How to find cool Disney gifts
You don’t really need us to tell you what Disney is all about. Family values, child-like wonderment, a sense of adventure, beloved characters, and good storytelling are among the many qualities that give Disney films their unique and highly recognizable character.
Most of us had been drawn to the Disney universe as children and some of us kept close to it as adults, driven both by nostalgia and a deeper appreciation of the timeless quality of their classics. It’s little surprise you can find the Disney brand associated with a huge array of consumer goods, from artful memorabilia to toys and designer clothes, ready to meet the demands of all enthusiasts, regardless of age.
With so much on offer, it could prove daunting to find the perfect gift for the Disney fan in your life, especially if you don’t possess an encyclopedic knowledge of the company’s history. While we don’t claim to be specialists ourselves, we hope the following brief guide will provide some pointers in choosing some cool Disney gifts that a fan would appreciate.
We find that the main things to consider are not the products themselves, but the specific Disney animated film associated with them. After all, you wouldn’t expect for a 10-year-old boy to be enthusiastic for a Princess Aurora tiara, no matter the high quality of its materials.
How we chose the coolest Disney gifts
Disney gifts for little girls
Since Disney is famous for its many fairy tale princesses, it’s pretty much a no brainer that this is what you should look to when considering a gift for the little girl demographic. But what princess, exactly?
Well, children have fairly short memories, so all other things being equal, you should favor one of the characters that have been recently featured on the big screen or in a popular animated series.
Given that princesses get their appeal because of psychological projection (i.e. the girl imagines herself in the character’s place), it would also be a good idea to choose a gift themed after a Disney character that closely resembles the child you’re shopping for.
Lucky enough, Disney princesses come in all hair colors and cultural backgrounds, so it would be easy for you to go with physical resemblance as a guiding factor if you’re not particularly aware of what princess your little niece likes best.
Disney gifts for boys
This one might give you a little more of a head scratch. Most Disney full-length animation movies are centered around a female character, and the corresponding prince generally gets ignored. Eric might have slain the dragon at the end of Snow White, but he got less than ten minutes of screen time.
Among the classic Disney characters, Donald has always been more popular with kids than Mickey or Goofy. We don’t really know the reason why, but we recommend you shop accordingly. Likewise, shows that feature Donald’s extended family (such as Duck Tales) had very good appeal with boys during the ‘80s and ‘90s and are still well liked till the present day.
While Duck Tales was arguably the most popular, any of the other animated series re-imaginings of the same period, like Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers or Darkwing Duck might prove equally good bets when shopping for a boy.
No matter the theme, however, something that is actually a toy he can play with, as opposed to a painted backpack or lunchbox will, of course, elicit more interest from the child.
Disney presents for teens and adults
Enough with the baby gifts! Disney is really not just for children, and adults can still find appeal in Disney themed clothes and various knick-knacks. Items featuring the ubiquitous Mickey Mouse logo seem to take the lion’s share when it comes to this market, at least according to the best Disney gifts reviews we went through when researching this guide.
Mickey’s head is a classic, an iconic image, that has gotten so big as to transcend its original association with children’s cartoons (albeit Steamboat Willie was originally intended for a general audience) and get into the realm of pop art. Other popular images like that of Aladdin and his genie, the Little Mermaid, or Snow White can be said to have followed suit.
Theme-wise, adults might also enjoy some of the intellectually deeper Disney characters — after all the company is famous for adapting masterpieces of international literature.
Pinocchio, for example, could prove popular with your hipster friends. Besides getting referenced in a number of later day indie songs and films, the would-be real boy also receives attention from public intellectuals like Jordan B. Peterson, who find it a great representation for a listless person archetype.
Discerning readers might remind us that the hopeful marionette originally belonged to Carlo Collodi, the same way characters like Simba the Lion King used to be Hamlet, but it’s Disney who re-told their story for a new generation, and the meaning behind it stayed the same.
Nostalgia factors and fanboyism
Most of the adults living today have grown up watching Disney movies and shows, some of which, like Duck Tales or Treasure Planet achieving both a cult following and an internet meme status. For example, the image of Scrooge McDuck swimming through shiny gold coins is immediately recognizable by one and all.
Childhood friends might get pleasantly impressed by gifts that reference their favorite Disney shows from back when they were kids. Don’t worry about not finding something appropriate for their present age, the market seems to provide enough grown-up oriented items with the image of someone like “unca Scrooge”.
There are also those films that despite being high-quality never actually took off. There’s Treasure Planet, the very entertaining “adventure of the high space” (based on R. L. Stevenson’s pirate novel) and the very well drawn and acted Disney’s take on the story Hercules. Die hard fans of the studio have a special love for these less popular productions, and might very much appreciate receiving themed gifts.