LOS ANGELES - David Beckham plays a prince in a new Disney campaign - his first showpiece endorsement since announcing his move to Los Angeles.
Beckham was among the celebrities photographed in roles of Disney movie characters last month for a "Year of a Million Dreams" promotion for Walt Disney Co. theme parks.
The international soccer star, marketing giant and fashion icon was photographed as the prince from "Sleeping Beauty," astride a white horse and fighting a fire-breathing dragon.
"There were many Disney characters I liked as a kid," Beckham said in a statement released by Disney. "Now my sons love the Disney characters and it's a big part of their lives, a big part of many children's lives around the world. So to be part of that is an honor and very exciting."
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The photo, shot at a lake near Madrid, Spain, by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz, will appear in magazines such as Vanity Fair and Vogue in March.
The 31-year-old midfielder with Real Madrid signed a recent five-year deal with Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy. He will join the club this summer.
His wife, former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, has been spotted house-hunting in Southern California.
Other photos for the Disney campaign feature Beyonce Knowles as Alice in Wonderland and Scarlett Johansson as Cinderella.
Leibovitz wanted people who were "globally iconic," and Beckham was "an instinctive choice," Disney spokesman Duncan Wardle said from Orlando, Fla.
The celebrities helped decide which characters they would portray, and Beckham liked the idea of "a hero role," Wardle said.
"Each of the celebrities had fun dressing up," he said. "Disney allows you to become a child again. ... These guys had permission for the day and I think they thoroughly enjoyed it."
The Associated Press