen demographics, it's quite refreshing and very "Disney" in my view.

    Regarding the Disney Channel trifecta of "Hannah Montana", "That's So Raven," and "Suite Life of Zack and Cody," I have only watched bits and pieces of them. They don't really hold an interest for me. But I remember reading an interesting article (probably linked to from here) that basically said that while the traditional family sitcom has faded and died on network tv, it is alive and well on the Disney Channel. In other words, these have become the new sitcoms that kids can watch with their parents that nobody offers on network tv anymore. Again, I think that's very consistent with the Disney brand.

    I do understand your concern. On the other hand, I think it's a mistake to say that the Disney brand can only apply to classic vault stuff and new Pixar movies. I know that's not what you're really saying but it seems awfully close to me. In my view, Disney has always extended beyond the big event animated films to all kinds of entertainment. As long as it remains reliably wholesome, I think it can still carry the Disney name.

    Even back in the day, Annette's Beach Party LPs and the like were "Vista" not "Disneyland." That teenage thing was utlilized but kept a bit distant from the family franchise.
    I think all the solo records released by HSM cast members (Ashley Tisdale, Vanessa Hudgens) were released under the Hollywood Records label.
    "I'm working on changing Hollywood...at the studio that fired me twice."
    --John Lasseter


  6. #6

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    Re: New Disney Line Targets Tween Fashion

    >>Compared to the rest of the stuff that's marketed to the tween and teen demographics, it's quite refreshing and very "Disney" in my view...On the other hand, I think it's a mistake to say that the Disney brand can only apply to classic vault stuff and new Pixar movies. I know that's not what you're really saying but it seems awfully close to me. In my view, Disney has always extended beyond the big event animated films to all kinds of entertainment. As long as it remains reliably wholesome, I think it can still carry the Disney name.<<

    The real problem is not so much that this tween stuff couldn't be part of a balanced "Disney" worldview, it's that I'm consistently told (and its clear from what is being shown), that the internal marketers/programmers/execs at Disney Channel, RadioDisney, Disney.com now consider the classic Walt material "off brand" - - that's "off Disney brand!" Because it's now all about this stuff. That's when the two need to be separated. The tweens are replacing traditional Disney in the view of those involved.

    Clearly, since nearly ALL Walt material is banished from those entities, that's what is going on. Wouldn't it be better to separate and exploit both?

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    Re: New Disney Line Targets Tween Fashion

    I would agree that Disney Channel could and should better integrate classic material into their programming.

    But as you said above, I think it should be "balanced", I don't think they need to separate the current stuff and re-brand it as abc family or something different (on a related note, I think the abc family label is completely meaningless and useless).

    I haven't spent alot of time on the new Disney.com, but my impression is that it does provide a diverse range of content. I know the comcast-exclusive "disney connection" website allows you to watch a selection of classic shorts.
    "I'm working on changing Hollywood...at the studio that fired me twice."
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    Re: New Disney Line Targets Tween Fashion

    I hope they can do that. But I am not encouraged.

    Clearly, there are folks within the company that want to wish away the classic material and emphasize their own. And so far, they are getting their way. It's too bad - - there is much of Walt's film and TV library that is not available to the general public on cable, DVD or the net - - and that's a crime. Walt Disney was always a timeless mix of the old and new - it should remain so.

    Until they can prove they want to keep Walt's films alive with enthusiasm, I hope they will separate the tween stuff out.

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    Re: New Disney Line Targets Tween Fashion

    Quote Originally Posted by merlinjones View Post
    It's too bad - - there is much of Walt's film and TV library that is not available to the general public on cable, DVD or the net - - and that's a crime. Walt Disney was always a timeless mix of the old and new - it should remain so.
    We can definitely agree on that.

    Until they can prove they want to keep Walt's films alive with enthusiasm, I hope they will separate the tween stuff out.
    Except that what they're doing now is so incredibly successful, there's no reason for them to change it so radically. I don't think Disney Channel has ever been as successful as it is now, and it is helping to expand the allure of the Disney brand to cover a demographic that might otherwise think they are too old for Mickey Mouse.

    Now I know what you may say, Disney entertainment should be made for all ages, not diced and spliced for specific age groups and genders. I completely agree, and I don't think Disney has abandoned that approach either. But honestly, I think the combination of Miley Cyrus, Zac Efron, Johnny Depp, and Orlando Bloom have probably done immeasurable good in making Disney "cool" for teen and tween girls.

    I do wish they would put more "vault" stuff on the Disney Channel though, and I think it would be a great way to expose the kids hooked on Hannah Montana to the rest of the Disney universe. Alternately, I think a VaultDisney Channel would be very viable (an ongoing discussion in another thread).

    And lastly, I do not think the current "tween" stuff is inconsistent with the Disney brand, and in fact is very appropriate for it, which is why I wouldn't want it moved to ABC Family, which has no real identity and shows such a wide mix of content.
    "I'm working on changing Hollywood...at the studio that fired me twice."
    --John Lasseter


  10. #10

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    Re: New Disney Line Targets Tween Fashion

    Again, they clearly have a viable business in tweens, but it shouldn't preclude them from doing business with the Walt Disney properties.

    And those should be presented as timeless, not items from a dusty "vault." Maybe bring in a dedicated energetic brand to market the Walt Disney library separately from The Disney Channel & related brands: The Wonderful World of Disney or Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, perhaps?

    Money and goodwill are being left on the table. The Walt material will never compete on a speadsheet with their ROI on hyper-marketed tween stuff, but that doesn't mean it should go away forever, which is what is happening. There is a much broader market for it than has been tapped in recent years.

  11. #11

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    Re: New Disney Line Targets Tween Fashion

    Quote Originally Posted by Doopey1 View Post
    And lastly, I do not think the current "tween" stuff is inconsistent with the Disney brand, and in fact is very appropriate for it, which is why I wouldn't want it moved to ABC Family, which has no real identity and shows such a wide mix of content.

    ABC Family I think is too messed up for any such content... Thanks to the contractual obligations that where included in the sale... I would rather the channel sold...

    Furthermore, I detest the idea of puting Disney content on a channel that carries the 700 club... The idea to market the 700 club for tweens is disingenuous to say the least...

    A better idea is to have a Disney Tween channel. It works for ESPN... (...I guess.)
    Check out my other blog:

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    Re: New Disney Line Targets Tween Fashion

    ^^ I would totally support Disney dumping ABC Family altogether.
    "I'm working on changing Hollywood...at the studio that fired me twice."
    --John Lasseter


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    Re: New Disney Line Targets Tween Fashion

    >>I would totally support Disney dumping ABC Family altogether.<<

    How about turning ABC Family into a Walt Disney Classics Channel?

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    Re: New Disney Line Targets Tween Fashion

    ^^ Absolutely, I'd fully support that.

    As, Cellarhound noted, it would be nice if they could separate themselves from the contractual obligations to the 700 Club, but regardless, re-booting that channel as something completely new is necessary, and a Classics Channel would be great.
    "I'm working on changing Hollywood...at the studio that fired me twice."
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