Brenda Chapman, the co-director of Disney Pixar’s Brave, is lashing out at the studio for re-designing Princess Merida.
A few weeks ago we told you about Disney’s decision to hold a coronation ceremony to make her the 11th Disney Princess. Along with the coronation (held last week in Disney World), Princess Merida underwent a redesign so she matched the other princesses in their merchandise line. The new Merida is slimmer and more sparkly, which deviates from the character we saw in the film.
The Independent Journal reached out to Chapman on Saturday and received a fiery response from the co-director, who also won an Oscar for the 2012 Pixar film.
“There is an irresponsibility to this decision that is appalling for women and young girls,” she said. “Disney marketing and the powers that be that allow them to do such things should be ashamed of themselves.”
“I think it’s atrocious what they have done to Merida,” she added. “When little girls say they like it because it’s more sparkly, that’s all fine and good but, subconsciously, they are soaking in the sexy ‘come hither’ look and the skinny aspect of the new version. It’s horrible! Merida was created to break that mold — to give young girls a better, stronger role model, a more attainable role model, something of substance, not just a pretty face that waits around for romance.”
Chapman believes that Disney could’ve had just as much success with a Brave merchandise line had they not changed her appearance. “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,” Chapman wrote. “I forget that Disney’s goal is to make money without concern for integrity. Silly me.”
Princess Merida was Pixar’s first female lead character. It’s a shame that honor has now been tarnished in a makeover.
You can compare the two Merida’s below. The new look, in line with the existing Disney Princesses, is on the left. The original Merida design seen in Brave is on the right.
Here is the full Disney Princess line up: