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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the age-appropriate songs on this CD are updated versions of old Disney movie favorites, sung by some of the most buzz-worthy performers (if you're a tween girl, that is) on today's pop scene, including Demi Lovato and Ashley Tisdale. Some of the songs' messages reinforce traditional gender roles, with the lyrics referencing princes/men coming to save the female singers/princess from loneliness, etc. The Disney Princess brand is a marketing behemoth, with tons of tie-in products.
What's the story?
In PRINCESS DISNEYMANIA, everyone's favorite classic Disney songs are re-interpreted for a new generation more accustomed to High School Musical than animated princesses. The CD brings together many of Mouse House's top names for a line up of 14 songs that spans the Disney animation catalog. Highlights include The Cheetah Girls singing a Latin-flavored "So This Is Love?" from Cinderella, Vanessa Hudgens covering Pocahontas' "The Colors of the Wind," and Ashley Tisdale belting out the Snow White standard, "Some Day My Prince Will Come." And there are plenty more recognizable tracks on the album from equally famous voices.
Is it any good?
This CD is obviously an inexpensive way for the Disney's marketing masters to capitalize on the popularity of its current crop of pop starlets while reusing time-tested songs. But it's hard to deny the perfect match up of this LP. Fresh voices like Hudgens and Tisdale get classic songs that rise above most of their independent productions, but some of the best tracks are actually from the artists with the least hype, such as Kari Kimmel's "It's Not Just Make Believe" and Colbie Caillat's fun take on "Kiss the Girl" from The Little Mermaid.
The compilation fails when Disney takes shortcuts, loading the second half of the album with previously released tracks, like Amy Adams' "Happy Working Song" from the soundtrack to Enchanted. But still, there's plenty of funk and sass on this album -- and enough diva spirit to fill the biggest glass slippers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the message that the Disney Princesses send. What positive characteristics can you find in popular figures like Cinderella and Ariel? Do these characters reinforce "waiting for a prince to come" stereotypes? Why is that attitude problematic? Also, how are men portrayed in these songs? Do you think they present an unrealistic expectation of how men should act?