Sorry if this was posted elsewhere. Apparently Disney has redesigned Merida before they ‘officially’ make her a Disney princess. I guess this has sparked controversy over making Merida a much more girly, stereotypical looking princess than her character really is. I cant say I’m “outraged” by this but I will say I dont see why a redesign was necessary.
I heard about this, and I signed the petition. Merida’s redesign isn’t as bad as those for some of the other princesses, but it’s coming after Disney recently redesigned all of the princesses. They Photoshopped the princesses into figures with tiny waists that are drowning in sparkles. All of them are much skinnier in the waist, arms, etc. than their character models. I don’t think they present very good role models for girls. Disney seems to think that they’ll sell more merch if they add more sparkles and poofier dresses. I don’t know about anyone else, but the size of a princess’ waist did not affect how much I wanted an Ariel shirt when I was a kid.
People are particularly upset about the Mulan and Pocahontas changes, which make their faces slimmer and make their skin look whiter than it ought to be.
So the Merida change is coming after these controversial redesigns for the other princesses, which may explain some of the intense backlash. It might be the final straw for a lot of people who were upset about the other ones. Anyway, Brenda Chapman finally reacted to the change. There’s a nice article here with her comments on it: marinij.com/millvalley/ci_23 … s-makeover
I was waiting to see what she’d say, and I wasn’t disappointed
Personally, I have no complaints on Merida’s new look. While they added a bit of sparkle, it didn’t seem like they over-girlified her dress too much. Of course, maybe that’s just because I love sparkles… It has a nice storybook look to it, and I think it works for her! I honestly wasn’t expecting her to be considered a Disney Princess, but I’m quite proud of Disney for including a Pixar Princess in the lineup!
^ Same here. I thought that she didn’t look that different, and being a CGI princess, there may be some differences like Rapunzel (and possibly Ana next year?). I asked my mom too, and she thought there was nothing wrong with it and there probably didn’t need to be so much disappointment over this “re”-design.
Thanks for agreeing with me, LQ. OK, so I just read Brenda Chapman’s response, and it was biting. I mean, I love her and what she did on Brave and all and I hate to disagree with a Pixarian, but her accusing Disney of being sexist and moneygrubbing is not cool. I honestly think we’re all looking into this too deeply! A little extra girliness isn’t giving girls the wrong message, I don’t think. I’m kinda saddened that Disney’s getting this flack all of a sudden. So yeah, not that I don’t care about girls growing up in today’s culture, but I will not sign the petition. This was the first pic I’d seen of her redo, and I think it looked quite awesome, in my opinion.
I signed the petition, not because they made her more feminine. Because they changed her design at all. She, Rapunzel, and all the others should appear exactly as in the films. I respect Brenda, because Merida was originally based on her daughter. I’d be sensitive too. Just my thoughts.
You’re welcome, OWP. I have got to say, the re-design still does not bother me, and I’m not sure why. Maybe because I understand that the drawing is not truly Merida, it is a representation of here. CG Merida is the true representation of her. So I kind of figure some changes may occur with a 2D drawing. I would assume complaints would arise if princesses prior to Rapunzel were criticized for looking too adult or too implying or something.
Okay, so regarding Brenda Chapman: I was disappointed. I thought, honestly? At first, I understood what she meant by the intentions of Merida based on her daughter. That I get, that is fine. This is where disagreed:
“They have been handed an opportunity on a silver platter to give their consumers something of more substance and quality — THAT WILL STILL SELL — and they have a total disregard for it in the name of their narrow minded view of what will make money. I forget that Disney’s goal is to make money without concern for integrity. Silly me.” - Brenda Chapman.
I would feel insulted if I worked at Pixar, and I’d feel bad because I wouldn’t understand where I went wrong, and dying to know why. Being me, I may have tried to draw an image of her as exact as I could to CG Merida, but otherwise I would felt somewhat smacked on the cheek. I respect that she disagrees with the design, but I don’t appreciate the resentment towards Disney she stated.
That’s true. You’re right, sorry, I sometimes forget to distinguish the many Disney’s. I guess I just thought that since she just said “Disney”. I guess the re-design could bother me more, I almost wish it did so I understood the other point-of-view better. I do kind of agree on you about why she and Rapunzel can’t just be CG renderings, Virginia. The reason they’re not hand-drawn is because the subject matter suits them better.
I’m still not really bothered. I guess I’m just trying to stay out of confrontations, even if they are somewhat relevant like this one.
I’ve really thought that the DPrincess variant of her wasn’t too far off from the real thing. But what truly bothers me is that people think that Merida in this design automatically makes her a poor example to young girls. I honestly think that people who have way too much time on their hands seem to go after Disney. Examples: “Oh, you made Princess Sofia a white Latino! What a scandal! You could’ve made her a full Latino but you didn’t 'cause you don’t respect Latinos enough!” “You made Tiana African-American! Just to make us African-Americans not feel left out!” No, there’s nothing I’ve seen that makes me think Disney would do that. Man, I really feel bad for Disney. After all, the reason we love the Princesses is because they are strong, caring, kind, and loving, not because they happen to “perfect-looking” or whatever. Forgive me… I’m willing to argue my point 'til the cows come home on this one.
I think that’s good. If people are allowed to say why they don’t like the design, you have just as much as a right to say it’s not such a big deal. There were times here where I sometimes sided with those who didn’t approve of something, mostly because I thought I was supposed to. I realized, though, that I don’t need to do that and I’m free to like the things that I like. I feel more positive about it too, so I will also speak up when I think something Disney-related is not bad, that’s what fans are for. Heh, fans.
Just as long as we’re not bugging other people, but I don’t feel like you’ve been bugging anyone. If anyone has been a bugger, it’s me, although I’m aware of always trying to have a respectful opinion. I think I’ve been okay on that, I hope.
I can see where some of you are coming from about not liking the design though. I’m still not upset at all, but I think I do understand the annoyance just a bit.
I don’t have any Feminist ideals in me. I don’t care that they made Merida pretty/sexy. To me it’s that they changed the princesses at all. Personally, I love the movies, not just pretty, sexy drawings of teenage characters(no me gusta). I love the movies, and in my eyes, that’s how the characters should be. I have no anger towards Disney(Actually, I defend them to no end on just about any issue, especially political/moral ones. I am not complaining at/about Disney, merely the art itself. But now on the DP website, they restored the CG movie Merida(YAY!!). Now if they would do Rapunzel and the others.
I am kind of like you in that way. I think these designs don’t bother me because it’s just like a if a young girl tried to draw a princess. She wouldn’t look exactly the same, but you’d know who the princess was. If it’s like in a TV special or a short and they look quite different though, then maybe I have more of a reason to like the design less. I guess I would like for them to look as exact as the original versions as possible, but I don’t feel disappointed with the re-designs somehow. I think I just expect there to be some changes, just so I’m not disappointed afterward.
Well, that’s nice that Merida is CG on the website, though!
Funny you should say that. I showed my dad the two images compared, and he said the new one looked terrible and that I should give up fanart. If it was art by young fans, that would be sweet. And surprisingly good. But to me it is nothing short of immature for a private business to “sex up” a bunch of childhood role models. I’m not “disappointed”, more anticipating the return of the rest of the princesses.
copypasta of my rant from FB, slight sidetrack into My Little Pony territory, but the essence remains the same, we need more diverse female role models:
Talking about ridiculously-skinny and good-looking monarchs, I was watching cartoons this morning before work (cos I have enough of watching pessimistic, sensationalist news at my office already), and this show called Doc McStuffins came on. It’s about a six-year-old African-American girl who dreams of becoming a doctor like her mum. When she puts on her stethoscope, her toys magically come alive (presumably Calvin and Hobbes make-belief style), and she treats their ailments, which range from worn-out parts to split-heart-itis (heartbreak). I think it’s fantastic that this character has a different ambition than being a stereotypical princess.
Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against royalty, although I know some folks in Oz who despise the Queen (constitutional monarchy and all that jazz). It’s just I’m tired of programmes pandering to a certain gender mindset, that pink has to be a girly colour (boys used to wear pink and girls wear blue in Victorian times, apparently), or that they must play dress-up with toy ponies or fairy-tale castles. Why can’t we make a show about a girl who wants to be an athlete? Or an engineer? Or a scientist?
I’d also like to see Disney have a female protagonist with the possibility of becoming a princess not become one, for once. Mulan is the closest, but she’s not of royalty, so there was never a chance to begin with. Vanellope in Wreck-It-Ralph, perhaps?
Very interesting TDIT! Ah MLP. What was once a beacon of female diversity, now the center of pink glitter. Ugh.
I love princesses. I want more princesses, and am glad they made Merida a DP, and restored her previous appearance. But more non-princess characters would broaden the role model choices even more! However, I like the diversity of available princesses, and would call for even more. Any girl can be a princess, IF that’s what she wants.
When I read this (Brenda’s reaction) I mostly agreed at first, but felt kind of mixed— and now I mostly just feel mixed.
I don’t feel like her design in itself was tampered with all that much! I think the eyelashes are too thick, maybe the lips a little too “pouty”, and the waist too slim/too curvy. The dress being sparkly doesn’t concern me too much. It is a little over the top but I thought the sparkles were just part of the DP line aesthetic that they’re pushing for now. (Again, a design choice I wouldn’t have made, but it’s really not that bad).
I would request changes, but overall, I don’t see it as being all that different. In fact, the only thing about the DP/merchandise version of Merida that bothers me is how they make it look like she’s happy with the traditional princess life, when in the movie it’s a key plot point that she doesn’t like it. Or making her look happy to be in the dress that was tight-fitting and restraining! I think some of the Mulan merch does this too, unfortunately.
In general I’ve always wished the promo art for Disney princesses (and heck, Disney characters in general) was less… shiny. What’s wrong with the smooth-color look of the cells? It just looks weird how heavily they airbrush, and draw features differently. Snow White’s eyes look HUGE in comparison to her movie eyes in some of the images. I do like that Cinderella has visible ears now, though.
Ehh. I’m really still just mixed on it. I guess I don’t feel too strongly about this “redesign” but I would prefer something more faithful, for really all of the Disney princesses.