Saturday 25 October 2014

We're under Disney's spell: store here is a star performer for entertainment giant

Published 04/04/2014 | 02:30

Mickey mouse in several poses working his magic in the 1940 classic Disney movie ‘Fantasia’

Mickey Mouse working his magic in the 1940 classic Disney movie 'Fantasia'.

ALMOST everyone who grew up watching 'Snow White' or 'The Lion King' has fond feelings for Disney.

But today's Irish kids are even more devoted, it seems, clocking in as some of the brand's most loyal followers in the world.

Its Dublin store is one of its top five most profitable in Europe, it has revealed.

Marketing studies show that 88pc of Irish parents have spent money on the entertainment giant's products, the company's head of UK and Ireland retail Mike Stagg said at a media briefing yesterday.

'Evergreen' products – traditional Disney brands like 'Winnie the Pooh' – are particularly popular with Irish consumers, he added, though different products spike depending on what films are in the cinema.

DVD copies of 'Frozen' sold out in Ireland in three days after going on release last week, Mr Stagg said. It is now the world's most successful animated film ever, grossing over $1bn (€720m) at the box office.

MERCHANDISE

Disney has long been accused of reinforcing gender stereotypes for girls with pink, princess-themed merchandise while marketing engines and superheroes to boys.

But 'Frozen', and other films like 'Toy Story', appeal to both genders, he said.

Yet, evidence of gender stereotypes is still clear among its product lines. Its Disney Princess range has been a runaway success with girls, company retail executives said, while the 'Cars' franchise is a massive hit with boys – soon to be complemented by a 'Planes' franchise.

Another successful line is a range dedicated to 'Doc McStuffins' – a TV show produced by Irish animators Brown Bag Films.

Six-year-old Doc is one of the top 10 favourites for girls aged three to six in Ireland and the UK, Disney said. Brown Bag is even in discussions with the World Health Organisation about a branding deal that would link approachable Doc with the global health watchdog.

Disney also works with Dublin-based animation team Boulder Media, which produces US hit 'Randy Cunningham Ninth Grade Ninja'.

Irish Independent

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