[caption id="attachment_177427" align="alignleft" width="300"] Disney/Pixar[/caption]
There was a certain fist pump-ery involved with the wily little heroine Disney and Pixar drew up for "Brave." Merida was a lot more rough-and-tumbling Katniss Everdeen than airy-fairy Cinderella, and the world dug it ... to the tune of more than a half billion smackers worldwide. Some of us sensed a new, bolder, more "with it" direction for the House of Mouse's idea of a Princess — one that didn't need a Prince Charming to kiss away the spell but who could get out there and handle business her own dang self.
Yeah, but that didn't last long did it? Saturday, Disney unveiled a shinier, supposedly prettier and definitely thinner variation of Merida at Walt Disney World when it inducted the character into the Disney Princesses line-up. Barf.
Naturally, the virtual vitriol began almost immediately, and joining in on the pitchfork raising was none other than the movie's own canned director Brenda Chapman, who'd been Pixar's first female director before she was let go from the project (she went on to share an Academy Award for the film with Mark Andrews).
"There is an irresponsibility to this decision that is appalling for women and young girls," she said to the Marin Independent Journal. "Disney marketing and the powers that be that allow them to do such things should be ashamed of themselves."
Then she really let 'er rip and said, "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."
"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," she continued.
"I forget that Disney's goal is to make money without concern for integrity. Silly me."
As for what Disney had to say for themselves in response to all the outrage, the statement given to Yahoo! was pretty ubiquitous. "Merida exemplifies what it means to be a Disney Princess through being brave, passionate, and confident and she remains the same strong and determined Merida from the movie whose inner qualities have inspired moms and daughters around the world."