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Disney DVD Game World: Disney Princess Edition Review

Buy Disney DVD Game World: Disney Princess Edition

Disney DVD Game World:
Disney Princess Edition -
Become The Ultimate Disney Princess


1.33:1 Fullscreen, Dolby Digital Stereo
DVD Release Date: December 5, 2006
Single-sided, dual-layered disc (DVD-9)
Suggested Retail Price: $29.99
White Keepcase with Embossed Cardboard Slipcover

Buy from Amazon.com


By Renata Joy

It's become a challenge to go anywhere without spotting some item of the Disney Princess brand. I know I start out just about every Princess-related review I've written with a similar thought, but it's true. From fruit snacks and cereal to cheap holiday gifts at Wal-Mart, the princess merchandise is becoming not only more readily available but also less and less tasteful. Upon the release of a new DVD game, it is easy for one to forget the line's cheap norms and get excited about something that might be truly entertaining and of a decent quality. Sure, it is pink and girly to the extreme, but there's nothing wrong with that sort of thing as long as it is done well and taken in small doses. Even though I am, by now, used to being disappointed with every latest item to appear from the Disney Princess line,
I felt a glimmer of hope when Disney DVD Game World: Disney Princess Edition was announced months ago. Similar to the Disney Dogs Edition that was released on the same day, Princess Edition plays as a virtual board game, boasting multiple possibilities and an endless range of fun.

The premise behind this game is that you are going to the royal ball, but before you get there, you must acquire six items: an invitation to this said ball, transportation in the form of a carriage, gloves, a dress, shoes, and (most importantly) a tiara. To achieve these lofty possessions, you must answer various trivia questions and perform a few activities, all the while traveling through a castle that acts as a virtual game board. The activities range from simple matching games to betting on which princess' carriage is the fastest. Betting in a children's game? You bet! Another favorite activity which appeared every time I played featured the sing-along version of the Disney Princess anthem "If You Can Dream" followed by a simple "yes or no" question asking you if you danced and sang along. Cheating has never been easier. The trivia side of the game never gets too detailed, although questions pertaining to the Aladdin sequels might cause some budding princesses to scratch their heads (daintily). A game played by two fully-grown players who answered all the questions right (and even did a little dancing along) managed to take roughly 30 minutes, so you can expect to devote at least a fair amount of time to playing.

This computer-animated castle is the setting for "Disney DVD Game World: Disney Princess Edition." It's like a board game...only virtual. Look out for the Wicked Queen!

The princesses make brief appearances along the game path, although they resemble cardboard cutouts rather than living versions of themselves. They are limited to Jasmine, Snow White, Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Ariel (who, disturbingly enough seems to live in some sort of aquarium in the lower level of the castle). The game is narrated by a woman with a sickly sweet voice who most definitely is not a Disney princess, but is trying hard to sound like one (and failing).
It is not surprising that the game is aimed at those of the fairer sex, although the fact that it completely excludes even the idea of a male player (as seen in the opening screen that asks how many "princesses" will be playing) is a bit unfair. What's wrong with a game that boys and girls can play together?

It would be silly to expect anything less than girly fare from the Disney Princesses. In fact, I personally would be disappointed at a lack of pink frills. There's nothing the matter with being feminine. However, something is amiss when a young girl is expected not to recognize mediocre quality when wrapped up in a pretty package. Perhaps I'm being a little too harsh. The game is indeed diverting and the idea of preparing for a ball is fun. But what is the explanation for the superior (albeit far from perfect) Disney Dogs Edition that was released on the same day, a game which is challenging and can be enjoyed by different ages and gender? Granted, the Disney Princesses are a much less encompassing subject and most people over the age of 10 can't be expected to be interested in a game featuring Disney's leading ladies. And those at the target age -- which the package lists as "4 and Up" -- probably aren't yet diehard Disney fans who know everything there is to know about the company. Still, as with the majority of the Disney Princess merchandise out there, it seems like the girls who will play this game deserve a little better. Sure, they'll have an okay time playing, but the game would definitely be more memorable for all parties, young and old, if there was more substance.

This is the type of trivia you can expect, assuming you will be playing "Disney DVD Game World: Disney Princess Edition." "Where Dreams Begin" - the original song which marked the second wave of Disney Princess DVDs - is the source for some dance-along time.

PACKAGING and MENUS

Believe it or not, Disney Princess Edition is packaged just like a DVD, complete with slipcover, which was painstakingly manufactured in a metallic pink and opens up to reveal scenes from the game itself. The DVD is in a keepcase, which (gasp!) is white rather than the usual Disney Princess pink.

If you should wish to enjoy a few previews before starting the game, then you are in luck. The sneak peeks on the disc are for the upcoming Platinum Edition of Peter Pan, "Little Einsteins": The Legend of the Golden Pyramid, Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: A Kingdom of Kindness, and "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse": Mickey Saves Santa and Other Mouseketales. From the menu, you can also access promos for Meet the Robinsons, The Fox and the Hound 2, Tinker Bell, and Cinderella III: A Twist in Time. What fun!

Here is your prize for reading this quick review: a shiny gold tiara presented to you by all the Disney Princesses...plus Cogsworth, Rajah, Lumiere...and Grumpy. You're clearly on the honor system for a question like this.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Like all Disney Princess merchandise, Disney DVD Game World: Disney Princess Edition is completely harmless and will not fail to entertain you for at least a short amount of time. That being said, it's nothing great, and might disappoint those few who still expect more from the Disney Princesses than some flighty pink-ish activities. Young girls who enjoy what Disney already has to offer of the princess variety should be pleased by the game and probably aren't expecting more than what they are getting - a bit of mindless fun.

More on the DVD / Buy from Amazon.com

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Disney DVD Game World: Disney Dogs Edition
The Little Mermaid: Platinum Edition Cinderella Cinderella II: Dreams Come True
Aladdin: Platinum Edition The Return of Jafar & Aladdin and The King of Thieves
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Disney Princess Sing-Along Songs: Volume One - Once Upon a Dream Disney Princess Sing-Along Songs: Volume Two - Enchanted Tea Party
Disney Princess Sing-Along Songs: Volume Three - Perfectly Princess Disney's Karaoke Series: Disney Princess, Volume 2 (CD)

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Reviewed December 16, 2006.