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  • News Brave creator criticizes Disney for changing Merida into a weaker, sexier character

    I found this article on sfgate.com and was wondering what the Micechat community thinks of it.

    When Disney Pixar released Brave


    Notice her curls are more wavy than springy, her waist smaller, her cheekbones higher, her pose sassier, her mouth prettier. And she has lost her trusty bow and arrow. She has matured and looks more like a teenager on her way to a Taylor Swift concert than a determined young girl about to take aim at an archery range.
    Having a curly-haired daughter has changed my feelings about hair texture in this world. More specifically, I wish there were more celebration of natural curls in our popular culture. So you can imagine how I feel about the news that Disney has given a keratin treatment to its heroine Merida. Yeah, those curls waves now.
    petition on Change.org a few days ago, and over 18,000 folks have signed on so far.
    Carolyn writes:MamaPop.com writes:What do you think of the Merida makeover?
    So what do you think? Do you like the makeover? Do you agree with the mom's? As for myself, I like the original Merida better.
    Growing older is manditory
    Growing up is however, optional

  • #2
    Re: Disney gives Brave's Merida a makeover, and mom's aren't happy about it

    Where exactly was she "made over"? In the parks?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Disney gives Brave's Merida a makeover, and mom's aren't happy about it

      Big deal, it's just a 2D redesign of a 3D character. There were bound to be some missteps along the way.
      sigpic

      What is thy bidding, my Mouseter?

      Check out my tumblr: http://dvader2015.tumblr.com/








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      • #4
        Re: Disney gives Brave's Merida a makeover, and mom's aren't happy about it

        So is tomboyish the new girlish? It also seems that some people have a short memory with regard to Disney princesses that "broke the mold"--there are way more of those now than there ever were of the "traditional" ones that some people keeping ragging on.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Disney gives Brave's Merida a makeover, and mom's aren't happy about it

          People should probably stop relying on a fictional character to be the sole influence and role model to their kids.
          I open a toy, review it and take mediocore pictures. Read all about it HERE!

          Originally posted by VintageMouse;n8463446

          You know best :-)

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Disney gives Brave's Merida a makeover, and mom's aren't happy about it

            Actually, it's disappointing. Keep her fierce. It's not that people are counting on fictional characters to be their ONLY role models for their kids, but it's nice to have one that is rough around the edges, even a bit wild, not as over-the-top glam, but kept more like her character is in the film. Hopefully this actually is a misstep and they correct it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Brave creator criticizes Disney for changing Merida into a weaker, sexier character

              The creator of Merida/"Brave" has publicly criticized Disney's marketeers for replacing Merida's strength with sexiness.


              Disney princess' sexy makeover blasted by 'Brave' creator - San Jose Mercury News

              Comment


              • #8
                Below is a link to an article about the creator of Merida/"Brave" publicly criticizing Disney's marketeers for replacing Merida's strength with sexiness.

                Disney princess' sexy makeover blasted by 'Brave' creator - San Jose Mercury News
                Last edited by jcruise86; 05-13-2013, 10:03 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Disney gives Brave's Merida a makeover, and mom's aren't happy about it

                  Originally posted by Meville View Post
                  People should probably stop relying on a fictional character to be the sole influence and role model to their kids.
                  "The sole influence"? Troll much?

                  Fox or MSNBC fan? That might sound insulting to a free thinker, but your post reminded me of the kind of hyperbole and mischaracterization promoted by those networks.

                  Has anyone EVER said that one fictional character was the sole role model for their kids? Evidence please.

                  I did like how Merida continued the recent Mulan-like bravery and determination that my daughter could emulate, but they are just two among many heroes I've exposed her to.

                  It disturbs me how sleazy Disney's marketeers can be. Did they even see this film?
                  Last edited by jcruise86; 05-13-2013, 10:29 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Brave creator criticizes Disney for changing Merida into a weaker, sexier charact

                    I was in D-land's Merida's Princess "Greeting" area and the CM that was there as Merida looked strong and beautiful. I still think the film of Brave stands alone with a contemporary story that young girls can be strong, beautiful, smart and brave. Pocahontas was that type of role model for my girls when they were young. Perhaps Disney will take a second look at this and make some better decisions.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Brave creator criticizes Disney for changing Merida into a weaker, sexier charact

                      I dont know, ive always wondered why disney had drug their feet on making her an official disney princess, the way they had done for Rapunzel. You cant really bag on the new Merida image without bagging on all other 10. I mean those marketing depictions of all the disney princesses are all over-sparkled and over bedazzled.

                      At least they haven't made the actual in-park characters over sexualized or over sparkled, i have actually been very happy with the recent re-designing of the disney princesses, they have managed to keep the charm of the original movies, while modernizing them.

                      The marketing of the Disney Princess Royal Court is always going to be overdone and over beautified, I dont think it takes away from the movies original visions.

                      Overall i can understand the original movie maker being upset with the new image of her.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Brave creator criticizes Disney for changing Merida into a weaker, sexier charact

                        Brenda Chapman was sort of fired from Brave's director's chair, midstream, as they wanted to change directors and didn't like the direction the movie was going. During the Academy Awards they didn't mention her and she wasn't on stage. You might think this is horrible, but Pixar has switched directors midstream before, and it happens when they need a fresh set of eyes when a particular film isn't working. Given Pixar's track record, and that the Brave we got won an academy award, I think they made the right decision.

                        Anyway, look at what Chapman says:

                        Chapman fumed. "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."

                        So let me get this straight, because Merida puts on some make-up she is no longer strong? In Brave Merida seems kinda pre-pubescent in some ways, childish and immature, maybe she grew up and developed an interest in wearing make-up. Doesn't mean she won't become a powerful queen or something.

                        I think it is insulting to little girls to basically say that they don't know what they like, or that they are brainwashed into soaking up a "come hither" look, and Chapman implies that pretty faced women are not strong and independent and that pretty faces are just waiting for romance.

                        If you're a parent of little girls then you know that they often like to wear make-up, watch those ubiquitous princess make-up tutorials online. Parents have to tell girls that they aren't old enough to wear make-up. It is almost like Brenda Chapman hates little girls who want to look pretty, irregardless of the fact that they might also want to be president, astronaut etc . . .
                        Last edited by chesirecat; 05-13-2013, 10:43 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Brave creator criticizes Disney for changing Merida into a weaker, sexier charact

                          Originally posted by RacerGT View Post
                          I was in D-land's Merida's Princess "Greeting" area and the CM that was there as Merida looked strong and beautiful. I still think the film of Brave stands alone with a contemporary story that young girls can be strong, beautiful, smart and brave. Pocahontas was that type of role model for my girls when they were young. Perhaps Disney will take a second look at this and make some better decisions.
                          She still looks like Merida to me, though her eyes are bigger and less Mary Blair, she still has her arrows. Don't see why Merida can't wear make-up and look older, she still has her hips (sorry don't know how else to describe this).

                          Was Merida really a good role model in Brave, outside of rebelling against arrange marriages? Last time I checked there aren't really arranged marriages in the U.S., though I guess Merida would be a role model for those parts of the world that still do this. Merida was arrogant in that she thought she could get a witch to fix everything, and she had anger management issues as she could have been more of the Ghandi/civil disobedient type when it came to protesting the marriage thing, and she's not the sharpest tool in the shed.



                          Seems that Brenda Chapman likes to stereotype women, the pretty ones are, of course, mindless bimbos who didn't embrace their inner self. Yeah, right.

                          Of course Chapman would never wear make-up, like lipstick, or wear a dress that shows off her cleavage in a "come hither" pose . . . oh, except she did:

                          Click image for larger version

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                          (Chapman on the left).

                          So . . . not OK for little girls to like make up, but OK for Chapman to wear make-up and wear suggestive clothing.

                          For the record, Brave is my #2 favorite Pixar film, and would love to see Merida in a sequel. I guess they could make her look older, and yes, the new version of Merida is like she's playing make-up, but I think Chapman has an axe to grind.

                          Chapman was upset that Pixar took her off Brave:

                          “Animation directors are not protected like live-action directors, who have the Directors Guild to go to battle for them,” she writes. “We are replaced on a regular basis — and that was a real issue for me. This was a story that I created, which came from a very personal place, as a woman and a mother. To have it taken away and given to someone else, and a man at that, was truly distressing on so many levels.”

                          True, animation directors are often replaced, and it has happened at Pixar. But you can tell she has anger issues regarding men when it was a slap in the face that it was a male director that replaced her. Well, Mark Andrews worked on Ratatouille, and I really loved that film, more than Brave, and he did the story for the Incredibles, so if there was story problems then he seems like somebody who could help, and Chapman even says that Brave was similar to the story she wanted to tell. Seems that she has a bit of an ego and couldn't tolerate being removed, which has happened to a lot of folks at Pixar, where story is very important.

                          But her last word on the matter (for now) would seem to suggest that after reportedly leaving Pixar to consult on an animation project for Lucasfilm, she’s not eager to return. “Sometimes women express an idea and are shot down, only to have a man express essentially the same idea and have it broadly embraced,” she writes. “Until there is a sufficient number of women executives in high places, this will continue to happen.”


                          http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com/75860293.html

                          While men, or women, might disregard what the opposite sex says, (haven't really sees this in the work place) I can see somebody who is a narcissist blaming somebody rejecting their ideas on sexism, versus the possibility that their ideas aren't that great. In animation, especially at Pixar, a lot of good, even great ideas, are tossed aside as the goal is to go with what works best for the story, that is just the nature of the beast.

                          That's great that Chapman works for Lucasfilm and doesn't have to worry about Disney, lol. There are consequences to publicly attacking your bosses, though I guess she's written off Pixar.

                          Prince of Egypt was OK, wasn't great, in my opinion.
                          Last edited by chesirecat; 05-13-2013, 11:18 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Brave creator criticizes Disney for changing Merida into a weaker, sexier charact

                            Originally posted by chesirecat View Post
                            Brenda Chapman. . . During the Academy Awards they didn't mention her and she wasn't on stage. . . So let me get this straight, because Merida puts on some make-up she is no longer strong?. . . It is almost like Brenda Chapman hates little girls who want to look pretty, irregardless. . .
                            Here is a clip that shows Brenda Chapman on stage at the Oscars.
                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbI8BBqHsP8
                            Ms. Chapman has been having a career that many aspiring animators would be pleased to have. She's now with Dreamworks Animation.

                            The only thing the new Merida created by Disney's marketeers has in common with the protagonist in "Brave" is red hair. Did the marketeers even see this film?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Brave creator criticizes Disney for changing Merida into a weaker, sexier charact

                              Good for her.


                              I signed the petition to Iger. I know some people think it's a small thing but in the scheme of Disney making mistakes this is a big one.

                              And no it's not about Merida "putting on a little makeup", it's about being true to a characters story, and that character simply wouldn't try to be sexy. If you don't know that you either haven't seen the movie or don't care and shouldn't speak on the subject.

                              It's huge shame IMO and now I'm starting to agree with the statements I see here that the marketeers are ruining the Disney company. How can we trust them when they willfully redraw characcters to suit trend. When they're turning strong young women characters into Betty Boop. And No I have nothing against Betty Boop, she was created for sexual fantasy, Merida was created as a role model, plain and simple.

                              I agree that perhaps the other 10 need to be looked at in this... They all ought to go back to the way they were originally drawn, it's disrespectful to the animators and the history.
                              “You know, I have the strangest feeling I've seen that ship before... a long time ago, when I was very young.” ―George Darling

                              It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell. ― Walt Disney

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                              • #16
                                Re: Brave creator criticizes Disney for changing Merida into a weaker, sexier charact

                                I don't think that Brenda Chapman is saying that makeup or good looks make a woman not strong. Any woman has the ability to be a strong and independent and make a name for herself in the world, regardless of how they look or what they like to wear. The point she is trying to get across is that Disney took the character of Merida and transformed her into something she was not meant to be. By doing so, Disney is giving the impression that it is necessary to sexualize the character to make it more marketable to young girls. And that I believe is a bad example to set not only for little boys or girls who are inspired by the character, but for everyone.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Re: Brave creator criticizes Disney for changing Merida into a weaker, sexier charact

                                  Originally posted by Brenda Chapman
                                  "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."
                                  Brenda has it absolutely right. Ask any longtime animation character designer, the corporate toadies at Marketing have consciously and carefully sexed up Merida with numerous "Barbie bits" -- a suite of well established visual metaphors for Western female allure -- that effectively kill the intent of Merida's original design and force it into the family of Disney's other Princesses. These visual metaphors (their roots are in 1940s and 50s pinup art) are well known to design artists, and are key to the designs that Disney markets to little girls. Just in design terms, what Disney has done to Merida is creatively pathetic. In social terms, Disney's cynical use of sexual allure design metaphors to suck little girls into their marketing maw is disgusting.
                                  "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
                                  it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
                                  together with every variety of recreation and fun,
                                  designed to appeal to everyone."

                                  - Walt Disney

                                  "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                                  - Michael Eisner

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Re: Brave creator criticizes Disney for changing Merida into a weaker, sexier charact

                                    Originally posted by jcruise86 View Post
                                    Here is a clip that shows Brenda Chapman on stage at the Oscars.
                                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbI8BBqHsP8
                                    Ms. Chapman has been having a career that many aspiring animators would be pleased to have. She's now with Dreamworks Animation.

                                    The only thing the new Merida created by Disney's marketeers has in common with the protagonist in "Brave" is red hair. Did the marketeers even see this film?
                                    Many narcissists also have a kernel of bonafide talent, but then it progresses to the point where everybody is wrong and they are right. Chapman attacks princess fans (little girls) as basically being the victims of sexism for, in her own words, liking the Merida with make-up over the plain Merida. I don't know if this is true (preference of new vs. old Merida), but notice that it is not that old Merida doesn't work for the princess line (maybe she would? Maybe they didn't need the hideous amount of make-up which is more than Cinderella!) . . . but that Disney and the fans are wrong because of sexism. Disney was wrong to remove her from the film due to sexism.

                                    Geez, did she do anything wrong, make any mistakes?

                                    She also stereotypes beautiful women as not being independent. I'm sure many naturally beautiful women might feel self-conscious about being attractive, and according to Chapman the reason they are and wear make-up is due to sexism and them being brain washed or something.

                                    If she gets fired from DreamWorks, the reason will undoubtedly be sexism.

                                    While Prince of Egypt wowed with special effects, some critics noted the film lacked "exuberant creativity" and imagination. There's always room for improvement, I sure like the Brave we got.
                                    Last edited by chesirecat; 05-13-2013, 11:38 PM.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Re: Brave creator criticizes Disney for changing Merida into a weaker, sexier charact

                                      Originally posted by Princess Victoria View Post
                                      I don't think that Brenda Chapman is saying that makeup or good looks make a woman not strong. Any woman has the ability to be a strong and independent and make a name for herself in the world, regardless of how they look or what they like to wear. The point she is trying to get across is that Disney took the character of Merida and transformed her into something she was not meant to be. By doing so, Disney is giving the impression that it is necessary to sexualize the character to make it more marketable to young girls. And that I believe is a bad example to set not only for little boys or girls who are inspired by the character, but for everyone.
                                      Do teenage girls "sexualize" themselves when they put on make-up? They made Merida's curves a big more pronounced by thinning her waste slightly (maybe she got more exercise by being allowed to be a full-time archer by her Mom), and by making her eyes larger. Who is to say that Merida can never wear make-up or lose a bit of weigh? I'm not sure that it could definitely be characterized by weight loss as women's curves often become more pronounced as they grow older . . . that is just biology.

                                      It is funny that Merida had some superficial changes, and yet Chapman is connecting these superficial differences with a change in character. No, character is not skin deep.

                                      Merida had a unique Mary Blair look to her, different from how other humans are drawn in classic Disney films (they all did in that film), and this style was kinda altered to make it look like Merida could live in the same universe as the other princesses, IMHO, not necessarily just to make her look older.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Re: Brave creator criticizes Disney for changing Merida into a weaker, sexier charact

                                        Originally posted by Princess Victoria View Post
                                        I don't think that Brenda Chapman is saying that makeup or good looks make a woman not strong. Any woman has the ability to be a strong and independent and make a name for herself in the world, regardless of how they look or what they like to wear. The point she is trying to get across is that Disney took the character of Merida and transformed her into something she was not meant to be. By doing so, Disney is giving the impression that it is necessary to sexualize the character to make it more marketable to young girls. And that I believe is a bad example to set not only for little boys or girls who are inspired by the character, but for everyone.
                                        This.

                                        Look, it's not about makeup per se. You can wear makeup and be strong and fierce; you can not wear makeup and be weak. Chapman isn't saying makeup or specific styles of clothing are bad and that nobody should wear them. She's making a statement about how they work for this particular character.

                                        If you look at old Merida vs. "princess Merida" a few things stand out other than the makeup:

                                        1. Old Merida had a rounder, fuller face.
                                        2. Old Merida had a bow and arrow that she was never seen without.
                                        3. Old Merida had a fuller figure; not the Barbie-doll hourglass thing happening. They took the character from having a realistic, slim body type to having a Barbie body type. The character was never overweight, but the old one had a body type that teen girls might have had themselves. The new one has the body type they see in fashion magazines and starve themselves to emulate.

                                        It's akin to taking Luke Skywalker and putting him in a top hat and tails. Nobody's saying that a top hat and tails are wrong. Nobody is saying someone ELSE cannot wear that costume. It's something that is totally foreign to that specific character, though.

                                        Merida spends the entire movie wanting to do her thing, have wild hair, get out of the fussy dress, etc. She spends the entire movie being protective of her bow and arrow. She doesn't want to be a pageant queen. The role model part of the character and film, for me, is that her "happily ever after" doesn't involve pairing up. She's telling young girls "it's totally okay to be single. You can be happy and successful and if you don't want to get married, that's cool."

                                        So changing the character into something it wasn't, originally, does weaken Merida.

                                        Little girls liked Merida the way she was. The character that became wildly successful was the original.
                                        Last edited by Malina; 05-13-2013, 11:58 PM.
                                        Merida looks like this. Not a Barbie doll!

                                        Comment

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