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  1. #16

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    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.

  2. #17

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

    Quote 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.
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler


  3. #18

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

    Quote 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 at 10:38 PM.

  4. #19

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

    Quote 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.

  5. #20

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

    Quote 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 at 10:58 PM.

  6. #21

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Mom kissed Walt View Post

    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.
    I have seen Brave several times, saw it in the theater, thought it was a great film. I loved the environment and characters.

    Having said that . . . in the film it was hard to figure out what age Merida was. Her face is seemed to be that of a young girl, maybe 10?, and her body below the neck seemed to be of somebody older. By looking at her mother, who didn't have a Mary Blair style melon on her shoulders, I'd have to say that Merida wasn't old enough to even think about being married. She is also very immature in the film, more like a 12 year old than a college student.

    When I first saw the new Merida, I thought that they were going with a grown-up Merida, like how she would look in a sequel if she became queen.

  7. #22

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

    While I'm sure it's fun to hypothesize what sort of physical maturation an animated character like Merida may endure, the issue at hand is that Disney deliberately made unnecessary changes to a popular character for the sole purpose of making her more marketable. Nowhere does Chapman say that wearing makeup or having your hair styled makes you less of a strong woman, nor that being beautiful makes you less independent. If you're reading that in what she says, then you're probably just looking for something to nitpick that's not really there in the first place. Again, the fact is that any woman can be as strong and brave as they want to. Or they can wear their makeup and dress however the please. While we all set forth impressions upon others based on how we present ourselves, neither makeup nor our clothes make us who we are. Our character and personality do that. Taking something or someone and making them into something they were not meant to be simply to make them more attractive and marketable does nothing to further this idea in any way.

  8. #23

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Malina View Post

    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.

    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.
    New Merida does have a bow and arrow, at least in one photo:

    Brave Director And Fans Protest Merida's Disney Princess Makeover - CinemaBlend.com

    Also, Belle is not bookish Belle, but ballroom Belle, and Tiana is the Tiana wearing a dress. Little girls like to dress up as princess, so they went with the princesses in their "gussied up" mode.

    I think Old Merida had a unique style, also seen in her brothers, which was Mary Blair-esque and was meant to make them look like kids, or young teenagers. Merida didn't look 18 in Brave, more like 14, and her the style they used on her head is obviously unlike how we've seen humans animated in prior films, including all the Disney princess films. So, I think the change is to make Merida seem more like the humans in other Disney films. Merida's Mom and Dad, oddly enough, don't have huge Mary Blair melons and look more human than Merida. Sorry, its my on quip with the film, the gigantic melons on Merida's and her brothers' heads!

  9. #24

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Princess Victoria View Post
    While I'm sure it's fun to hypothesize what sort of physical maturation an animated character like Merida may endure, the issue at hand is that Disney deliberately made unnecessary changes to a popular character for the sole purpose of making her more marketable.
    They changed the look of all the princesses. But Merida does have an issue with not looking like typical Disney humans, they just animated her differently and she (old Merida) is one character that could be plopped down in Small World without making changes, her head is so like a Mary Blair singing doll from that ride.

    It seems to me they want to make sure all the princesses fit into the same world, meaning they all look like the same type of human, not variations. It would be like putting a Mary Blair doll in the Peter Pan ride and expecting the oversized head not to look out of place.

    Rapunzel, Tiana, could walk into Cinderella's world and look like they existed in that world. Merida couldn't as she wasn't classically animated in terms of her head. If they put all the princesses and old Merida in the same "photo" she'd look out of place. So, I think this was the main reason why the larger eyes, and make-up because little girls like to play dress up, and now can get made over into princesses in the park, and more pronounced curves as they wanted Merida to be older.
    Last edited by chesirecat; 05-13-2013 at 11:20 PM.

  10. #25

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Malina View Post
    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.
    Very well said!
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler


  11. #26

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

    Here's more of what Chapman is saying:

    In an interview with Pixar Portal, "Brave" writer and co-director Brenda Chapman stated, "Because of marketing, little girls gravitate toward princess products, so my goal was to offer up a different kind of princess -- a stronger princess that both mothers and daughters could relate to, so mothers wouldn't be pulling their hair out when their little girls were trying to dress or act like this princess. Instead they'd be like, ‘Yeah, you go girl!’”
    Disney largely glossed over the details of Merida's new look in a statement to Yahoo! Shine: "Merida exemplifies what it means to be a Disney Princess through being brave, passionate, and confident and she remains the same strong and determined Merida from the movie whose inner qualities have inspired moms and daughters around the world."


    I don't think that all, or even most, parents are "pulling out their hair" when their daughter watches the other princess movies or imaginary plays being another princess. Our six year old does this, but she also pretends to be Spiderman and other characters. Chapman seems to be very controlling, and would blame her daughter's interests on marketing departments.

    It also seems Chapman wants Merida to be this "You go Girl!" type of role model that is totally different from other princesses, perhaps she thinks that everybody hates the old princesses. Well, not sure about that as they seem to be popular, though Belle, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Rapunzel seem to be the most popular.

    I really liked Brave, but I think a good part of Merida's story was a cautionary tale in terms of trying to change her mother, and constantly getting in fights with her mom. Sure, the whole anti-prearranged marriage thing was there, but its been done before (to death) and didn't seem to be the main point of the plot.

    Little girls, tweens, and pre-teenage girls surprisingly like some romance in their movies, and that includes Disney princess movies. But who is Chapman to say that Belle isn't brave, that Ariel wasn't strong, that Rapunzel and Tiana don't fit the bell, that little girls must not watch Cinderella, and all these other films, as it will warp their minds.

    Chapman even admits that she is taking advantage of the princesses, noting that girls gravitate towards princesses, so she'll make a princess that mothers and daughters can relate to. It seems to me that Chapman may have had a daughter who liked the other Disney princesses, she didn't approve of them because she has sexism on the brain, and so she created a type of princess to surplant them. So, she discounts the other Disney princesses as not being good for little girls, reminds me of a "mother knows best" song from another princess movie!

    Chapman said she called up Iger and gave him a piece of her mind. She sounds like a generally angry/controlling person who easily finds a lot she doesn't like about Disney, or society in general.
    Last edited by chesirecat; 05-13-2013 at 11:59 PM.

  12. #27

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

    It seems to me that working with Pixar, and have all of that talent available to make your vision a reality is a wonderful experience. Sure, they replaced her on Brave, but she could have stayed and perhaps been the replacement director for some other Pixar movie, or worked on a Brave 2.

    She had her say—Disney is evil they are sexist because they removed me from the director's spot and put make-up on Merida even though she looks like a doll in Small World. Not everything works out as you would hope, and you have to be flexible.

    Hope she has fun making Puss in Boots 5, Madagascar 7 and Kung Fu Panda 8 at DreamWorks and that they understand that she might viciously attack them in the press if she doesn't get what she wants.

    This whole 'cutting off the nose to spite the face' type stuff Chapman did seems like something Merida would do (at least Merida at the beginning of Brave), I guess it is true that fiction work is more autobiographical than many authors suspect.
    Last edited by chesirecat; 05-14-2013 at 12:21 AM.

  13. #28

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

    Did nobody else notice that it looks like she designed Merida to look exactly like herself? Round head, curly red hair, not super skinny.

  14. #29

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

    Quote Originally Posted by JediPrincess View Post
    Did nobody else notice that it looks like she designed Merida to look exactly like herself? Round head, curly red hair, not super skinny.
    I read in a related article tonight that she modeled the character after her daughter, who, I would assume, shares many of Chapman's own characteristics.

    (it's mentioned here: http://www.marinij.com/millvalley/ci...ncess-makeover )
    Last edited by The First Star; 05-14-2013 at 01:11 AM.

  15. #30

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

    For one thing, there are many peer-reviewed studies relating exposure to ultra thin models or overly sexualized or made-up women in media to the development of negative body image in girls (even if it's just a temporary effect in a laboratory setting). A quick google search yielded this article: http://www.myteacherpages.com/webpag...26%20media.pdf
    It appeared in a reputable journal -- that of the Society for Research on Adolescence.

    Here's the abstract:
    In Western cultures, girls’ self-esteem declines substantially during middleadolescence, with changes in body image proposed as a possible explana-tion. Body image develops in the context of sociocultural factors, such asunrealistic media images of female beauty. In a study of 136 U.K. girls aged11–16, experimental exposure to either ultra-thin or average-size magazinemodels lowered body satisfaction and, consequently, self-esteem. Self-esteem was also lower among older than among younger girls. Structuralequation modeling showed that this age trend was partially accounted for bya corresponding downward trend in body satisfaction; this, in turn, was fullyaccounted for by upward age trends in awareness and internalization ofsociocultural attitudes toward appearance, and in social comparison withmedia models. Results support calls for early educational interventions tohelp girls to deconstruct advertising and media images.
    Secondly, it doesn't fit the character, or what the character was developed to stand for. I enjoyed this quote from this article:
    Movie Pictures | Movie Posters - Yahoo! Movies

    "This one character may not do any damage to a girl's psychological development, per se," child development expert Dr. Robyn Silverman tells me. "But Merida joins a barrage of thin, sultry characters for girls, making her yet another facet of our sexed-up, thinned down messaging."Silverman points out that the original Merida "was beloved for her adventurous spirit, her unique look and her disinterest in romance as her 'goal' in life. Her allure was not physical--which sent a strong message to girls that they could be who they are-- and still be beautiful, brave and confident.
    "This redesign seems to stick a square peg into a round hole."

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