Saturday, May 18, 2013

Merida’s New Look

NOTE: I promised this post a week ago.  Before I start, please be aware that a lot has happened in those seven short days concerning this controversy, so I will try to sum it up as best I can.

Hopefully, you are aware of our newest Disney Princess Royal Court member – Merida.  If not, I direct you to this previous post.

Along with including Merida in the Royal Court, Disney also is including her in Disney Princess merchandise. To do so, they had to convert her from 3D to a 2D figure.  As they did with Tangled’s Rapunzel.

You’d think this would be simple.

It wasn’t.

A Sexier Merida?

When Disney revealed the “new” Merida, there was an outrage.  In fact, it sparked a petition against the new look.


According to the petition, “the redesign of Merida in advance of her official induction to the Disney Princess collection does a tremendous disservice to the millions of children for whom Merida is an empowering role model who speaks to girls' capacity to be change agents in the world rather than just trophies to be admired. Moreover, by making her skinnier, sexier and more mature in appearance, you are sending a message to girls that the original, realistic, teenage-appearing version of Merida is inferior; that for girls and women to have value -- to be recognized as true princesses -- they must conform to a narrow definition of beauty” (IGN article).

Take a look for yourself.

Image from Yahoo! Shine article.

I agree that Merida has changed.  She seems a lot older – but the problem is that in the Parks, her actress is older.  So it’s hard for me to completely dislike the new look because it matches what she looks like in the Parks a bit.  And I love Merida in the Parks.

Also, the dress: sure it’s curvier and off-the-shoulder, but it matches the one she wears in the Parks – and the one she wore for the coronation.

I do not agree that she is “sexier” – like Carolyn at Pixie Pranks blog says, that seems to be going a bit far

But I fully agree that she appears different in her new look from the spunky, independent young girl we saw in the Pixar film.  Especially concerning  those eyes – and I love Merida’s eyes the most about her!

Even Brenda Chapman, director of Brave before she was “replaced,” spoke up against the new lookAccording to the IGN article, she forgot “‘that Disney's goal is to make money without concern for integrity. Silly me.’”

Disney’s Response

In response to the reactions, Disney pulled the new look, pointing out that on the official Disney Princess website, Merida has always appeared in her 3D original form.

Her 2D look that sparked such an outrage was, according to a Disney spokesperson, a limited time design.

For the full story on Disney’s response, has a great article.

My Final Thoughts

Ah, the 2013 redesigns for the Princesses.  I dislike them strongly (I promise, I’ll have a post as soon as I get the time!).

And for me, Merida’s new look fell under the 2013 redesigns.  So I strongly disliked it, but I did think her dress additions were okay, just didn’t need to be that tight-fit, as Merida wouldn’t like that herself (recall the archery scene?).

However, the good thing is that on the invitations to her coronation that were sent out, she appears similar to her new look, but does look more like her, especially with her bow and arrows.  I especially how her eyes are wider, like in her 3D form.

Image from Capturing Magical Memories.

Though I’m glad Disney pulled the new design, I’m confused on what’s going to happen in the future.  If she’s going to appear with her fellow Princesses, she’s going to need to have a 2D formHaving one 3D Princess among ten other 2D Princesses will look…well, weird.  So that’s the one question I have that hasn’t been answered ( reported that Disney did not have a response).

Finally, just to sum up, I was never against Disney including Merida as an official member of the Royal Court.  I do find it a bit sad that Ariel is no longer the only red-head, but that’s a small detail.  I fully embrace her as a Princess, and I am just curious how it’s going to go.

Can I just take a minute here to say how much I love this Merida?
Video screencapture by THE Disney Freak taken from this video.

I do think it's time for Kida to join the line-up.  Who cares if her movie wasn't a box office hit?

See ya all real soon!


  1. Her coronation dress wasn't off the shoulder though. And it wasn't sparkly either. I dunno. The cartoonized merida just seemed to pale in comparison to me. *personal opinion*

  2. Aside from those two points, her "new" look dress closely matches her coronation dress, as TDM pointed out.
    You're right: she is a bit paler! I hadn't noticed!
    And you are completely allowed to share your own personal opinion! That's what I do all the time in my posts:) Don't be afraid to state what you think, Anon. Thank you for sharing and commenting!


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