I have always wanted to write about this interesting piece but the intention always being put on halt. Hahaha! Well, Disney is known for its productive outcomes targeted for its primary niche of customers; that are KIDS and TWEENS (the pre-adolescent teenagers). Apart from its “cartoonish” label known via its subsidiary “The Walt Disney Pictures”, the parent company which is The Walt Disney Company has diversified subsidiaries such as :-
- ABC Entertainment Group (they own the ABC channel);
- ESPN Inc. (sports-basis channel)
- Touchstone Pictures (alternative films label to distribute genres that are deemed too provocative under DISNEY label);
- Disney Channel (for kids-friendly programmes);
- and many more!
Raven Symone. Then (above) & Now (below). I like her TV series in “That’s So Raven”. She’s funny and so cool. (,”)
Disney knows that the power in conquering the market for kids-and-tweens is a lucrative business. Hence, it dominates and champions in the niche without any efficient competitors to be named. Apart from its already-known status as the producers of epic animated fairytale masterpieces, Disney also ventures into the commercial branch via Disney Channel. This channel is responsible to produce a lot of television series and programmes aimed for the kids and tweens (mainly girls). Now, from these programmes, Disney Channel has successfully showcased a lot of young talents that would soon becoming American heartthrobs! From The Mickey Mouse, stars such as Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Ryan Gosling & Britney Spears were born; while from successful TV series, several the then-unknown starlets would soon becoming recognizable faces in American television arena :-
The Mickey Mouse Club in 90’s. Can you spot the soon-to-be-famous Mousketeers? Ryan Gosling, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake!!
- Raven Symone – from “That’s So Raven”;
- Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens – from Disney Channel’s “High School Musical”
- Hilary Duff – from “Lizzie McGuire”;
- Miley Cyrus – from “Hanna Montana”;
- Ashley Tisdale – from “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody”;
- Demi Lovato & The Jonas Brothers – from Disney Channel’s “Camp Rock”;
- Selena Gomez – from “The Wizard of Waverly Place”;
- and many more!
These young starlets have garnered thousand of fans around the world and proved that their networth and influences also are increasing considerably. Often that these Disney’s icons are listed in “influential people under 25” lists.
Zac Efron & Vanessa Hudgens – born from “High School Musical.”
Anyway, as cliche as it sounds – life is like a wheel with its up and down. So do these reigning children idols. Each one of them savour magnificent glorious days when they were the “IT” icons & their TV programmes boomed like firework; adored by million of kids around the world and not to say, damn rich as well! NEVERTHELESS, as the year pass (let’s say 2-3 years to the max), their star spells had begun to wane and they are being outwitted by other new budding starlets. By now, although they are merely to reach 20s, they are dubbed as the “has beens” and usually, child celebrities who have made it BIG during their childhood would find it hard to make transition to adult image; hence making it almost impossible to create same magic to crossover to mainstream and mature Hollywood roles.
Hilary Duff. Then; via “Lizzie McGuire” (above) ; now (below).
In the year 2000, Hilary Duff make it big with “Lizzie McGuire”. The TV series is a simple one, depicting on the everyday life of an average girl who are struggling with school and adolescent lives. It was such a hit that it made Duff a teen idol. The success had cemented a film-version of “Lizze McGuire” as well as several film roles for Duff such as “Agent Cody Banks”, “Cheaper By The Dozens”, “A Cinderella Story” and many more. Despite the so-called fuel with the then-more-famous-but-now-a-could-be-hag Lindsay Lohan over Aaron Carter (yucks?!), Hilary Duff maintains her wholesome and girl-next-door image. She keeps her life organized and not letting stupidities run over her. I personally like her. (,”)
Then (above) via “Hannah Montana” and now (below). What is she thinking? Trying so hard to shed the Disney cocoon??? Sigh.
The controversial photo shot by Anne Leibovitz for “Vanity Fair”.
In the mid 2005-2006, a new teen idol was born. Through “Hannah Montana”, a live-sitcom which is sort-of an reincarnation of 80’s “Jem & The Holograms” (Yeah!) where a teen idol is living a double life; as a celebrity and a plain Jane; Miley Cyrus’s name was catapulted into stardom! She was so popular that everyone keeps talking about her and a film and a docu-musical film were made under the “Hannah Montana” label. Miley Cyrus was indeed a household name and she was having trouble in managing herself with the stardom and also to transpire into mature role; she wanted to go out from the Disney cocoon. Hence, the controversial semi-nude photo shot by renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz for “Vanity Fair” magazine ignited uproar; as well as performing a lap dance. In nutshell, Miley wanted to sex-up herself.
Selena Gomez via the then “Wizards of Waverly Place; and now (below). I like her. She’s cute and very beautiful exotic Latina. (,”)
In 2007, Disney launched another new TV series called “Wizards Of Waverly Place”. Now, the centre attraction was the daughter of the magical wizards Russo family, Alex – which was played by Selena Gomez. Bubbly, cute and reasonably a talented singer herself, Selena Gomez was being compared to the now-waning Miley Cyrus as the “new Miley”. Fans from the latter’s team was so in rage that they began to bombard foul words and all. With the success of the TV series, Selena also created niche into singing career. She formed “Selena Gomez & The Scene” which spawns several hit songs such as “Naturally”, “Who Says” & ” I Love You Like A Love Song”. The idea of that she once dated Taylor Lautner and Justin Bieber also fueled up fame on her.
Among all the Disney teen idol/princess, I think Selena Gomez is the most beautiful and cutest! She is also a non-blonde, which is the first among the idols. (,”)
Not to be toppled down, her Disney peer; Demi Lovato also has been carving the industry vehemently. From the “Camp Rock” television film, Lovato now signed as one of the judges in “X-Factor” and her voice has been praised by critics as a mixture mash of Christina Aguilera & Kelly Clarkson. You know, I am not her really her ardent fan because I am not acquainted with her work or songs but just now I did try to listen to her tracks in You-Tube, and “WHOA!”, I was so blown away with her voice. Truly, her voice is superior to all her Disney counterparts…. and that including Britney Spears! Ouccch! Sorry, no offense to the fans.
Demi Lovato. From yesteryears to now.
All of these teen idols are on top of the world; but they all come from one factory, that is Disney. So, is it fair to call Disney as a teen idols’ machine or factory? I don’t know, but sure it’s a win-win industry. The starlets get their fame; Disney get the money (that is until the contract expires!). These certainly boost Disney’s viable marketability- the lucrative niche among the kids & tweens! (,”)
Harper’s Bazaar (above) and Elle magazine covers (below).
Selena Gomez certainly is the reigning Disney teen idol/princess now! (,”)