Disney has long cornered the market on selling magic. Next month, Disney Press hopes to round up even more believers when it publishes Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg, a novel by Gail Carson Levine, illustrated by David Christiana, that launches an extensive new Disney Fairies line of books and merchandise.
The Fairies program features Peter Pan's Tinker Bell and a fleet of fairy-world characters in a spinoff series of all-new adventures. The debut title will get a one-million-copy global laydown in 45 countries (more than 350,000 copies in the U.S.), as well as a million-dollar marketing campaign.
According to Jeanne Mosure, v-p, general manager of Disney Publishing Worldwide, the Fairies idea took flight several years ago when the company began looking at original art in the Disney archives and was also searching for ways to further vitalize its consumer products division. "We wanted to use something classic from the archives, but also create something totally new," Mosure said. In fact, one of Levine's characters, Mother Dove, was inspired by artwork from Bambi.
The Fairies initiative represents a new global strategy—originating new material simultaneously all over the world, with input from other countries, as opposed to more traditional licensing agreements.
Various Disney divisions, including Disney Theme Parks, Disney Cruises, ABC Family and Disney Radio, will support Fairies with a variety of promotions and advertising over the next two years. Apparel and toy rollouts are planned, in addition to more books, and Random House will begin publishing chapter-book tie-ins in the U.S. next January. Disneyland will host a Fairies launch party August 28, and author events will take place around the world.
At an event during April's Bologna Book Fair introducing the Fairies line to international publishers, author Levine, who stands 4'11", quipped, "Disney is so committed to little people that they hired the tiniest writer they could find."