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On Tuesday 27 April 2021, Disney launched Tales of Courage and Kindness, a new digital storybook collection with 14 original Disney Princess stories aimed at inspiring children to help create a kinder world. Each story includes a special dedication to a young person who has displayed extraordinary kindness or courage.
12-year-old Izzy from Upper Beeding has had Mulan’s tale of courage and kindness dedicated to her. Izzy’s brother, Luke is cared for by Chestnut Tree House and she shaved off her hair last year to raise money for us. Izzy (pictured with her brother, Luke) is one of five children in the UK to have been honoured with a dedication in Disney’s new storybook collection.
Describing how she feels about the importance of kindness, Izzy said “it’s easy to be kind and it makes the world a better place.” Izzy’s mum, Liz, describes her daughter as “an amazing, selfless young lady, who is kind to everyone.”
The digital book, featuring unique illustrations by artists from around the world is being gifted to kids as part of Ultimate Princess Celebration – a new, global campaign championing the qualities of courage and kindness.
The storybook is available for families worldwide to download for free at DisneyPrincessStories.co.uk. It follows new Disney research revealing that the majority of UK parents (77 per cent) turn to trusted characters, such as the Disney Princess and Queens, to help teach their kids important values and lessons, such as kindness.
The stories aim to inspire children through the adventures and values of these beloved characters, who each demonstrate the importance of courage and kindness in the face of adversity. The research found that kindness is regarded as the most important quality for 90 per cent of British parents.
Celebrities Katie Piper and Millie Mackintosh join Disney voice talent Mandy Moore (Rapunzel in Disney’s Tangled) and Kelly Marie Tran (Raya in Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon), to read the new stories for families and kids to enjoy on Disney Junior’s YouTube channel.
Disney worked with charity partners across EMEA to identify real-life young people who have displayed extraordinary courage or kindness, who have been honoured within the storybook collection. These ‘Children of Kindness’ have each received a special dedication to celebrate their own stories and further inspire young people. In the UK, five children have been honoured:
With three quarters (78 per cent) of UK parents of young children saying their children have become kinder and more compassionate over the last year, the new storybook demonstrates the positive values of Disney Princess characters, whether that’s Jasmine seeing the good in others, Cinderella treating others with kindness, or Belle befriending the lonely.
Three quarters (75 per cent) of UK parents agree that Disney Princess characters are positive role models for children, and according to UK children, treating others with kindness is the most important way to behave (62 per cent), followed by being a good friend (61 per cent) and being caring (57 per cent).
As well as being available online for families, the storybook will also be available in select schools across the UK as part of Into Film and Disney’s Ultimate Princess Celebration: Kindness Quest learning resource that aims to promote kindness and bravery.
“Teaching children the importance of qualities like kindness and courage from a very young age is as important as teaching them maths, science or sport,” says child psychologist Laverne Antrobus.
“Generations have grown up learning important values and the principles of kindness from watching their favourite characters on TV, at the cinema or reading their favourite books. Characters such as Disney Princess and Queens help kids understand these important life skills early on. It’s also important to see that doing good things for other people is good for our own wellbeing, as it releases endorphins and boosts our serotonin to make us happier.”
Tasia Filippatos at Disney said: “Disney stories are timeless, and while each Disney Princess character has her own admirable qualities, courage and kindness connect them all. We know that one small act of kindness can have a big impact on others and we hope Tales of Courage and Kindness helps to inspire kids to play their part in making the world a kinder place.”
Katie Piper (pictured) said: “Disney’s new story collection features tales steeped in the power of kindness and the importance of having courage. It’s brilliant to see Disney gifting little ones with such a positive message. Both are key qualities which I do my best to demonstrate to my daughters every day – I think it’s every parent’s hope that their children thrive in a world filled with kindness.”
Millie Mackintosh said: “I have a soft spot for Disney stories, especially Cinderella; her messages of kindness are as important today as when her story was first told. The Tales of Courage and Kindness story collection is a beautiful inspirational tool for parents, and I’m looking forward to sharing my love of Disney Princess stories with my daughter.”
You can find out more about Disney’s Tales of Courage and Kindness, read the stories and see the dedication to Izzy in Mulan’s story here.