These Disney Princesses Are Making a Comeback!

Since the November princess anniversaries are too far away for this year, Disney is setting their sights on other things to celebrate in the coming months. For those of you who read my latest review of a "Sleeping Beauty" retelling yesterday, the timing could not have been more appropriate. Today marks the 65th anniversary of Disney's 1959 animated classic, Sleeping Beauty, and they are celebrating it with some beautiful limited edition merchandise. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of Disney's Beauty and the Beast Broadway musical, which is being celebrated in a big way. Finally, four Disney Princess television shows may or may not still be in production this year, so we will wait with bated breath for updates in the hopes that we can see some of our favorite princesses return on the small screen.

Princess Aurora is the featured princess on Shop Disney today, marking the 65th anniversary of her film. There is lots of great merchandise available, but one notable absence is this lovely limited edition doll that seems to only be available in theme parks to commemorate the film's anniversary. This is my favorite Sleeping Beauty doll to date. It puts to rest the endless fight between Flora and Merryweather making her dress pink or blue and celebrates both colors in a beautiful medieval-inspired pattern. The dress, which is split between the classic shades of pink and blue on the bodice and skirt from opposite sides, boasts gorgeous gold embroidery while remaining true to the original silhouette from the film. For an additional touch of magic, the blue fabric shifts into a pink sheen under certain lighting, and her metal crown and necklace accessories are accented with glittering rhinestones. This doll is a must-have for die-hard Sleeping Beauty fans, though I have not been able to find a website selling them outside of the Disney Parks or eBay resales. If anyone knows a more official means to purchase this stunning doll online, please let me know in the comments!

Another big Disney celebration this year is the 30th anniversary of their Beauty and the Beast Broadway musical, the show that launched Disney's long-running Broadway career. To celebrate this milestone, they have announced a North American revival tour that will begin in June 2025. This tour is sure to bring back the magic of Disney on Broadway after numerous attempts at reviving old franchises and the failed attempts by other Broadway teams to create a modernized "Cinderella" musical last year. Going back to the classics is a great idea after the many complaints about Disney's latest attempts to create new content. This is a formula that was tried and true after the original show's 13-year run. It is particularly appropriate to celebrate the Broadway 30th anniversary with a new production because Disney also celebrated the 30th anniversary of the animated film with a live TV production in 2022. The trailer for the Broadway revival showcases clips that are both familiar and new, particularly Belle's reading glasses to accessorize her village "library" dress, which is very relatable to princess fans such as myself who have astigmatisms.

Numerous animated spinoffs of Disney Princess franchises have been announced recently with only a vague idea of when they will be available to watch. One of them is Ariel (pictured above), a reimagining of The Little Mermaid: The Animated Series that features our mermaid heroine at a younger age with a Carribean-inspired background and new designs for featured characters from the 1989 animated film. Aside from the above screenshot, there has been little news about when or where we can expect to see this upcoming Disney Junior series that currently has a vague release estimate of 2024. Another Disney Junior favorite, Sofia the First, has a new spinoff that is supposedly still in the works despite the lack of updates since its initial announcement over a year ago. Finally, the Tiana and Moana series announced back in 2020 have had few updates over the last four years. Tiana revealed a screenshot in November 2021, implying that it was still in the works, while the Moana series has had no updates since it was first teased. Though originally estimated for 2023, the Tiana series seems to be delayed indefinitely.

Disney's calendar in 2024 is brimming with regal celebrations, offering something for every princess aficionado. From the shimmering slumber of Sleeping Beauty's 65th anniversary to the enchanting melodies of Beauty and the Beast's Broadway 30th, these commemorations reignite the timeless magic of our favorite fairy tales. While the upcoming television shows featuring Ariel, Sofia, Tiana, and Moana remain shrouded in whispers, the confirmed anniversaries provide ample opportunity to revisit cherished classics and revel in their enduring enchantment. Which celebration sparks your inner royalty the most? Did you discover a must-have Sleeping Beauty treasure? Has the Beauty and the Beast revival trailer awakened your Broadway nostalgia? And most importantly, do you have any predictions for when (or if) those captivating princess series will waltz onto our screens? Let's crown this discussion with your thoughts and theories in the comments below!


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