Disney Princess is a licensed theme released in March 2012. It was originally aimed at girls aged 2-5 and designed using DUPLO elements and figures. In 2014, a new line of sets aimed at older girls (aged 5-12) was introduced. The sets consist of System bricks and use mini-dolls. Since then, the Princess sets are available in both scales.
History and development
The sets made in 2012 were based on the first three princesses, Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty (Aurora). Both 2013 sets were based on the fourth princess, Ariel. In 2014, the theme was split into two lines. The DUPLO compatible series continued in another Sleeping Beauty set. The new System compatible series of sets for older girls was introduced in 2014 including two new characters, Merida and Rapunzel, along with two princesses introduced earlier. The new Cinderella and Ariel sets were redesigned using System bricks instead of DUPLO parts to suit the new mini-dolls.
In 2015, three more DUPLO sets were released introducing a new character - Sofia. New System scale sets also introduced princeses - Jasmine, Alana, Elsa and Anna. These characters debuted as LEGO designs, and princess Aurora was available in mini-doll form for the first time.
The DUPLO sets mainly follow the main events in the stories of the princesses known from Disney's classic animated feature-length films. Each set depicts a scene from their respective films. All of the sets are based around a particular location.
The DUPLO sets feature varied colours, pink and purple being the main ones.
There have been overall nine new DUPLO Figures released in this theme (including the second variations of Ariel and Aurora). Five of the figures are princesses, one is a fairy and the other two are princes. All princesses except Ariel's mermaid variation come with new cloth dress pieces which fit over their legs.
Along with the DUPLO figures, there have been three animals in the line: Flounder, a rabbit and a horse. The theme also released two characters on printed bricks, one with Merryweather and the other with Sebastian.
The System sets are much more colourful than the DUPLO sets, lavender, cream, white, light pink, dark purple and blue being main colours. Like the DUPLO line the sets are based on some of the main parts in the princesses' stories. Half of the sets feature a castle or tower.
The first wave of sets introduced five new female mini-dolls. Ariel, like her DUPLO variation, has two variations (human and mermaid form) and Cinderella has two as well, showing her in two different dresses. The theme also has three male mini-dolls, two from the DUPLO theme (Prince Charming and Prince Eric) and a new character, Eugene Fitzherbert (better known as Flynn Rider).
These figures are accompanied by a variety of animals. Apart from well known crab and clam moulds in 41050 Ariel's Amazing Treasures and a white horse which pulls Cinderella's carriage, Lucifer the cat and Bruno the dog make an appearance in Cinderella's castle. Some new animal moulds were introduced: Merida's three younger brothers - Harris, Hubert and Hamish - in their bear form, Flounder the fish and Pascal the chameleon (Rapunzel’s pet). As a result, all sets feature animals.
The characters themselves, despite appearing in separate films, have distinct similarities. The princesses are nice to animals, evidenced by the common ability to communicate with them. The princesses are known for their inner and outer beauty as well as having singing voices (except Merida).
Each princess except for Merida (the tomboy) has a romance that is resolved by the end of her debut film. LEGO has only made two of these as DUPLO figures (Prince Charming and Prince Eric). The new wave of sets included three princes: Prince Charming, Prince Eric and Flynn Rider, the latter being exclusive to the System line.
All Disney princesses are charismatic girls but their personalities fall into two significant groups corresponding with two eras in which their films were made, the first being 1930s-1960s and the second dating from the late 1980s-present As for the first three princesses, Snow White, Cinderella and Aurora (better known as Sleeping Beauty), their characteristics were well known as classy, graceful and romantic daydreamers and who suffered from the actions caused by others. They held an inner strength through compassion, love, kindness and, particularly with Snow White, a strong sense of resilience. These princesses were known as the Classic or Storybook Princesses.
After the renaissance era these popular heroines became more active then reactive with Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana, Rapunzel, and Merida. LEGO have only designed three of these princesses so far, Ariel, Merida and Rapunzel. Their characteristics were known to be strong-willed, adventurous, feisty, cunning and determined. As well their goals were more on adventure and freedom than love (with the exception of Ariel), these girls were more fighters for their dreams than the first three.
Snow White, Aurora, Ariel, Jasmine, Rapunzel and Merida are born of royal heritage as daughters of kings and queens. Pocahontas can be considered as being of royal heritage, as she is the daughter of a chief and considered Native American royalty by the English. Cinderella, Belle and Tiana become royalty by marriage. Mulan is the only Disney princess who does not become royalty by blood or marriage, but she does, however, receive a grace of honor from the Emperor of China making her the only woman to ever do so.
Main article: Snow White
Snow White is the first Disney Princess. The character of Snow White first originated in a Brothers Grimm fairy tale "Schneewittchen" about a beautiful German princess with a jealous stepmother. In 1937, Walt Disney turned this classic fairy tale into his very first animated feature film. Her true love is Prince Ferdinand, who breaks her sleeping death 'slumber' with love's first kiss. She befriends the seven dwarfs during her stay at their cottage.
Main article: Cinderella
The best-known version of Cinderella is the fairy tale "Cendrillon" by Charles Perrault in 1697. In 1950, it was turned into an animated feature-length film by Walt Disney. He made the film because Cinderella reminded him of himself. Her stepmother turned her into the family's servant after her father died. With help from her Fairy Godmother, she attends the ball and meets the prince of her kingdom, and eventually marries him, thus freeing her from her life of slavery. She is often considered the "Leader of the Disney Princesses", even though she wasn't the first one. Despict having strawberry blonde hair LEGO gave her bleach blonde hair.
Main article: Sleeping Beauty
Best known as the heroine of the 1959 animated classic Sleeping Beauty which is very loosely based on Charles Perrault's "La Belle au Bois Dormant". Even though in the movie she wore blue, she is most commonly seen wearing pink (the colour of her dress which was made also in LEGO sets). She was cursed at birth by an evil fairy called Maleficent, who predicted her death on her 16th birthday. Merryweather softened the curse by changing her death to a deep slumber that will only be awakened by true love's kiss. By the end of the film after Maleficent is defeated, she is freed from the curse by Phillip, the prince of a neighboring kingdom, who fell in love with her.
Main article: Ariel
The heroine of the 1989 film The Little Mermaid, is loosely based on the Danish fairy tale "Den Lille Havfrue" by Hans Christian Andersen. The daughter of King Triton, ruler of the sea, 16-year old mermaid Ariel falls in love with a human prince named Eric. She has always dreamt of life on land and she finds Ursula's deal her only change to be with Eric, that's why she trades her voice to the sea witch, Ursula, in order to become a human and be with him forever. However, Ursula was not who she seemed. So Ariel and Eric defeat Urusla and Ariel becomes human.
Main article: Rapunzel
The heroine from the 2010 animated feature Tangled is loosely based on the German title character from the Brothers Grimm fairy tale "Rapunzel". Her long hair, which is said to measure 70 feet in length, and 10 feet while braided. Her hair has magical healing powers, and can also be used as a weapon. Given the power by a magic golden flower, Mother Gothel kidnaps her as an infant to use her power to keep herself young. 18 years later, Rapunzel sneaks away from her tower with a thief, Flynn Rider, and sets on her own journey to find the flying lanterns that float into the sky every year on her birthday. To free her from Gothel's clutches, Flynn cuts her hair, thus destroys her power, and she is returned to her family. Even though LEGO's Rapunzel is based of her appearance in the movie her hair is less then ten feet when braided.
Main article: Merida
The main character of 2012 Disney Pixar animated feature Brave is the first original princess in the line-up that not inspired by either literature (Snow White, Cinderella, etc.) or real-life (Pocahontas, Tiana). Merida is the teenage daughter of Queen Elinor, and King Fergus. Queen Elinor's expectations and demands of her daughter make Merida see Elinor as being cold, unfeeling and distant causing friction between the two. Despite Elinor's desire to see Merida as a proper royal lady, Merida is an impetuous tomboy with wild, unruly hair and a passionate desire to take control of her own destiny. Merida has skills with the bow, and is the most skilled archers in her kingdom. She is also well trained in sword-fighting and an expert horsewoman, riding wildly across the countryside on her horse, Angus. Among other Disney princesses Merida has unique status. She is the first princess from a Pixar film and the only female Pixar protagonist made by LEGO. She never sings a major song in the movie, thus breaking away the traditional line-up, though as a child, she sang a small verse of a song in Gaelic. Merida's rich Scottish brogue makes her the second Disney Princess with an accent.
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Disney Princess DUPLO figures
Disney Princess mini-dolls
Disney Princess animals
- DUPLO animals
- System animals