Merida Redesign Fallout - Brenda Chapman reacts to character's design change

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  05 May 2013
Merida Redesign Fallout - Brenda Chapman reacts to character's design change

Source: Yahoo! Movies

Princess Merida was redesigned by Disney prior to her induction into the "Disney Princess" product line.

Among the changes are a more glamorous "set" hairdo, eyeliner, higher cheekbones, a slimmer waist, and a shoulderless dress with glittering trim.

She also stops carrying around her Bow and Arrow.

Brenda Chapman, and a number of fans of "Brave" were put-off by the changes.

Quote: “I think it's atrocious what they have done to Merida,” Chapman said in a letter to her local newspaper, the Marin Independent Journal.

“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 mould - 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.”

The Scottish princess, voiced by Kelly Macdonald in the film, is now among the 'Disney Princess' franchise, the merchandising banner which includes various princesses from the Disney films, including the likes of Snow White, Cinderalla, Aurora and more recently Mulan and Rapunzel, as featured in 'Tangled'.


Could it be that the "redesign" is really down to the limitations of the "Disney Princess" artist?
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Last edited by CGIPadawan : 05 May 2013 at 02:53 AM.
 
  05 May 2013
Her face got funnier. Her proportion got worse. But I like that piece of cloth on her waist.
 
  05 May 2013
I have wondered if some of the stuff seen as design changes are just the bland homogenization that whoever the artist for the Disney Princess line usually does.

If you look at the other princesses, they are mostly intact but they are also not that well drawn and lack a lot of their original style and are in some cases way off model even for 2D.

There are obvious and outright design changes but some of it may be unintentional.



 
  05 May 2013
Hmmm... The ones who were in more revealing dresses in their original forms are more covered up in the redesign... And the ones who wore more conservative dresses suddenly get all these revealing tops.

Weird.
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  05 May 2013
The entire concept of "princess role models for girls" kinda makes my stomach turn.
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  05 May 2013
Brave was Brenda Chapman's precious IP initially so I understand her frustration. I have seen and heard quite a few stories where artists produce a work but the owner/client goes a different way or ignores that original vision. I agree that it is a bit of a let down seeing the typical "girlie" presentation of the character like the other Disney princesses. The original character was meant to provide a unique Disney-esque role favoring stronger traits instead of the typical princes role. There is a clash in the design with the character as she has been defined given how you see her on screen when forced to dress up for her mother.

I don't know that the marketing design merits such attention to the degree of the petition being signed by so many, I just agree that the transition clashes with the original character's ethos. Disney originally has presented itself as a guardian or sorts for characters which is why Lucasfilm/arts was willing to let them take them under the wing. They are in the business of managing and milking IP's as sound as possible so I suppose it's expected that they would see a target group and hone the product in that direction for revenue. I bet that the girlie brave version sells just fine even though a few may grumble that they ignore the character's traits.
 
  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by leigh: The entire concept of "princess role models for girls" kinda makes my stomach turn.


You'd think after Brave they'd be more interested in interesting female leads rather than bland stereotypes.
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  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by leigh: The entire concept of "princess role models for girls" kinda makes my stomach turn.


Haha, I was thinking the same thing...its like, they are all up in arms about the redesign (which looks pretty much the same imho) and forget that all these characters are "princesses"...as role models.
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  05 May 2013
It's Disney sexing something up to sell, it doesn't surprise me but it's still pretty disgusting.

I agree with what this guy says:

"This is what Disney is all about. They have dumbed down countless pieces of classic literature for their own profits to fit in with the image makers who have sexualised children and given girls in particular the limited ambition to be 'cute.'"




Also if you don't have kids, no offense, but you really can't relate to this.
 
  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by Lagavulin16: It's Disney sexing something up to sell, it doesn't surprise me but it's still pretty disgusting.


Sexing it up? Several of the princess looked more covered up than their cartoon versions.
 
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