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Disney Isn't "Brave" Enough To Leave Princess Merida As Is
May 10, 2013 1:17 PM   Subscribe

Merida, Pixar's "Brave's" red-headed heroine will be crowned Disney's 11th princess on May 11. And just in time for her royal coronation, she has been given a "Victoria's Secret" makeover. This makeover has caused some outrage in the blogosphere, and has even inspired a change.org petition launched by A Mighty Girl, a girl's empowerment website.
posted by SkylitDrawl (142 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Apparently adults who watch cartoons have a different idea of what a "Victoria's Secret" makeover for a cartoon character entails.
posted by resurrexit at 1:21 PM on May 10, 2013 [12 favorites]


What a disappointment to turn the tom-boy Merida into a generic pretty-girl. She deserves more.
posted by stoneweaver at 1:22 PM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Pretty sad. It's highly stylized and idealized which is fine for art but not so fine for what kids look at while they're figuring out how the world works and what human beings generally look like.
posted by bleep at 1:22 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Which is not to say that there are no human beings that look like this, but that for a product aimed at kids, it's not great that bared skin and tiny waists are all they see. The original Merida was a small step in the right direction.
posted by bleep at 1:24 PM on May 10, 2013


What the hell, a Scot as a Disney Princess?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:27 PM on May 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


fwiw, a lot of the princesses have been getting makeovers (this tumblr post I just found has before and after lineups) and updated costumes that are generally not for the better, but I've understood the new designs to be for use in some contexts, not a total redesign of the characters across all venues.

but it still sucks.
posted by frijole at 1:28 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Everyone realizes that what we're talking about is taking a 3D rendered character and making a 2D illustration, right? And that when you do that, there have to be adjustments? OK? Good.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:28 PM on May 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


I can't quite remember--didn't she loathe, and possibly destroy, a movement-restricting dress just like that one?
posted by darksasami at 1:29 PM on May 10, 2013 [22 favorites]


Merida, the character in the movie, would have shot an arrow in the face of anyone who tried to make her look like this. Indeed, she turned her mother into a bear because the mom tried to force a "princess" identity on her. Disney, being a monster bear already, apparently doesn't feel a need to fear her wrath
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:29 PM on May 10, 2013 [18 favorites]


Everyone realizes that what we're talking about is taking a 3D rendered character and making a 2D illustration, right?

Great, the 2D apologists are here.

I can't quite remember--didn't she loathe, and possibly destroy, a movement-restricting dress just like that one?

No, she ripped off a more formal gown, that had a corset.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:30 PM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


I guess they didn't have to do the offshoulder blouse, but I don't see much else that's that different.
posted by sweetkid at 1:31 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


You mean, Brave isn't Pixar's fuck-you to Disney's industrial princess complex?
posted by bonehead at 1:32 PM on May 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


Everyone realizes that what we're talking about is taking a 3D rendered character and making a 2D illustration, right? And that when you do that, there have to be adjustments

That's totally not what has taken place here. Re-rendering this character with a smaller waist, larger breasts, smoother hair, exposed shoulders and an older overall look was an overt policy or strategy decision not a by-product of the process.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:33 PM on May 10, 2013 [48 favorites]


Everyone realizes that what we're talking about is taking a 3D rendered character and making a 2D illustration, right? And that when you do that, there have to be adjustments? OK? Good.

Yes. For example, in 3D, I'm a slightly-overweight middle-aged dude in a button-down shirt, whereas the 2D illustrations of me all show me with washboard abs and a cut-off 1970s football jersey.
posted by The World Famous at 1:34 PM on May 10, 2013 [111 favorites]


I've seen a lot of 2D drawn art of 3D characters and I'm pretty sure that 2D as a medium doesn't require removing several inches of waistline.
posted by NoraReed at 1:34 PM on May 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


I've seen a lot of 2D drawn art of 3D characters and I'm pretty sure that 2D as a medium doesn't require removing several inches of waistline.

Come on. Everybody knows it's impossible not to show bare shoulders in a 2D illustration and that no illustrator on the planet is capable of drawing a bow and arrow in 2D.
posted by The World Famous at 1:36 PM on May 10, 2013 [18 favorites]


Everyone realizes that what we're talking about is taking a 3D rendered character and making a 2D illustration, right? And that when you do that, there have to be adjustments? OK? Good.

You know, the unfortunate thing about playing stupid is that people are generally happy to take you at your word on it.
posted by invitapriore at 1:37 PM on May 10, 2013 [30 favorites]


A true Victoria's Secret makeover would turn her into Jessica Rabbit.
posted by roger ackroyd at 1:38 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


You know the old saying, every dimension adds 10 pounds.
posted by kmz at 1:38 PM on May 10, 2013 [15 favorites]


Re-rendering this character with a smaller waist, larger breasts, smoother hair, exposed shoulders and an older overall look was an overt policy or strategy decision not a by-product of the process.

It should be pointed out that this character is also distinctly younger looking than any other Disney princess and rebels against having to grow up and get married because she (and her suitors) aren't ready. It's a major plot point.
posted by Gygesringtone at 1:39 PM on May 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


I guess they didn't have to do the offshoulder blouse, but I don't see much else that's that different.

Wait until you see what they have planned for the swimsuit competition!
posted by bonehead at 1:39 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cool Papa Bell is right -- I saw Brave in 3D with my daughter (she did not like the bear), and then again in 2D with my stepsons. In 2D, Merida was way shorter and more abrasive, but at least the bear was friendlier--

Wait. That might have been Wreck-It Ralph that I took the boys to.
posted by Etrigan at 1:41 PM on May 10, 2013 [17 favorites]


A true Victoria's Secret makeover would turn her into Jessica Rabbit.

I'm not really Scottish, I'm just drawn that way.
posted by The Riker Who Mounts the World at 1:42 PM on May 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


How soon before they do this to Leia?
posted by shakespeherian at 1:44 PM on May 10, 2013


Pro parenting tip: If you want your little girl to grow up with a healthy sense of self, you don't let her watch Disney heroine films. There are plenty of other places for her to be taught that the right man is her key to salvation.

Personally, I'd pretty much let my four-year-old watch "I Spit on your Grave" before "The Little Mermaid."
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:44 PM on May 10, 2013 [12 favorites]


Come now, we've all seen that there are advanced drawing techniques for rendering 3D effects in a 2D medium. Clearly, the Disney artist who redesigned Merida just doesn't know how to draw really good.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:44 PM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Personally, I'd pretty much let my four-year-old watch "I Spit on your Grave" before "The Little Mermaid."

The Little Mermaid is definitely the worst of the bunch.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:46 PM on May 10, 2013


How soon before they do this to Leia?

How long will it be before 1977?
posted by The World Famous at 1:47 PM on May 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


There are plenty of other places for her to be taught that the right man is her key to salvation.

But flippin' your fins, you don't get too far. Legs are required for jumpin', dancin'...
posted by sweetkid at 1:47 PM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


There are plenty of other places for her to be taught that the right man is her key to salvation.

Yo the 50 Shades thread is bleeding into this one...
posted by Mister_A at 1:48 PM on May 10, 2013


Pro parenting tip: If you want your little girl to grow up with a healthy sense of self, you don't let her watch Disney heroine films. There are plenty of other places for her to be taught that the right man is her key to salvation.

That's the thing, this actually was an honest to god heroine film. All the action, everything, centered around her. There was no prince, she wasn't proving "I'm just as good as the boys," nothing. She screws up, she fixes it. She's the only one with agency in the whole movie. Everyone else has things happen to them, but she goes out and does things.

It's great.
posted by Gygesringtone at 1:49 PM on May 10, 2013 [43 favorites]


I saw The Little Mermaid as a kid and didn't think I "needed a man." It's mostly HuffPo clickbait articles that tell me that.
posted by sweetkid at 1:49 PM on May 10, 2013 [10 favorites]


There's a picture going around facebook attached to this petition that has Jasmine reaching up to the sky and saying, "Guess what's bigger than my waist?! My neck! My hand!" And it's true, at least in that picture.
posted by small_ruminant at 1:50 PM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I saw The Little Mermaid as a kid and didn't think I "needed a man." It's mostly HuffPo clickbait articles that tell me that.

Sure but the whole plot of the film is that the Man Of Her Dreams loves her because she's pretty and nothing else whatsoever.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:52 PM on May 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


yeah no totally, I'm not supporting these films necessarily but I don't think the fact that little girls like them automatically means that they will grow up to be x or think y. People should allow or not allow their kids to see or not see whatever they see fit, but I don't think exposure to Little Mermaid is going to ruin a kid.
posted by sweetkid at 1:55 PM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


yeah no totally, I'm not supporting these films necessarily but I don't think the fact that little girls like them automatically means that they will grow up to be x or think y. People should allow or not allow their kids to see or not see whatever they see fit, but I don't think exposure to Little Mermaid is going to ruin a kid.


I don't think that the Princess movies "ruin" kids. The reason that I think this particular Disney Princess makeover is so interesting is because it runs completely contrary to the actual character of Merida.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 1:57 PM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't know, sweetkid. I played a lot of Super Mario Bros. as a kid and I grew up to be a turtle-fighting plumber retained on contract as a search and rescue expert by the British royal family.
posted by The World Famous at 1:58 PM on May 10, 2013 [18 favorites]


I don't think Disney Princess movies ruin kids, but I do think the marketing onslaught and all the cultural cruft that gets like 85% of preschool girls to say they want to grow up to be a princess is pretty troubling, especially when their idea of what constitutes princesshood is largely informed by the Disney films.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:59 PM on May 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


Pro parenting tip: If you want your little girl to grow up with a healthy sense of self, you don't let her watch Disney heroine films. There are plenty of other places for her to be taught that the right man is her key to salvation.

Yes, but....

My daughter watches Disney Princess films. She likes princesses. And she has a very healthy sense of self and her brother can attest to the fact that she's not passive. Much the opposite. He has the bruises to prove it.

I think part of my responsibility as a parent is talking with my kids about the lesson they are learning from books and stories, movies, television shows, etc. Countering negative messages and emphasizing good ones. And if you're very lucky, they'll have friends who will do that, too.

I mentioned this in another comment back in February:

A couple of months ago, my daughter was standing in a group of older girls. The subject of princesses came up, and someone asked her what she a princess should have:
My daughter: "A crown. A tiara."
Group: "Yes, very good. What else?"
My daughter: "A horse!"
Group: "Yes, okay. Right. What else?"
My daughter: "A magic wand!"
Group: *laughing* "Yay! What else?"
My daughter: "A prince!"
Group: "No WAY. You don't need a prince if you're a princess."

I would prefer it if Disney princess movies did a better job of empowering girls. But in the meantime, we can teach our kids that movies are just stories.
posted by zarq at 1:59 PM on May 10, 2013 [11 favorites]


And then, of course, there's Lady and the Tramp.
posted by The World Famous at 2:03 PM on May 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


This basically shows that while Pixar movies might technically be Disney movies, there is a completely different mindset going on there.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 2:10 PM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


My daughter watches Disney Princess films. She likes princesses. And she has a very healthy sense of self and her brother can attest to the fact that she's not passive. Much the opposite. He has the bruises to prove it.

I'm not doubting that. The sum of a person, even a child, is thousands of separate influences and experiences. Some kids are going to ignore the Disney message, some will ingest it thoroughly and assimilate it into themselves. The ones who take it to heart probably receive numerous other similar signals. But I'm not chancing it.

Ah, who am I kidding? I don't like the films because I see the company as a revolting cash grab designed to empty parents' pockets by manufacturing "need" in their children and want it to wither away. I don't really think the movies are more distasteful than anything else that's created by marketing team.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:12 PM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]



fwiw, a lot of the princesses have been getting makeovers (this tumblr post I just found has before and after lineups) and updated costumes that are generally not for the better


Is it just my/my computer or did every princess who was not already luminously white get her skin lightened a shade in the makeover? It really looks like that on my screen.
posted by Frowner at 2:14 PM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I saw The Little Mermaid as a kid and didn't think I "needed a man." It's mostly HuffPo clickbait articles that tell me that.

I also didn't really pay attention to the whole Prince storyline. I was 10 or 11 and I loved the movie and soundtrack; I mostly listened to the explorer-wish song "Part of that World" and the fish song ("Les Poissons! les poissons!") over and over again. But didn't Ariel battle Ursula and save the prince in the end? That's how I thought it ended. Either that, or something about angels and foam...

but yeah, the point is that I loved The Little Mermaid, and also loved books about girls becoming knights and other gender-role defying characters and it didn't hurt my feminism any bit. Maybe kids are better at separating stories from life than we think they are.

I wasn't too fond of Beauty and the Beast, but that was because Belle was a drip compared to Ariel and the whole movie was plagiarized from the great Robin McKinley novel.

I did love Brave, but not because the character design was revolutionary. Merida's hair might have been crazy (animator's dream-nightmare), but she was still a very typical pretty and very slim heroine. In fact, the new 2d design isn't really skinnier - her waist is the same, but the hips are wider. But what made the movie feminist wasn't the way the characters looked, but that it focused on the relationship of two women (mother and daughter) rather than their relationships with men, though it addressed those as well.
posted by jb at 2:15 PM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


there's Lady and the Tramp .

Middleman! Dub dub wouldn't take no guff from Tramp, dag diggity.
posted by kmz at 2:16 PM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't understand why people expect anything but this from Disney. Your petition protesting that ice cream is too cold is never going to accomplish anything. Ice cream is for people who don't care that it's cold. If you care, you should quit buying ice cream and eat something else.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 2:17 PM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Because the most recent princess had a less daft body type and more agency than any previous princesses, and things were looking up, and now they've been shoved back.

You can understand this by reading the words that the people have written above.
posted by ominous_paws at 2:20 PM on May 10, 2013 [14 favorites]


Disney has changed practices in the past in response to pressure. To some degree, characters like Merida are a change in response to pressure. Naturally, it's one step forward two steps back sometimes, but they'll be forced to stumble forwards along with all the rest of pop culture eventually.
posted by gilrain at 2:21 PM on May 10, 2013


Ice cream is for people who don't care that it's cold. If you care, you should quit buying ice cream and eat something else.

But the big ice cream company bought out the company that made our favorite pudding and then started freezing all the pudding. Can't we complain?
posted by The World Famous at 2:21 PM on May 10, 2013 [11 favorites]


I also didn't really pay attention to the whole Prince storyline. I was 10 or 11 and I loved the movie and soundtrack; I mostly listened to the explorer-wish song "Part of that World" and the fish song ("Les Poissons! les poissons!") over and over again. But didn't Ariel battle Ursula and save the prince in the end? That's how I thought it ended. Either that, or something about angels and foam...

Yeah, I saw it at about the same age and didn't pay much attention to the Prince either. We were into all the songs and all the crazy stuff Ursula did and the crab and stuff.

And yeah, I think Ariel battled Ursula and her father had been turned into a slug of some sort and couldn't help, and once she killed Ursula everything in the undersea world was restored.
posted by sweetkid at 2:23 PM on May 10, 2013


Can't we just compromise and get an animated Cosby clone to hand out pudding pops?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:23 PM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Pro parenting tip: If you want your little girl to grow up with a healthy sense of self, you don't let her watch Disney heroine films. There are plenty of other places for her to be taught that the right man is her key to salvation.

While this is generally true I'm not sure what it's doing in a thread about Brave?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:25 PM on May 10, 2013


Is it just my/my computer or did every princess who was not already luminously white get her skin lightened a shade in the makeover? It really looks like that on my screen.

This is not in your head, at all. That's a whole other tumblr post in and of itself, ugh.

I've talked to a couple people in meatspace about this. It's also something that shows up in some remasters of the old movies. check out posts comparing the VHS to the laserdisc to the dvd releases to the blu-ray. Sure they're "making the colors more accurate", but one of the end results of them being less saturated is usually... this.
posted by emptythought at 2:25 PM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


And yeah, I think Ariel battled Ursula and her father had been turned into a slug of some sort and couldn't help, and once she killed Ursula everything in the undersea world was restored.

Nope, Prince Eric stabs her with the prow of the ship. Ariel kinda watches with a distressed look on her face.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:30 PM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


But the big ice cream company bought out the company that made our favorite pudding and then started freezing all the pudding. Can't we complain?

Hmm. I guess if you support the non-screwed-up character design by going to see the movie, Disney gets the money anyway. I'm usually pretty good with tortuously-overextended metaphors, but I'm not sure how to translate that into ice cream and pudding.

We can all certainly complain, but gender stereotypes are Disney's bread and butter. They've been pooping out the same product for nearly a hundred years like Mickey Mouse dispensing soft ice cream from his butt, and they're not going to stop now. If everybody in America suddenly acquired the capacity to be deeply offended by it, I really think they would go out of business before they could successfully change what they do. Leopard; spots.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 2:32 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm split on the makeover. Much like the situation with Kari on Mythbusters, validating that girls can be pretty pretty princesses while still being intelligent and leading substantial lives is a worthwhile goal. On the other hand part of what makes Merida cool as a merely pretty princess is that she is someone that girls can directly relate to.

I think maybe it's an age thing. I want pretty pretty Merida for my younger nieces who idealize princesses and merely pretty Merida for my older nieces who need a good role model.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:32 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Everyone realizes that what we're talking about is taking a 3D rendered character and making a 2D illustration, right? And that when you do that, there have to be adjustments? OK? Good.

I'd cut it some slack for that and the general vagueries of art styles, but boy is that a bad picture of Merida: it doesn't get her hair at all, and that face is dead of all expression. It's just flat out bad.
posted by Artw at 2:32 PM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Heh.

My daughter: "Her hair looked better the other way."
posted by zarq at 2:33 PM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


The clothes and figures aren't even the worst part, it's the come-hither facial expressions. I mean, if I were in a club and some girl was shooting me looks like these I'd assume it was my lucky night.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:36 PM on May 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


Eh, aren't superheroes constantly being drawn in all sorts of ways and methods, especially as different mediums and creators each take their crack at them? A fictional character, especially one that's closer to a century old, rarely remains fixed and static.
posted by FJT at 2:38 PM on May 10, 2013


The World Famous: "But the big ice cream company bought out the company that made our favorite pudding and then started freezing all the pudding. Can't we complain?"

It should be noted: when Disney bought Pixar, they put John Lasseter of Pixar in charge of both Disney Animation and Pixar. An animated movie doesn't get made at either studio without his say so. I don't know if he was directly involved in this "makeover" decision, but characterizing it as the big bad corporation pushing around Pixar probably isn't accurate either.
posted by bluecore at 2:39 PM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm not entirely sure where it is this defined as a "makeover" rather than a random bit of art.
posted by Artw at 2:43 PM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


especially one that's closer to a century old

I'm pretty sure Merida is an original character created for Brave.
posted by kmz at 2:44 PM on May 10, 2013


Also, superhero comics are some of the worst offenders in terms of depictions of women in popular media outside of video games. Not really a sterling defense.
posted by kmz at 2:45 PM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Any chance that Disney simply focus-grouped the shit out of this character and discovered that the "prettier" version polled way better? (I seem to recall reading that Merida wasn't as popular as hoped, merchandising-wise)
posted by ShutterBun at 2:46 PM on May 10, 2013


They're not re-rendering the movies. They're rolling a character into some stupid group branded thing.

It's Muppet Babies, it didn't ruin Ralph to see him in a diaper, and it didn't detract from the real Ralph.

It's stupid, but it's blanket marketing and it'll have a shelf life of a couple of years. Until the next big "branding" opportunity for reusing assets gets dreamed up by focus groups at Disney. I'm reserving my font of righteous indignation for other things. (Disney does a LOT of stuff. It's possible to support the good (Phineas and Ferb) and ignore the bad (The live action tween stuff on whatever Disney channel's on my cable)
posted by DigDoug at 2:46 PM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Merida cannot shoot an arrow with that strapless dealie on, that's the thing. It would dig into her arms and impede her aim, or she'd have a nipple slip once she released the bow. Or both.

Merida wil, yes, wear a gown. By the end of Brave (spoiler), she has learned that some of what her Mom has been instilling in her makes sense; namely, that if you respect yourself and carry yourself in a way that shows you have agency and confidence, others will respond in kind. And, to a lesser extent, appearance features into that, because it affects how others perceive you.

So Merida will wear a gown when she feels it is appropriate, like when the men are squabbling, and she will not run around hamper scamper then, but proceed in a stately manner (which has the double whammy effect of making the squabblers feel ashamed for not acting more civilized themselves and ensuring they will actually listen to what she is has to say).

But the strapless gown is not a, "Pay attention, there are important issues to be addressed, and I have significant contributions to make to the discussion" gown. It's a, "Hey! I'm a cute girl who wants the attention of cute boys" gown. And it does not fit the character, at all.
posted by misha at 2:49 PM on May 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


They were going to try to do the same thing to Vanellope con Sxhweetz, but the Disney exec that asked her is missing now.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 2:55 PM on May 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Merida is an original character created for Brave.

That's still fictional.

Also, superhero comics are some of the worst offenders in terms of depictions of women in popular media outside of video games. Not really a sterling defense.

But I'm not using them as an example to follow in depicting women, just as how fictional characters are depicted in general. Hell, real life people change throughout their lives and show different aspects of themselves during the same day.

My point is there's no reason why both versions of Merida can't exist at the same time. And as more time goes on, there's going to be more versions of Merida.

Did people get in an uproar when Chip and Dale turned from two squirrels annoying Goofy or Donald Duck to a pair of private eyes dressed like Indy and Magnum PI?
posted by FJT at 2:56 PM on May 10, 2013


Another observation: it seems like most of the other princesses got "makeovers" for their royal treatment. Many of them spent a lot of time during their feature films dressed in shabby clothes with (ahem) mousy hair and "plain but pretty" looks. Then only at the end (or sometimes not until their post-film coronation) they get the extra fancy dress and the prom-night makeover.

Really nothing at all unusual going on, except for maybe the "girly" clothes and makeup being more out of character for Merida.
posted by ShutterBun at 2:58 PM on May 10, 2013


I don't like the films because I see the company as a revolting cash grab designed to empty parents' pockets by manufacturing "need" in their children and want it to wither away.

Revolting? I dunno. The whole reason the movie exists (hell, almost every movie exists) is to separate you from your cash. I give it up willingly in exchange for the entertainment it provides.

Furthermore, I find it a stretch to suggest that they're somehow able to brainwash kids into brainwashing their parents. First of all, impressionable as they are, it's kind of hard to sell kids on things they don't like. Second of all, impressionable as they are, it's even harder to sell parents on things they don't like.
posted by 2N2222 at 2:59 PM on May 10, 2013


I just want to use this opportunity to plug The Paper Bag Princess, which is an excellent story for princess-loving kids who also want agency and cleverness and the choice to tell the prince to shove off.
posted by NoraReed at 3:01 PM on May 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


Sorry, I can't get up in arms about this. I think she looks fine. As for the Jasmine picture, my outstretched hand IS wider than my waist. That's how some people are built.

Disney largely tells stories about fantasy. They do a TON of things to encourage girls to be strong (see the "I am a princess" campaign). Nobody is suggesting Merida is helpless or weak because her hair looks a little less frizzy.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:08 PM on May 10, 2013


My point is there's no reason why both versions of Merida can't exist at the same time. And as more time goes on, there's going to be more versions of Merida.

Indeed. It's still possible to see Belle in her "French countryside" apron frock at Disneyland during the day, then she puts on the gold ball gown at night. Ariel has 2 or 3 looks to choose from, as well as her "full mermaid" mode.
posted by ShutterBun at 3:11 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sorry, I can't get up in arms about this. I think she looks fine. As for the Jasmine picture, my outstretched hand IS wider than my waist. That's how some people are built.

Disney largely tells stories about fantasy. They do a TON of things to encourage girls to be strong (see the "I am a princess" campaign). Nobody is suggesting Merida is helpless or weak because her hair looks a little less frizzy.


Dear god in heaven.
posted by New England Cultist at 3:11 PM on May 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


I should have acknowledged that I am a Disney apologist, and am very involved in the runDisney endurance challenges, including the new 48.6 mile Dopey Challenge next winter. runDisney in particular is ALL about providing ways for women to challenge stereotypes, and their "princess" events (the Princess Half, Tinkerbell Half and Glass Slipper Challenge) fill up with tens of thousands before anything else.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:15 PM on May 10, 2013


my outstretched hand IS wider than my waist. That's how some people are built.

So I've been puzzling over this
posted by sweetkid at 3:16 PM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I should have acknowledged that I am a Disney apologist...

Um ok.
posted by New England Cultist at 3:16 PM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Bob: Here's your ice cream, Teddy.
Teddy: Bob, this is too cold. Can you just put it in the microwave for me?
Bob: I can't do that right now, Teddy.
Teddy: It's too cold.
posted by elsietheeel at 3:19 PM on May 10, 2013


I saw The Little Mermaid as a kid and didn't think I "needed a man." It's mostly HuffPo clickbait articles that tell me that.

See, I loved Disney movies growing up, and I don't think they brainwashed me into thinking I needed a man or whatever.

But...the thing is, while I liked watching them, and while I liked the songs and the dresses and the animal sidekicks...I didn't really like the princesses. They always felt like placeholders to me, for the most part, because the movie needed someone to be wearing the dresses and singing the songs. But how am I supposed to relate to a girl who leaves behind her whole family and life to try to marry a guy who she's literally never had a single conversation with?

I really liked Sleeping Beauty for years and years. You know why? Because there was a color-changing dress at the end, and I thought that was great. There was also a dragon, which I also liked. But I wanted to be the prince, who got to fight the dragon in a TOTALLY SWEET BATTLE, not Aurora, who (a) apparently couldn't manage to avoid the one thing that everyone had been trying to shield her from since early childhood and (b) spent the most interesting part of the movie asleep. She is the Anakin Skywalker of Disney princesses, I swear to God. (I did want her dress, though. Still do.) Even when they provided a vaguely familiar trait that I was supposed to latch on to (hey, Belle likes books! I like books! Let us completely ignore that for the rest of the movie outside of the introductory song!), it was always ignored in the service of the princess-story-template.

Except. There is one movie that was popular with my peer group well into late teenagerhood, and while part of that has to do with having the best singalong song1 in animated Disney movie history, I first fell in love with it because I could actually relate to the main female character for once.
1. YOU MUST BE SWIFT AS A COURSING RIVER

Mulan is awkward and genuinely doesn't fit in with the gendered expectations of her society. She puts her foot in her mouth and is bad at faking girliness even in controlled circumstances and even though she rejects those expectations2, she also is aware that it's disappointing and humiliating for her family, and is genuinely conflicted about that.
2. WITH ALL THE FORCE OF THE GREAT TYPHOON

She makes a choice that's both selfless and selfish (it saves her father from almost certain death, as well as allowing her to escape), and finds herself initially out of her depth, but adapts and overcomes3. She gets the guy at the end, sure, but it's not because he rescues her (as in Sleeping Beauty) or because she rescues him (as in Beauty and the Beast), but because they eventually come to respect each other as equals.
3. WITH ALL THE STRENGTH OF A RAGING FIRE

I'm pretty sure if I went back and watched Mulan now, I'd have at least a few moments of cringing, because of the (probably more prominent than I remember) orientalism4 and a few weird approaches to sexual politics. But it still stands as my favorite, because it's a Disney movie that features a female protagonist who triumphs despite not being, and never becoming, traditionally feminine. And I know that seems like a small thing, but it's not when you're seven years old and not pretty and not girly and not popular and not interested in becoming those things.
4. MYSTERIOUS AS THE DARK SIDE OF...THE MOOOOOOOOOON
posted by kagredon at 3:35 PM on May 10, 2013 [35 favorites]


I can't quite remember--didn't she loathe, and possibly destroy, a movement-restricting dress just like that one?

They drove a dump truck full of money to her house. She's not made of stone.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 3:40 PM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sure but the whole plot of the film is that the Man Of Her Dreams loves her because she's pretty and nothing else whatsoever.

No, the whole plot of the film is ~*CRABDANCE*~
posted by elizardbits at 3:45 PM on May 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


Comparisons to Chip and Dale seem really forced given that I don't remember growing up in a world where little boys were encouraged to identify - explicitly, overtly, and pretty much solely out of the entire line of available Disney characters - with Chip and Dale the way little girls are encouraged to wrap themselves up in the Disney Princess line. (This encouragement coming from a variety of sources, definitely spearheaded by Disney's marketing people but enforced on some level by many different aspects of society.) And taking two dudes and changing their shirts so they have lots of cool adventures, and then comparing that to taking some girls and prettying them up so they have lots of... pretty prettiness... well, that part of the comparison also seems forced to me.

(Note: there is nothing wrong with liking princesses or liking prettiness or wanting to be pretty. The problem is not with the existence of pretty pretty princesses in and of itself. The problem is with the ongoing pervasive cultural narrative/expectation that girls are supposed to always and possibly only like that stuff. Just making sure we're clear on this point)
posted by titus n. owl at 4:15 PM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


I wonder how long it will be before Brave II comes along, where she gets a handsome prince of her own.
posted by happyroach at 4:42 PM on May 10, 2013




Do I need to write an AskMe but seriously how can your hand be wider than your waist? I guess if I splay all my fingers out and hold it in the front it spans the front of my waist. But my waist isn't flat, it just doesn't go out at the sides as much as the front. Is that what you mean?
posted by sweetkid at 6:30 PM on May 10, 2013


Another observation: it seems like most of the other princesses got "makeovers" for their royal treatment. Many of them spent a lot of time during their feature films dressed in shabby clothes with (ahem) mousy hair and "plain but pretty" looks. Then only at the end (or sometimes not until their post-film coronation) they get the extra fancy dress and the prom-night makeover.

Well, except that the exact opposite thing happens in Brave. She decides, in a scene near the beginning of the movie, to she take control of her life. She goes from wearing proper formal princess attire and waiting for her future to win to ripping her dress and trying to decide her fate. It's a conscious choice that only considers what she wants, as opposed to her being made pretty for someone else.

The whole movie plays on all the usual princess tropes really well. That's why it's so awkward to watch her get shoehorned into the generic princess (but now for girls with red hair!) mold by the branding and toy section of Disney.
posted by Gygesringtone at 6:58 PM on May 10, 2013


Make that "waiting for her future husband to win."

That's what I get for trying to drink beer and talk Disney Princesses at the same time.
posted by Gygesringtone at 7:05 PM on May 10, 2013


Mulan looks like she faceplanted in a tub of flour

she's the same colour as Sleeping Beauty next to her

and girl what dynasty is your dress supposed to be from
posted by zennish at 7:24 PM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


and poor Pocahontas has a waist smaller than her head

ʘ‿ʘ
posted by zennish at 7:26 PM on May 10, 2013


, but because they eventually come to respect each other as equals.

It has also what is one of my favorite lines(in a great sequence) in the Disney canon.

*PLACES HAT ON HEAD*

*EXIT STAGE LEFT*
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:16 PM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


The thing that always galled me about the Princesses was the inevitable "I wish I had a normal life! Being rich is sooooooo oppressive! [Insert daddy issues here.]" To me, the desire for a heterosexual romantic pairing is the least problematic thing about them. Dead mothers! Controlling fathers! Parents throwing you out of the house because a witch cursed you! Indentured servitude! Stepmothers trying to kill you!

Yeah, the child/parent relationships in fairy tales, to me, are way more messed up than "Oh yeah, marry a dude." That message is everywhere in our culture, but the message that rich women have such *hard* lives is definitely a sanitized princess thing. (The actual fairy tales, while chock full of Freudian field days, don't really portray rich women who act put upon by their status to be particularly sympathetic.)

(Also, I loved Mulan. Also also, I could never watch Pocahontas because ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME. She didn't fall in love! She was kidnapped! Seriously are you messing with me am I the only one paying attention here hellloooooooooo.)
posted by sonika at 8:17 PM on May 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


Comparisons to Chip and Dale seem really forced given that I don't remember growing up in a world where little boys were encouraged to identify

I'm not disagreeing about the need for assertive female protagonists. What I'm saying is that it's a futile effort to try to enforce a single and pure interpretation of fictional characters. I don't see how this petition will succeed in a world where there's seven versions of the Ninja Turtles, eight actors that have portrayed James Bond, four generations of My Little Pony, and a post- and pre-prequel Star Wars trilogy fan base. It's better to expand the pie by accepting both versions and rooting for the one you feel is better, than trying to smite the other one before it's even out of the gate.
posted by FJT at 9:59 PM on May 10, 2013


Did people get in an uproar when Chip and Dale turned from two squirrels annoying Goofy or Donald Duck to a pair of private eyes dressed like Indy and Magnum PI?

No they didn't, and I think the reason why is that, at least as far as I know most people don't think that our culture has any issues with the way chipmunks are always portrayed a certain specific way in the media. Chip and Dale were not the first really well characterized, non-detective or Indiana Jones chipmunks (After a string of Disney chipmunks whose only great virtue was their nice detective hats), who suddenly got all Indiana Jonesed up and left behind their interesting and social progressive characterization of duck bothering, in order to go on another boring old mystery like every Disney chipmunk before them. .

The issue have is not that the character is being changed from one thing, into another different thing.

The issue is that the character is being changed from one specific thing, into another very specific thing.
posted by St. Sorryass at 10:17 PM on May 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


The issue is that the character is being changed from one specific thing, into another very specific thing.

But in the end, the result is two separate things. You can choose to accept both, either one, or even neither (and come up with your own interpretation).

I just find it really odd. The way some people are acting it's like telling a very conservative religious person that there might be other gods out there...
posted by FJT at 10:29 PM on May 10, 2013


I don't know i guess for me there are is more than one issue with this sort of thing..
The first what I think you are talking about, is our enjoyment of media and whether that is changed for us by the media surrounding and attached to it, and I think that is totally agree to disagree territory and that is fine. For me I will never be able to read the Lord of The Rings again without peter Jackson's version getting in there somewhere and changing how I read it.That is just how my brain works. I know this is not how everyone will experience it, and that is fine.

That to me seems to be what you are arguing with, and that is a point I will completely concede. I am just going to not watch the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy movie and keep the books untouched in my head. I am an adult and I can filter my own media.

And I think that that is a part of why things like this feel problematic, this is aimed at kids, and this is not a reboot, and is not meant as a reboot, this is the tie in, the continuation of a character.
Kids are not supposed to find this Merida as a separate piece of art to be appreciated all on it's own. This is marketed to kids who already love the movie, and already love the character and are just consuming whatever you put in front of them. I think most kids are not great at internally filtering their response to media. So the attributes of this version of the character really do get mapped over to the one they first identified with, and this a character who was an incredibly rare thing in children's movies, a female character with agency, outside the traditionally plot lines we are used to seeing, and someone whose character arc is pretty much literally based around a rejection (or at least coming t a healthy and wary balance with), the idea of being a "princess".

I don't know. I don't like the idea of the characters and stories that we love being a commodity, I relilize that it is the reality, but i don't like it.
posted by St. Sorryass at 11:13 PM on May 10, 2013


At least it's less egregious than the changes they made to Ursula for the cosmetics line last year.

She went from the Sea Witch who knew the importance of BODY LANGUAGE to a pedestrian lady with a white updo.
posted by rewil at 11:21 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


The way some people are acting it's like telling a very conservative religious person that there might be other gods out there...

I follow (though disagree) with the rest of what you're saying... this, however, has totally lost me?
posted by ominous_paws at 11:22 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sorry if that came out kind of lecturey and dickish, I try not to do that but I am treating my insomnia with bad Australian wine, and I can end up there.
posted by St. Sorryass at 11:22 PM on May 10, 2013


I follow (though disagree) with the rest of what you're saying... this, however, has totally lost me?

I sort of get this, I mean, the fact that John Krasinski never was quite as good as Martin Freeman does sort of feel like it lives in the same part of your brain as the fact that you are supposed to go go to church on Sunday, and not Saturday, and of course the elephant god is a better god then the bird god.
posted by St. Sorryass at 11:35 PM on May 10, 2013


Pretty sad. It's highly stylized and idealized which is fine for art but not so fine for what kids look at while they're figuring out how the world works and what human beings generally look like.
If kids what to know what other people look like, they can just look at the people around them.

Also Beauty and the Beast is even more problematic then Little Mermaid.
posted by delmoi at 2:35 AM on May 11, 2013


Eh, aren't superheroes constantly being drawn in all sorts of ways and methods, especially as different mediums and creators each take their crack at them?

Psylocke even has clothes now!

6 Sublime Superheroine Redesigns
posted by Artw at 6:34 AM on May 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


6 Sublime Superheroine Redesigns

"1 Sublime Superheroine Redesign and 5 Realizations That Women Can Wear Pants."
posted by Etrigan at 7:00 AM on May 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


That superhero redesign article was great but I stupidly read them comments. There's some prime comic book guy mansplaining nonsense going on in there.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:10 AM on May 11, 2013




You know, I don't really have much objection to Ariel. The movie makes it very clear that she wanted to be a human from the getgo--they have such neat stuff!--and Eric is just the final impetus to push her into going so far as to see Ursula about it. Eric is a genuinely nice dude and probably the most "normal" (to me, anyway) of Disney princes. (Followed by Eugene Fitzherbert, though he's not a prince until the end.) And god knows Disney has it down for showing that a creature with no voice can still have a personality and get across what they want to say, so I don't think he's just interested in her for pretty.

But this Merida outfit...yeah, the no-shoulders look is (a) highly unlikely for the time period and clothing, and (b) once again, would make her not so good at shooting arrows. And we all know how she'd feel about that. Mostly the Victoria's Secret just makes her look like she aged a few years and really hit puberty.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:28 AM on May 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Has anyone read the source material on Little Mermaid? That shit is INSANE.
posted by Artw at 9:33 AM on May 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


I just want to say I'm amused and proud of all the (mostly) women who came out in support
of Ariel/Little Mermaid in this thread after it was initially labeled the "worst."

Yeah we were all little girls once and loved that crab and Ursula's "body language" and the strangely empowering message of "Bright young women, sick of swimming, ready to staaaaand"
posted by sweetkid at 10:08 AM on May 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ariel at least seems to have a personality and needs and describes above and beyond "being nice" - try detecting that in Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella...

(the later there being another one with a horendous source story. Oh the maimings!)
posted by Artw at 10:37 AM on May 11, 2013


The maimings are the best bit.

But then again, my favorite Grimm tale is "The Goosegirl", complete with horse decapitation and very bloody execution (being rolled in a barrel with nails sticking in). I also loved "Sapsorrow" when it was on The Storyteller - incest, becoming a beast, and more maimings at the end?

Fairy tales were never pretty, and shouldn't be.
posted by jb at 12:21 PM on May 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


Sapsorrow

AKA Thousand-furs AKA the most fucked up version of Cinderella you will ever encounter.
posted by Artw at 12:38 PM on May 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also a variant of "Donkeyskin", the basis of Robin McKinley's Deerskin. I didn't know for sure whether it was one of the tales collected by the Grimm brothers, as it wasn't in the collection I had as a kid. But I did have all sorts of other stories, in forms close to the original Grimm versions, and full of heels and toes being sliced off and other fun stuff.
posted by jb at 1:36 PM on May 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's all the mailings, and then there's all the harsh dynastic stuff and borderline infanticide when a new mother is on the scene which is often met with a good big of counter-murder by magical means.

That's actually one thing that's nice in Brave: a good mother. That's rare in the Disney canon, step or otherwise.
posted by Artw at 2:00 PM on May 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm not incensed about a cartoon character, to be clear, and I had no problem exposing my own kids to all kinds of stuff. I just recognize how ridiculous this particular makeover is, given the character of Merida.

If my kids were still little, we'd just have some good discussions about the makeover and how stupid it is, since it's such an obvious ploy to monetize the character by appealing to a bigger audience than just young, tomboyish girls.

Disney looks bad here, because it is so transparently catering to the lowest common denominator. But writing petitions and all that seem a bit ridiculous to me, too, and possibly self-indulgent. The vehemently protesting parents are just making it easier on Disney; they are garnering more publicity for the Merida makeover by making the fuss. Maybe they'd do better to stop worrying so much about 'protecting the children', and actually, you know, parent their kids, using this crappy makeover as a starting point for some good discussions.

Seriously, This makes for a great teachable moment on how companies try to get you to spend your money on things you don't need. They make shiny 'new' versions of things so that now you feel like you have to trash your old one (Apple has this down to a science), they target certain age groups and demographics (Disney princesses, camp rock), etc.

It's also a good starting point to discuss how kids are constantly getting conflicting messages on sexuality and growing up, especially girls.

So, yeah, I think the makeover is stupid, but it is not the end of the world or anything.
posted by misha at 2:54 PM on May 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


My own six year old daughter loves, loves, LOVES Brave, and loves Merida, whom she strongly resembles in temperament. I showed her the two pictures side by side, and asked who they were; she said "This one is Merida, and this one is a picture of Merida." I asked her which she liked better, and she said "The real Merida, because she has a bow and arrow and she fights and that's her real dress and her real hair." I told her that they were thinking of changing Merida to look like the picture, and she said "If they change Merida, I am going to be VERY CROSS. Very cross INDEED."

So there you go, word from the target market. Don't fuck it up.
posted by KathrynT at 7:11 PM on May 11, 2013 [13 favorites]


Your daughter sounds awesome, KathrynT.
posted by invitapriore at 7:13 PM on May 11, 2013 [6 favorites]


What I don't get -- like, in a fundamentally Seriously, Disney, what the ever-loving FUCK kind of way -- is that, with a dozen-plus Princesses, why don't they intentionally make them more diverse? Not just in a vaguely-ethnic kind of way, either, but with one who's not wasp-waisted and perky-breasted and big-eyed, because then you get all the money from those girls too.
posted by Etrigan at 7:24 PM on May 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


she said "If they change Merida, I am going to be VERY CROSS. Very cross INDEED."

that is adorable. And yes, awesome.
posted by sweetkid at 7:42 PM on May 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


That's a hell of a Michael Caine impression, even for a six year old girl.
posted by The World Famous at 9:23 PM on May 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


resurrexit: Apparently adults who watch cartoons have a different idea of what a "Victoria's Secret" makeover for a cartoon character entails.
Um, I'm pretty clear on what they did: plump up her boobs, pretty up her face, sexy up her dress... A "Victoria's Secret" makeover is a fairly accurate description.

What does it mean to you instead?
posted by IAmBroom at 7:06 AM on May 12, 2013


misha:
So, yeah, I think the makeover is stupid, but it is not the end of the world or anything. [quote]
No, not the end of the world, but neither is anything else short of nuclear catastrophe. What it is is the reduction of an important role model for prepubescent girls to a sexuallized, dis-empowered image.

"This is what you should hope to be, little girl: big-boobed and pretty. Not powerful. Certainly not skilled at active hobbies."

I think it's a continuation of the horrible, horrible messages our society (and many others, to be fair) implant in girls' heads. And that's unforgivable.

--

This ties directly into one of my strongest tenets about equality: it has to start at the beginning.

Fuck hiring quotas and diversity programs at colleges. You want people to have a chance at succeeding regardless of their race? Provide good kindergardens, primary schools, elementary schools, and high schools for all children, regardless of race (and probably in that order of importance).

Screw sexual harrassment training tapes and workplace policies. Teach children to respect themselves, and the other gender, and continue teaching it throughout puberty - because those goddamned hormones erase so much common sense as they bulldoze through the brain and body.

You want a society free of hatred of homosexuals? Easy. Don't demonize them to children. Done in one generation.

--

If the unifying feature of role models for little girls is breast size, little girls have little hope of becoming great women. Some Marie Curies and Grace Hopper will sneak through, but Bella Abzug's and Cady Stanton's work would have been unnecessary if only prepubescent girls had been encouraged to think flying a rocket ship and fighting bad guys was far more important than their looks, as prepubescent boys were.

Fortunately, my country and many others have made big improvements... but we still really don't seem to collectively get how fucked up our messages to children are.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:23 AM on May 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sing Or Swim: I don't understand why people expect anything but this from Disney. Your petition protesting that ice cream is too cold is never going to accomplish anything. Ice cream is for people who don't care that it's cold. If you care, you should quit buying ice cream and eat something else.

I don't understand why people expect anything but this from Alabama. Your petition protesting that segregation is wrong is never going to accomplish anything. Segregation is for people who don't care that racism is wrong. If you care, you should quit living in Alabama and live somewhere else.


Because children have about as much hope of not being immersed in Disney's messages as poor sharecroppers had of moving their children out of the Deep South.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:41 AM on May 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


Because children have about as much hope of not being immersed in Disney's messages as poor sharecroppers had of moving their children out of the Deep South.

I suspect you meant this sarcastically -- but yes, this is a good comparison. If you let your child watch television, go to school, or have friends, they will be immersed in Disney Messaging.
posted by KathrynT at 6:15 PM on May 12, 2013 [1 favorite]




Not a bit sarcastically, KathrynT - not the part you quoted, at least. Unless you homeschool your children in a rustic cabin that would have appealed to Ted Kaczynski, your children will be soaked in Disney (, Hasbro, Monsanto, etc.) advertising nearly daily.
posted by IAmBroom at 2:02 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hey, My Little Pony fans, get a load of this.
posted by Artw at 7:00 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hey, My Little Pony fans, get a load of this.

Hasbro is just fucking with 4chan now.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 12:34 AM on May 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hey, My Little Pony fans, get a load of this.
"Our goal is to stay true to who those characters are," said Meghan McCarthy, the head writer for the movie.
Right because both boys and the aspiration to be a princess are totally MLP canon. KILL IT WITH FIRE.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:42 AM on May 14, 2013


Artw: "Hey, My Little Pony fans, get a load of this."

Shouldn't that have been published on April 1st...
posted by the_artificer at 8:21 AM on May 14, 2013


you know, after watching the trailer, the whole ponies as humanoids actually makes sense and it looks like it could work...
posted by jb at 1:23 PM on May 15, 2013




Princess Makeover
posted by homunculus at 11:06 PM on May 15, 2013


Disney Pulls Back Merida Makeover

The more I think about it, the more certain I am that everyone just got trolled. One artist did a "Merida going to prom" sketch as a joke, and some PR guy had a bright idea to get people talking about a movie that came out on DVD six months ago.
posted by Etrigan at 4:22 AM on May 16, 2013


I signed the petition, and when they rolled it back, I told my daughter that they had changed their minds. She interpreted that as "Mom told Disney I would be cross if they changed Merida, so they decided not to."
posted by KathrynT at 9:05 AM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


She interpreted that as "Mom told Disney I would be cross if they changed Merida, so they decided not to."

ADORABLE.
posted by sweetkid at 9:06 AM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


She interpreted that as "Mom told Disney I would be cross if they changed Merida, so they decided not to."

You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!
posted by The World Famous at 10:41 AM on May 16, 2013


Disney's sexier, skinnier Merida to stay, despite protests
The revised image was never featured on Disney's princess website, but could be found on Target's website, in addition to a specific site inviting mom bloggers to the coronation at Walt Disney World this past weekend.
posted by the_artificer at 9:30 PM on May 16, 2013


Guess Which Disney Princess This Is
posted by Artw at 6:54 PM on May 19, 2013


Guess Which Disney Princess This Is

I saw that, and was wondering if it's just a bit of the toy makers being lazy by reusing existing models and changing the colors.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:12 AM on May 20, 2013


It certainly is a very crappy looking toy. The crappy toy at the center of this whole thing?

BTW, there used to be other Merida dolls available that looked vaguely like Merida, now I'm only seeing that look, so maybe there's something to fears of classic look Merida being overwritten?
posted by Artw at 2:35 PM on May 20, 2013


you can still get this doll at the Disney store. However, Target has this one for sale, which makes me cross.
posted by KathrynT at 3:51 PM on May 20, 2013




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