Fairy tales have gotten kind of a bad reputation, especially among women...So what I was trying to do was just turn everything on its head. Merida is not upset about being a princess or being a girl. She knows what her role is. She just wants to do it her way, and not her mother’s way.
I wanted a real girl...not one that very few could live up to with tiny, skinny arms, waist and legs. I wanted an athletic girl. I wanted a wildness about her, so that’s where the hair came in, to underscore that free spirit. But mainly I wanted to give girls something to look at and not feel inadequate.
Show Hollywood that they should create more animated films with strong girls as leads by heading to the theatre to support it.
Evolution of a Feisty Pixar Princess (NY Times)