Bare-bones information from The Laughing Place, a pretty good Disney fansite.
Here are my two cents, which are really more like a buck fifty:It is ABSURDLY unfair that so much has to be riding on this one film.
If Disney sees this film flop, they will assume that hand-drawn animation is dead. And remember that Disney has an incredibly f***ed-up definition of what a "flop" is. (For Disney, "Flop" = "Didn't make as much money as 'The Lion King' and only had the kind of popularity a lot of animators would probably give their eyeteeth to see"*) This, and I am just saying this because I don't know if anyone has pointed this out yet, is an incredibly stupid assumption. People do not love or hate a movie because of the format it was made in. Actually, you know what kind of people won't watch movies just because they're in a certain format (color vs. black and white, animation vs. live-action, CGI vs. hand-drawn)? Five-year-olds**. Are we five years old?
There's already a vocal backlash against the film, which baffles me, as no previous hand-drawn Disney feature has had to deal with this. In some ways, I feel Internet hype has ruined the movie-going experience. If you didn't subscribe to The Disney Channel in 1989, you didn't know anything about "The Little Mermaid" until you saw a commercial (and Disney Channel brats only got vague making-of specials and magazine features).
The whole situation is so ridiculous that I can't justify saying anything about "Princess" until I see it for myself. I don't know if I can convince anyone to go with me (I have this thing against seeing movies alone). The few commercials I have seen do not exactly inspire confidence - but then again, neither did the commercials for "Little Mermaid". Take a look:
Really, it's crazy that we live in a world where a Disney Princess Movie isn't a sure thing.
* - By the way, I've seen lots and lots of ads for "Ice Age 3:
** - Well, five-year-olds and Calculon. (Reads script) "No, no, I don't like the font."
Bonus: A weird McDonalds/"Little Mermaid" commercial from twenty years ago:
By the way, McDonalds has apparently conquered the bottom of the ocean.