Disney new book launch; $1 mn marked for mktg

Disney Publishing Worldwide will unveil to the world its latest novel, Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg, by Newbery Honor-winning author Gail Carson Levine. This new illustrated novel for girls aged 6-10 builds upon the enormous popularity of Tinker Bell and the Walt Disney Company’s heritage of more than 75 years of creating fairy tale magic. The book is the cornerstone of Disney Fairies, a new franchise from The Walt Disney Company. Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg launched with an enormous one million copy printing in 45 countries — and was translated into 32 languages. The launch of the book will be supported by a $1 million marketing campaign. The world of Neverland in J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan serves as the inspiration for Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg, which introduces a new group of fairies, each with a personality that will appeal to young girls — from feisty, big-hearted Tinker Bell to the newest fairy, Prilla, to Mother Dove, the wisest creature in Never Land. The launch event, which will be held at Downtown Disney in Anaheim, California in the year of Disneyland’s 50th anniversary, will re-introduce hundreds of girls and their parents to Tinker Bell and her world of fairy friends. Levine will read an excerpt from the book in a magical fairy environment while David Christiana, the critically acclaimed illustrator, will bring her words to life. During the event, Disney will introduce a new Disney Fairies collectors’ pin and exclusive lithograph of one of the book’s illustrations, as Levine signs books for her young fans. “For over one hundred years, girls all over the world have embraced Tinker Bell and taken her into their hearts. With the launch of Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg, we are thrilled to introduce girls across the globe to Tinker Bell’s world of fairy friends and give her a voice for the very first time,” said The Walt Disney Company president, COO and CEO-elect Robert Iger. Following Disney Publishing Worldwide’s initial launch, The Walt Disney Company will provide unparalleled and synergistic support for Disney Fairies across its business units. The campaign begins with the recent launch of http://www.disneyfairies.com, a global online experience where visitors can explore and learn about Tinker Bell and other Never Land fairies. The entertainment experience will continue with a series of chapter books planned for spring 2006. In addition, multiple films are currently in development to further extend the storytelling and bring the world of Tinker Bell and her friends to life. Disney Consumer Products will bring Disney Fairies into the homes and lives of girls around the world with a breadth of product that will inspire, enlighten, and encourage them to believe — from apparel and toys to home decor and stationery. “The response to the novel has been tremendous both globally and throughout the Walt Disney Company. We at Disney Publishing are so thrilled to have the opportunity to lead the way for the entire company in bringing Disney Fairies to life. It was an amazing opportunity to work with Gail Carson Levine, a real master of the modern fairytale, in creating Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg. The novel’s rich story, captivating illustrations, and that touch of Disney magic is bound to make Disney Fairies a phenomenal success with girls around the world in the years to come,” says Disney Publishing Worldwide president Deborah Dugan. Levine will embark on a national and international book tour, visiting retailers in 10 US states throughout September followed by visits to Japan, UK, Finland, Germany, Spain and Portugal. Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg can be found at bookstores in the US from 1 September, 2005 and will roll out around the world shortly thereafter. connect@animationxpress.com

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