Disney’s sexier, skinnier Merida to stay, despite protests

Merida, voiced by Kelly Macdonald, is seen in "Brave."
(Pixar / Disney)

Despite an online petition that garnered over 200,000 signatures protesting the re-imagining of Pixar’s “Brave” heroine Merida, Disney has no intention of abandoning its sexier version of the Scottish archer.

The modified Merida was created specifically to welcome the character into the company’s princess collection. And according to a Disney representative on Wednesday, the image of Merida that sparked this maelstrom is part of a limited run of products including backpacks and pajamas. But images of the original Merida will also be available on consumer products, the Disney representative said.

The version causing the outrage envisions the cartoon character with a much more tamed mane of red curls, a plunging neckline, a narrowed waistline and an angled face. She’s also sporting eyeliner and not showing off her trademark bow and arrow.

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The revised image was never featured on Disney’s princess website, but could be found on Target’s website, in addition to a specific site inviting mom bloggers to the coronation at Walt Disney World this past weekend. It sparked “Brave” creator Brenda Chapman to take to the Internet, voicing her displeasure with the modifications.

She told 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 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.”


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