This Box Is Full of Beautiful Surprises (book review)

When is a postcard not a postcard?  When it’s art.

The new Disney Princess Postcard Box from Chronicle Books is so nice you’ll have a hard time deciding if you should send them or frame them.  So why not do both?  Take your favorite images and put them in a frame and then send the rest to friends and family.  It will make their day.  The key feature of this box set is of course the art.  With images from Snow White to Brave, the 11 films featured in this collection showcase not just the final film stills but concept art from different stages of development.

The exterior of the postcard box

Title: The Disney Princess Postcard Box
Cost: $19.95 (but listed as $16.28 on Amazon)
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Genre: Gifts and Stationary

Concept art for Jasmine from Aladdin

What I loved was seeing rare and rarely seen concept art from some of my favorite animated films.  Did you know for instance that in early concept art Belle from Beauty and the Beast was blond?  And that there was a bathing scene with dancing clothes?  An early image of The Evil Queen in Snow White did not project her as a rival for Snow White’s beauty it did in the film. Concept art of Aladdin showed him with a mustache and Pocahontas had much darker brown skin.  Mary Blair even did a piece for Cinderella showing her in a very cartoon like format. To compare the early production art to the finished product is fun to see.

Rapunzel looking both beautiful and self-reliant

The back of each postcard tells the name of the artist (if it’s concept art) and the medium it was done in.  The postcards themselves are stacked neatly inside the box (which itself looks like a book and opens like one, too).  To make the cards easy to access, there is a ribbon that runs along the bottom of the stack so you can pull them out without trouble.  The films featured inside are Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Mulan, The Princess and the Frog, Tangled, and Brave.  With 100 cards in the box, each piece of art is a steal at less than 20 cents a piece!  A great gift for the writers and Princess lovers in your life.  And it’s never too early to be thinking of Christmas…

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