A Is For "Ariel"

WSJ: Chinese Learn English The Disney Way.
Disney English appears to be a hit with members of China's burgeoning middle class. After a recent Monday-evening class, 5-year-old Zang Siqi rushes toward her mother, eager to show off a white rocket she has made out of paper, a Snow White sticker in its nose cone.

The girl's mother, Li Ruchen, says she enrolled her daughter in twice-a-week Disney English classes for roughly $1,000 a year because she wants the girl to be "international" and Disney is a "familiar and trustworthy brand."

In the family's sport-utility vehicle on the way home, a Disney English CD plays over the sound system. Arriving at the family's 30th-floor apartment, young QiQi, as she is called by her parents, eagerly directs a visitor toward a notable decoration: a tiny Cinderella sticker on a glass cabinet in the dining room. Next to the girl's Disney English backpack, her mother sets down instruction books from the school featuring the Buzz Lightyear character from "Toy Story" on the cover, including one titled, "Whose Toy Is This?"

Soon, QiQi and her parents are gathered around a dining table -- her colorings of Ariel the Little Mermaid displayed underneath a plate of glass -- and gripping yellow Disney English playing cards.

It's a comfort to know when the Chinese take over we'll always have The Lion King.