Weeks before the theatrical release of Disney’s upcoming animated feature The Princess and the Frog, the excitement for film-inspired merchandise is already building in a big way as anticipation for the film intensifies. Since its launch just a few weeks ago, retailers report that the merchandise has already begun out-selling other Disney Princess items by double digit percentages. More than 45,000 dolls have sold in less than a month with 17,000 selling last week alone. At one major retailer, The Princess and the Frog bedding has sold nearly triple the amount of regular Disney Princess bedding. At Disney Store locations nationwide and DisneyStore.com, the Princess Tiana role-play dresses are selling above all other Disney Princess characters.

The Princess and the Frog toys have also captured industry praise as the Disney Princess Tiana Just One Kiss doll tops FunFare magazine’s “Holiday Hot Dozen” and the Toys”R”Us "Fabulous 15" holiday lists. The doll was also recently nominated for the “2009 Girls Toy of the Year” award by the Toy Industry Association. Sales of the Princess Tiana Just One Kiss doll are up by over 150% and industry and media have reported it could be among this Holiday season’s sell-out toys.

The Princess and the Frog introduces Disney’s newest princess character in more than 10 years and the first African-American Disney princess. The product line from Disney Consumer Products (DCP) is supporting the film with a wide range of products spanning toys, fashion, home décor, food, personal care, beauty, stationery, books and an assortment for adults including collectibles, art, bridal wear and couture fashion.

“Generations of little girls have experienced the enchanting and magical stories of the Disney Princess characters. Now, with Princess Tiana, as the first new princess in a decade, they will experience a new adventure, woven by the master story-tellers at Disney. This modern-day princess character must muster her determination and perseverance as she faces and overcomes her challenges, providing little girls with another inspiring role-model,” stated Reyne Rice, Toy Trend Specialist at the Toy Industry Association.

“It is typical with any major Disney film to see movie-inspired product available as early as six weeks prior to the film’s release, and the same is true for The Princess and the Frog,” stated Mary Beech, vice president franchise development and marketing for Disney Consumer Products. “However, the historic nature of the release of The Princess and the Frog film has generated tremendous consumer excitement well in advance of the film – and sales thus far have been very strong, something that is remarkable for characters with which fans are not yet completely familiar.”

The Princess and the Frog is also a hit on the social media circuit, as well: DCP is taking fans and families behind the scenes with an exclusive The Princess and the Frog YouTube video series that premiered today on its channel www.YouTube.com/DisneyLiving. The series will provide an inside look at how some of the most interesting products came to life and will release new videos weekly leading up to the national release of the film on December 11th. From never-before-released footage such as interviews with Anika Noni Rose http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0npCpcxaBc, film voice for the Princess Tiana character, to the unveiling of the Princess Tiana wedding gown live on the runways at New York Bridal Week and cooking demonstrations from Princess Tiana’s Cookbook Recipes for Kids, the videos will delight any Disney and Disney Princess fan.

The Princess and the Frog merchandise assortment:

Disney Store
Disney Store is offering an enchanting assortment of exclusive products, plus bayou-inspired in-store and window displays that celebrate The Princess and the Frog. On November 20 just before Chicago’s famed Festival of Lights, Disney Store will unveil a truly magical window display in its Michigan Avenue flag ship store featuring a beautiful scene from the new film. And beginning November 30, Disney Store will dedicate all of its 229 windows in North America to The Princess and the Frog. Products available only at Disney Store and
www.DisneyStore.com include: a hand-crafted jewelry box, bookends, a snow globe featuring Princess Tiana and her prince in a wedding scene, role play costumes such as a one-of-a-kind wedding dress, plush dolls representing key characters, and exclusive dolls.

Toys & Electronics
The Princess and the Frog toy line comes alive in vibrant hues of purple, green, gold and blue and is accented with decorative elements reminiscent of New Orleans and the bayou. Available at major retailers nationwide, these new playthings include the beautiful Just One Kiss Disney Princess Tiana Doll dressed in her sparkly blue ball gown that lights up, a Princess Tiana Doll outfitted in her shimmering bayou dress, a variety of Princess Tiana role play costumes, play sets and plush dolls featuring key characters from the film and cuddly and comical The Princess and the Frog Kissing Frog plush.

Fashion & Home
Girls of all ages can live like a princess with an array of new fashion and home décor products inspired by Princess Tiana. Young fashionistas can embrace their inner princess with fashion collections available at department stores nationwide; the beautiful Princess Tiana Watch & Tiara available at JC Penney; and The Princess and the Frog girls bedding available at department stores nationwide.

DCP has also collaborated with top designers to create unique couture apparel and accessories. A Princess Tiana inspired bridal gown will be added to the successful Kirstie Kelly for Disney Fairy Tale Weddings collection in spring 2010. Trend-forward fashion tops inspired by the book “The Art of Disney Princess” are also available at specialty boutiques. Kidada Jones for Disney Couture will introduce a new line of stunning gold jewelry at specialty retailers.

Collectors will be eager to get their hands on a variety of beautifully crafted and detailed collectible items featuring Disney’s newest princess including the open edition porcelain Princess Tiana “Determined Dreamer” collectible figurine statue by Enesco, LLC, which comes with a certificate of authenticity and is available from Walt Disney Classics Collection and specialty dealers. A new unique oil masterpiece from Thomas Kinkade depicts Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen in a gorgeous scene from the film.

Health & Beauty
A princess is beautiful inside and out and DCP has collaborated with top health and beauty brands to create princess-worthy products including the “Magical Collection” by Carol’s Daughter, which offers hair care and bubble bath products available at specialty stores,
www.carolsdaughter.com, Disney Store and www.disneystore.com. Additional products include The Princess and the Frog role-play cosmetics and Band-Aid® adhesive bandages by Johnson & Johnson available at mass retailers.

The Disney food assortment also offers a selection of The Princess and the Frog items including Tummy Tickler® juices from In Zone Brands, Inc. and Kellogg’s fruit flavored snacks, available at select grocery stores nationwide.

The Princess and the Frog stationery assortment includes craft and activity sets, journals, sticker packets, paper party sets, cake décor, calendars and Holiday wrapping paper among other offerings available at major retailers nationwide, Party City, Party America, and independent and online specialty party stores.

Fans can get regular updates on The Princess and the Frog and its inspired products by signing up to become a fan on Facebook www.facebook.com/DisneyLiving and following us on Twitter www.twitter.com/DisneyLiving for a chance to win unique merchandise.

About “The Princess and the Frog”
Presented by Walt Disney Animation Studios, the musical The Princess And The Frog is an animated comedy set in the great city of New Orleans. A modern twist on a classic tale, the film features a girl named Tiana who dreams of owning her own restaurant, a frog prince who desperately wants to be human again, and a fateful kiss that leads them both on a hilarious adventure through the mystical bayous of Louisiana. The Princess And The Frog marks the return to hand-drawn animation from the revered team of John Musker and Ron Clements and features music by Oscar®-winning composer Randy Newman. Featuring the voice talents of Anika Noni Rose, Terrence Howard, John Goodman, Keith David, Jim Cummings, Jennifer Lewis and Oprah Winfrey, the film hits theaters nationwide on Dec. 11.

Source: Disney Consumer Products