Friday , April 12 2024
Two princess tales come to DVD along with a sneak peek at Disney's latest animated feature.

DVD Review: Disney Princess Enchanted Tales – Follow Your Dreams: Special Edition

Being re-released onto DVD on September 8 is Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams. The DVD features two different main selections, a story with Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) and one with Jasmine (Aladdin). Each runs just under a half-hour long (it feels as though they have been developed to run on a non-ad supported cable channel as half-hour shows). While in no way as magical as the big screen films featuring these princesses, the stories will certainly be welcome additions to your little princess's collection.

Aurora's tale centers on her having to take over duties in the Kingdom when her father, father-in-law, and Prince Philip are out of town for a convention. It is not the easiest of tasks as there is much paperwork to be done and common folk to be seen, but Aurora gives it her best shot. She does, however, make the unfortunate mistake of accepting some of Merriweather's help, borrowing the fairy's wand.

Jasmine's story also centers upon her taking a more active role in the power structure of her kingdom. In Jasmine's case, only Aladdin is away; her father, the Sultan, is still there. Jasmine's distress comes from her position being a purely ceremonial one – she wants to take on some responsibilities. It's something that her father pooh-poohs until Jasmine is able to use all her skill and determination to make her mother's unruly horse, Sahara, follow her wishes.

Neither of the stories are terribly in-depth and the animation is none too spectacular, but the messages of both are good ones. Both stories center on the importance of working hard and not taking short-cuts; they also try and present positive, strong images of women (I would argue that they succeed, but the opposite point of view could be taken as well – it's a never-to-be-settled discussion for another time and place).

The extras on the first DVD in the two-disc set are the same as in its prior release. The first disc contains two interactive games and a music video featuring Belle (Beauty and the Beast) which functions as a sneak peek of a different Enchanted Tales DVD.

It is the second disc, which is simply held in a cardboard sleeve and stuck to the back of the main DVD's case, which is new for this release. This bonus disc contains a less than five-minute look at Disney's upcoming theatrical release, The Princess and the Frog. The preview certainly does a great job whetting one's appetite for that film as it does seem like a return to tradition for the Mouse House. The bonus disc also contains a Cinderella music video and one featuring Mulan. Just as with the Belle video on the main disc, they serve as promotions for other Enchanted Tales DVDs.

If one already owns the first release of Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams there seems like little reason to, based on the bonus features, go for a double-dip. However, the younger set will almost certainly enjoy watching more tales featuring two beloved princesses. And, with a concerted effort being made on the part of Disney to have the princesses as stronger, more assertive and in-control characters than they have sometimes been portrayed in films, parents looking for better messages to help impart to their children should find themselves at least slightly mollified. The stories are aimed more squarely at the younger set than Disney's feature films, but it's a mark that the studio has unquestionably hit here.

About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.

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