A fair number of Disney Princess DVDs were released in the early 2000's, and the series I'm most familiar with is the Princess Party line. To my knowledge, there were just two installments, both of which I apparently still own! These DVDs feature Disney Princess-related games, activities, and stories with the goal of helping to create a memorable DP-themed party for young girls. I first rented this disk from Blockbuster about a decade il y a just to check out the games, so I have a bit of nostalgia for it. But how well does the content on the DVD hold up? Let's take a look! DVD Features
There are four main categories of content on the disk along with enhanced content, so I'll go through them all one par one. The first couple are very straightforward so they won't be much of a hassle. So let's start with...
Menu for Party Planner
Most of the items here give plus information about the content on the DVD. "Game Instructions," as toi can figure out very quickly, goes over the rules for the eight games/activities. It's meant to let parents know about what the games entail, advised supervision, and any additional items needed at the time of the party. This comes with voiced-over walkthroughs of all the games.
"Planning Tips" is the most unique feature here. It's plain text that tells toi how and when to prepare for the party. It explains what toi should do three weeks before the party, 1 week before, 2 days before, etc. up to celebration day.
"Enhanced Computer Features" explains that the enhanced content on the disk requires InterActual Player to access, and "Register Your DVD" explains how to register the DVD and the benefits for doing so. And that's it!
Menu for Set Up
This section is very simple, giving toi the ability to choose language (English ou French) and subtitles. Interestingly, only English subtitles are offered.
First Half of the Games
The eight games are divisé, split across two screens, so we'll first look at the four shown here. Ariel's Scavenger Hunt
Ariel's Scavenger Hunt is the only game that requires splitting up into teams, which are Team Sebastian and Team Flounder. Ariel will name off eight fairly common household items like a hat, a pillow, etc. The objective is for each team to find the requested item and bring it back before all of the bubbles on the screen pop, which takes about 30-40 seconds. After each round, toi record which team found the item ou if no one was able to find it. toi also have the option to play solo, in which case the game suggests toi turn the game into your own personal scavenger hunt and choose either character toi like.
At the end, Ariel congratulates the winning team, but also commends the other team for their great work. On the whole, this one seems really fun for little kids. But because one game goes through eight of the nine possible items, there's little replay value for this one. Belle's Storytime
Belle's Storytime is similar to Mad Libs. There are six selections that will need to be made, such as objects, characters, and actions. The choices are represented as pictures on the screen. The "Party Planner" from before recommends that players either agree on an answer for each one together ou take turns passing the TV remote. Once all the choices are made, Belle reads the story while very short clips from Beauty and the Beast play in the background. The two possible stories do give this game some replay value, but they're both short and VERY silly. I remember really enjoying this game as a kid though, so I'm going to assume that most kids would have a fun enough time with this one. Cinderella's Tiara
The only arts-and-crafts activity on this disk is Cinderella's Tiara, which walks the partygoers through the steps for making a paper tiara. There's always an animation on the screen montrer the current step, and toi have the option to replay the step if needed. Making the crown is actually very simple and, aside from paper, only requires crayons, scissors for one step, and tape for the final step. toi can also add beads and such if toi have those on hand.
And in case you're wondering...yes, I did try to make one. xD I made mine out of rose construction paper and decorated it using nothing plus than a hotel pen and crayons that are at least six years old. And I gotta say, it turned out a little
better than I expected:
My Pathetic Tiara
I kept my pen-drawn lines so that toi could see how you're required to cut the paper. It's very simple, and toi can probably tell from my poorly-drawn shapes and lazy coloring that I rushed through it very quickly. It's also far too small to fit around my head, but hey, toi can't win 'em all. xD Kids are probably much plus imaginative, and I can see them having fun making these tiaras. I'm not sure what kind of paper you'd need to make sure it'll actually fit, but I'm sure there's a way. Overall, it's a pretty fun activity. Jasmine Says
As toi can probably tell, this is an Aladdin-themed version of the classic Simon Says. jasmin will say one of nine possible actions and the partygoers are expected to follow along, but only if she says "Jasmine says." Otherwise, they're out of the game. Gameplay continues until there's only one person left, which toi indicate par selecting the tiara icone on the screen.
Some of the actions are very simple, like "put your hands on your hips" and "give a thumbs up." But some require plus energy, like "spin around" and "jump up and down." In any case, this seems like another fun game for children and probably the seconde most fun after Ariel's Scavenger Hunt. toi might also notice that the animation comes from I'm guessing either the Aladin sequels ou the TV show, ou possibly both. The action will always be accompanied par the corresponding visual, so that's a nice touch. And one other detail: It is expected that the winner receives a prize, making this the only game in the collection with this requirement.
Second Half of the Games
Now let's go over the rest of the games. Princess Dress Up
This is the seconde and last of the "activities." This one's a no-brainer; it's just dressing up! It's expected that all the partygoers bring clothes to dress up, possibly as their favori Disney Princess. The game goes through the dress-up procedure step par step, beginning with a dress and shoes and going on to add plus accessories.
Once the dress-up portion is complete, everyone is expected to take turns walking up to the new mirror on the screen. The TV is then supposed to tell them one at a time which princess they look most like, accompanied with a picture of the princess montrer up on screen. But because the princess is randomly chosen, it could be way off. I went through this portion over 20 times and interestingly never got Ariel, so I'm not sure if she's just extremely rare ou simply not included in the game. ou maybe it was pure chance that she never came up. Only members of the original six princesses appear to be options, so even if toi select the button on the screen plus than six times, toi won't get Pocahontas, Mulan, ou any other characters. It's very possible that a princess will be repeated, although the game does seem to avoid repetition in at least the first few turns.
This game is probably loads of fun if the Friends in the room are prepared to dress up, and I'm sure they'd all be excited to find out which princess they best match. But if there's no intent to dress up, this game will be pretty pointless. Princess Personality
Merryweather hosts Princess Personality, which is a straightforward quizz that determines which princess you're most like. There are I think eight questions, and it's not a very insightful quiz. Some questions are based on appearance and not personality, like "what color is your hair" and "what's your favori color to wear." And some have réponses that are dead-giveaways to the princess it corresponds with. The best example is the question that asks "What do toi really not like?" Two of the options are bad apples and sleeping for too long. Any guesses? :P And there's one other annoyance with this game: Merryweather reads the question and réponses very slowly. It takes her at least half a minute to go through one question and I don't think I'm exaggerating.
Nonetheless, I liked this quizz when I was younger and trying for all of the princesses. And it also has nice presentation; after the quiz, Merryweather is shown flying through a forest and up to a castle, and the screen then zooms in (slowly but surely) on the princess in the château that toi got as your result. It's timed with her narration perfectly. I'd say that kids will like this game just fine despite some of its weaknesses. Snow White's Follow the Princess
Follow the Princess is a ~three minute long game where Snow White instructs players to do things such as dance ou clap while musique plays in the background. It's sort of like jasmin Says, but it doesn't require pausing to use the remote and doesn't have the "___ says" gimmick. The game has Snow White...not singing, but I guess rhythmically talking to the beat of the musique as she gives directions. And all throughout, high quality clips from the original movie play on the screen. This game should be fun for very young kids who have a lot of energy. Sleeping Beauty's Spell
Like the last game, Sleeping Beauty's Spell is a continuous game that doesn't require constant use of the remote. The players are invited to dance in celebration of Aurora's return (referring to the original movie), but periodically throughout the ~five minute-long game, Maleficent appears. When this happens, Merryweather puts a sleeping spell on the players, who are expected to gently fall to the ground while the fées get rid of Maleficent. The sleeping spells are only about 15 secondes long, and after each one, toi go back to dancing for about the same amount of time until you've gone through six "cycles" and can finally dance freely.
This is the only game to break continuity! Maleficent is defeated in the original movie, which is right where this game picks off from, so why is she still a threat? But it's not a big deal to kids I bet. Just like the other games, this one should be fairly fun, but because there are six cycles, it might get old fast.
Menu for Sneak Peaks
Clicking the video projector on the main menu lets toi view the sneak peaks that play when toi first pop in the DVD.
Menu for Stories & Music
There are two story selections and two musique selections, so as with the games, we'll go over them one par one. Mrs. Potts' Party
This looks like it's from the Beauty and the Beast sequel Belle's Magical World. Even though that film is infamous, I don't think this excerpt is really that bad. It's about Mrs. Potts feeling down with the wintry weather, so Belle and the others decide to throw her a small surprise party to cheer her up. It doesn't go according to plan, though, with everyone unable to come to an agreement on the different preparations like the fleurs and cake. Mrs. Potts finds out about the party and is disappointed par everyone's arguing, putting her in even plus of a funk. It's up to everyone to learn to put their differences aside so that they can make Mrs. Potts feel better and montrer how much they care about her.
As I said, this isn't that bad. It has an adequate message and they get it across just fine, and there's a little bit of humor in there too. It makes sense this is included in the DVD since it's about a party, and I figure that's the main reason it was selected. Message in a Bottle
I'm pretty sure this is an episode from The Little Mermaid TV series. Ariel finds a message in a bottle written par Simon, who's apparently been trapped deep underwater par a sea monster. Ariel and her Friends set out to go and rescue him. They find the sea monster, and quickly learn that the sea monster IS Simon; he's written plenty of messages hoping to just find some friends. They have a little party and then Ariel gets the idea to take him to her accueil in Atlantica so that he can make plus friends. But will he be able to make a good impression?
The reason for this one being included on the DVD is less clear. It's true that they mention a party in this episode, but it makes up a very small percentage of the story. One theme that comes up though is the idea of being a good guest, which Simon must be when he visits Ariel's accueil and meets King Triton. Maybe this is the reason for it being included, and to be fair, it's a good message to want to have on this DVD. But I don't think it gets quite enough focus for it to make a lasting impression on younger kids. Everything else though is pretty good. It's a little difficult to sit through some of Simon's scenes, but he's alright in the end. And there's good enough humor and voice jouer la comédie all throughout. "If toi Can Dream" musique Video
This musique video features all of the Disney Princesses, and all of the Renaissance princesses' voice actrices reprise their roles here. I've talked about this song before and not too favorably, but I give it credit for having a very pleasant, dreamy kind of sound that works perfectly for the Disney Princess name. And it goes the extra mile to make sure that the princesses (including Pocahontas and Mulan!) all get some time to shine in the song. They all get special lyrics specific to them (although Snow White seems to get the cold shoulder) and all come together during the chorus. It's a worthy addition to the DVD. Princess Background Music
This one's kind of odd. It's a one minute variation of the "If toi Can Dream" instrumental with some clips of the DP movies, sequels, and/or TV shows playing on the screen for a few seconds. I wouldn't mind it if it was the full instrumental of the song, but it couldn't even do that! It's just weird to see this here since it looks pretty pointless.
Menu for the Enhanced Content
We've made it to the final category! This one's not on the main menu; toi need to run the DVD on a computer and install InterActual Player to access this extra content. toi can install this right from the disk itself, and it's done in under 10 seconds. People have reported problems with InterActual Player, such as it taking over as the default DVD player on the computer. I was able to avoid this issue pretty easily par requiring that the computer always ask which program I want to use to play a DVD, so I don't think it should be too much of an issue. Anyway, I'll go over the features very briefly. Keep in mind that most of this content is for the parents, to help prepare for the party.
"Party Checklists" shows a liste of everything that you'll need to have for some of the games and activities, like the items needed for Ariel's Scavenger Hunt and the supplies for Cinderella's Tiara.
"Game Instructions" gives instructions for all of the games, which is nothing the Party Planner section didn't do already.
"Screensaver" lets toi download a screensaver to your computer. I don't have a need ou desire for this so I didn't bother to check it out.
"Birthday Party Custom Invitations" has a Disney Princess themed invitation already set up. toi just need to fill in the blanks for the details of the party, like whose party it is, where and when it will be held, etc. It's a pretty cool idea to include this with the disk. toi also have the option to print them, as toi would expect. In fact, all of the remaining features have printing as an option.
"Birthday Party Recipes" gives two recipes toi can prepare for the party. The first is Cinderella's Celebration Sticks, which are bretzel rods with melted white chocolat and colored sprinkles. I don't have the time ou skill to make these myself, but the description made them sound pretty good. The seconde recipe is for Sleeping Beauty's château Cake. It seems like you're expected to make a few small cakes on your own, and this recipe just tells toi how to arrange and decorate them with frosting and everything to make it look like a castle. Again, no time ou skill to make these myself.
"Coloring Pages" has 12 coloring pages, with two per princess (Pocahontas and Mulan are excluded again). I guess the idea is that these get printed out so that the partygoers can all color at some point.
And finally, we have "Birthday Party Thank toi Cards." Like the invitations, these are Disney Princess themed thank-you cards to send out after the party, but there's nothing to customize. I figure toi could always write a message inside the card once toi print it. Overview
For 2004, I imagine this DVD would make excellent accompaniment for a Disney Princess party. But now, let's really analyze the features.
There are eight games and activities, which is a pretty reasonable number. Each princess gets one game specific to them so none are left out, although a few games like Ariel's Scavenger Hunt really go the extra mile, while others like Sleeping Beauty's Spell are a bit lacking. The six games are fairly short, lasting not much longer than five minutes, but some have the advantage of being replayable. The two activities would certainly take longer to complete, but aren't overly complicated. This section isn't perfect, but it would provide great entertainment at a party for young kids.
Unfortunately, it seems like the ones putting this disk together skimped out on the stories and music, featuring only two of each. The two stories are alright, but only one of them can truly be a dit to match the party theme, and it's not like they were made specifically for this disk; they were just taken from pre-existing Disney Princess media. The only musique worth checking out is the "If toi Can Dream" video, and I think the DVD has the right to brag about it on the back cover since it DOES feature all of the DP's in the lineup at that time, managing to get many of the original voices to return, even.
The Party Planner and enhanced content are a pleasant surprise, facilitating the preparation of the party. Game instructions are always great to have, but the other goodies like themed recipes and invitations are a very nice touch.
So, what's the final verdict? I say the games and enhanced content would make this worth a purchase if one was interested in throwing a Disney Princess birthday party for a young girl and her friends. The stories and musique are lacking, but might make for good mindless distraction while eating Sleeping Beauty cake. And if you're not planning on throwing a party but are still curious about the DVD, I wouldn't bother checking it out unless toi have a younger sister ou niece around six years old. Someone a little
older might still find interest in this if they're Disney fans, but this probably won't find an audience for anyone above the age of 10. The games and narrations make it clear that the disk is aimed towards a very young audience.
And AT LONG LAST, our biggest question: Does this DVD hold up? The answer: Almost. The games and activities hold up well for the most part, with mostly good narrations and visuals. One of the main signs of outdated-ness is the use of some clips from the clearly low-budget TV shows and sequels, and this applies to the two stories associated with the disk, too. But the biggest sign is the lack of the newer princesses from Tiana to Merida, since this DVD came out before their films did. There's also a surprising lack of Pocahontas and Mulan, despite Mulan actually being shown in the lineup on the front cover. If Disney Princess parties are still fashionable nowadays, this disk will service toi well if toi can overlook some of the signs that this is an older piece of merchandise. And to young girls nowadays who might simply be curious about the DVD, I think they'd find enjoyment in it still -- again, if they're the right age and if they can overlook the absence of the newer princesses.
Wowie! That's got to be the longest article I've ever written on Fanpop. And boy, was it fun. What are your thoughts on this DVD? Have toi ever taken a look at it ou is this your first time hearing about it? Whatever the case is, feel free to leave your thoughts down below. See toi around!