Disney opened Licensing International 2006 in New York City by revealing Brittany Murphy as the voice of Tinker Bell in an all new CG-animated feature featuring the spunky fairy in 2007. This will be the first time audiences hear Tinker Bell speak, as the movie brings to life enchanting tale of Pixie Hollow and Tink's new fairy friends voiced by some of Hollywood's most talented actors.
"Tinker Bell is such an indelible character to pop-culture even without a voice," said Dick Cook, chairman of Walt Disney Studios. "She is sassy, feisty and independent. Brittany's distinctive voice and superb talent will bring all these qualities to life, as well as show new sides to Tink's personality. Audiences will get to know Tinker Bell like never before, and I am sure will fall in love with her all over again."
"I've had the good fortune of playing many interesting characters, but none as magical as Tinker Bell," said Murphy. "To give Tinker Bell a voice for the first time in history is such an honor."
Produced by DisneyToon Studios and Walt Disney Home Ent., TINKER BELL, part of the Disney Fairies franchise, will be supported with a strong marketing campaign and a broad consumer products line at major retailers around the world.
Disney Fairies launched in September 2005 with the worldwide launch of Disney Publishing's FAIRY DUST AND THE QUEST FOR THE EGG novel, which spent 20 weeks on the NEW YORK TIMES bestseller list. More than one million books were released in 33 languages and in 51 countries.
In 2006, Disney Consumer Products (DCP) is supporting the franchise with a series of bestselling chapter books, small dolls and role-play items, a DISNEY FAIRIES magazine launch in Europe, and a multi-category product launch scheduled for spring 2007.
Also, today at the 2006 Licensing International, Andy Mooney, chairman of DCP, expressed confidence that retail sales for the current fiscal year would reach $23 billion, an increase of 10% over last year.
"We continue to see expansion in our evergreen franchises like Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Power Rangers and Disney Princess but newer properties like Baby Einstein, That's So Raven, Disney·Pixar's Cars and Pirates of the Caribbean are helping to fuel our growth as well," said Mooney. "Our focus on global key accounts and shift to new business models such as direct-to-retail programs enable DCP to bring more quality products to customers at competitive prices."
DCP will break out Tinker Bell from its Disney Princess retail sales numbers and begin to track Disney Fairies. Disney Princess continues to show double-digit growth fueled by a hugely successful Cinderella program. Disney Princess is projected to record $3.4 billion global retail sales in FY06, a 15% increase over last fiscal year. With brand expansion into Russia and significant growth in Europe and India, Disney Princess enjoys robust Q-Scores of 33 (average score is 17) and is a top of mind favorite for moms of kids 2-5 with nearly universal brand awareness at 95%.
Projected growth is expected from several cross-divisional programs, including the release of THE LITTLE MERMAID on DVD from Walt Disney Home Ent. this October. DCP will support the release with more than 1,500 Little Mermaid products available at retailers globally incremental to existing Disney Princess product on shelves. The multi-million dollar marketing campaign will benefit from retailer support including "Under the Sea" feature shops and gift with purchase promotions. In 2007, Disney Princess will unveil Season of Enchantment a new product and promotional theme bringing new stories to life through entertainment from Walt Disney Pictures and BVHE.
Disney Consumer Products is the business segment of The Walt Disney Co. that extends the Disney brand to merchandise ranging from apparel, toys, home decor and books to interactive games, food and beverages, stationery, electronics and animation art. This is accomplished through the work of DCP's various lines of business: Disney Toys, Disney Softlines, Disney Home, Disney Food, Health & Beauty, Disney Stationery, Disney Publishing, Buena Vista Games, Baby Einstein, the Muppets Holding Co. and Disney Shopping Inc.'s catalog and disneyshopping.com. The Disney Store, which debuted in 1987, also falls under DCP, through stores currently owned and operated by unaffiliated third parties under licensing agreements in North America and Japan, and wholly owned stores in Europe.