Disney Crowns Brave's Merida a Princess

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by Melissa Silverstein and Kerensa Cadenas
May 7, 2013 1:30 PM
8 Comments
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In completely baffling and disturbing news, Disney has decided to make Brave heroine, Merida into their 11th Disney Princess.

On May 11th, Merida will join the other Disney princesses in a royal coronation. Of course this change comes with giving regular girl Merida a glamorous Disney princess makeover. The whole point of why we loved Merida was because she broke the Disney princess mold.  It's so depressing that every girl who comes out of a Disney film has to be remade into this unrealistic looking girl.  And Merida is not even a Disney character.  She's a Pixar character.  But Disney owns Pixar.  I guarantee that they would never make one of their male Pixar characters into a Disney Prince because we all know there is no large scale promotion that pushes princes, because boys are not forced into being princes, they are allowed to be boys.  Girls have to get put into the princess box.  It's all about marketing and it is disgusting.  

Disney should be ashamed of themselves.

As they should be, people are pissed. Author Peggy Orenstein commented on Merida's new princess role on her blog. 

I've always said that it's not about the movies. It's about the bait-and-switch that happens in the merchandise, and the way the characters have evolved and proliferated off-screen. Maybe the problem is partly that these characters are designed in Hollywood, where real women are altering their appearance so regularly that animators, and certainly studio execs, think it's normal.

Ok, you know what? I'm so tired. Someone else take over here and make some pithy, salient points about the impact on girls of being bombarded with skinny, pretty, sexy messages and endless consumer products that tell them from the earliest ages that how they look is who they are, ok?

I'll just leave you with that moment of promise, the trailer from Brave when we thought maybe Disney was showing some leadership and ethics not only in how they made their products, but the actual products they made.

Orenstein gets it spot on. Brave seemed to signify a change that Disney was going to give us some female characters with more substance, characters that little girls could look up to and now they've completely negated that image by turning Merida into a princess. 

We are waiting to her what Brave writer and co-director, Brenda Chapman has to say about this.

A Mighty Girl has started a petition to keep Merida from getting the Disney princess treatment. Make sure to sign it. 


Merida to become 11th Disney Princess in royal coronation ceremony at Walt Disney World on May 11 (Inside the Magic)

Seriously, Disney, I'm Trying to Take a Little Break Here-- MUST YOU? (Peggy Orenstein)

Disney: Say No to the Merida Makeover, Keep Our Hero Brave! (Change.org)

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More: Brave, Brenda Chapman

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8 Comments

  • Me | April 2, 2014 4:55 PMReply

    You do realize they didn't "make her a princess" after the movie, right? She was definitely already a princess in Brave. Just because they are crowning her a princess, doesn't make her a stereotypical disney princess. They released a picture of her going from 3-D to 2-D and everyone freaked out. I guess people wouldn't be happy unless they had something to complain about....

    also, She's not real. She is a disney product, and they can do whatever they want with her.

  • Me | April 2, 2014 4:55 PMReply

    You do realize they didn't "make her a princess" after the movie, right? She was definitely already a princess in Brave. Just because they are crowning her a princess, doesn't make her a stereotypical disney princess. They released a picture of her going from 3-D to 2-D and everyone freaked out. I guess people wouldn't be happy unless they had something to complain about....

    also, She's not real. She is a disney product, and they can do whatever they want with her.

  • Me | April 2, 2014 4:54 PMReply

    You do realize they didn't "make her a princess" after the movie, right? She was definitely already a princess in Brave. Just because they are crowning her a princess, doesn't make her a stereotypical disney princess. They released a picture of her going from 3-D to 2-D and everyone freaked out. I guess people wouldn't be happy unless they had something to complain about....

    also, She's not real. She is a disney product, and they can do whatever they want with her.

  • Me | April 2, 2014 4:54 PMReply

    You do realize they didn't "make her a princess" after the movie, right? She was definitely already a princess in Brave. Just because they are crowning her a princess, doesn't make her a stereotypical disney princess. They released a picture of her going from 3-D to 2-D and everyone freaked out. I guess people wouldn't be happy unless they had something to complain about....

    also, She's not real. She is a disney product, and they can do whatever they want with her.

  • Me | April 2, 2014 4:54 PMReply

    You do realize they didn't "make her a princess" after the movie, right? She was definitely already a princess in Brave. Just because they are crowning her a princess, doesn't make her a stereotypical disney princess. They released a picture of her going from 3-D to 2-D and everyone freaked out. I guess people wouldn't be happy unless they had something to complain about....

    also, She's not real. She is a disney product, and they can do whatever they want with her.

  • Me | April 2, 2014 4:54 PMReply

    You do realize they didn't "make her a princess" after the movie, right? She was definitely already a princess in Brave. Just because they are crowning her a princess, doesn't make her a stereotypical disney princess. They released a picture of her going from 3-D to 2-D and everyone freaked out. I guess people wouldn't be happy unless they had something to complain about....

    also, She's not real. She is a disney product, and they can do whatever they want with her.

  • David | November 2, 2013 7:44 PMReply

    I wouldn't say the original pixar version of Merida was a 'realistic looking girl' - who has that wide of a head? It is highly stylised and unnatural look to begin with... if anything I'd say the disney variant is more realistic in its revamp of her facial features. She certainly does look a bit slimmer though, which is problematic.

  • Brenda Chapman | May 11, 2013 6:32 PMReply

    I think it is atrocious!!! I'm all the way down in Santiago, Chile at a film festival, and this hits the fan while I am gone! It is outrageous! I've signed the petition and given Bob Iger a piece of my mind. Since I am no longer with the company, I'm sure they could care less what I think on the matter. But they have betrayed the essence of what we were trying to do with Merida - give young girls and women a better stronger role model. She's strong inside and out - she's not just a simpering pretty face waiting around for romance! She was created to turn that whole ideal on it's head! - Oh yeah... that's why I created her... they're just in it for the money... not the integrity. They don't care what message they send about women, as long as it makes them a buck.
    Yep... that's what I have to say about it.

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