I REALLY have to get ready for bed so I will just copy/paste relevant info from this article. Prepare yourself for executive BS of the highest grade
…In response, A Mighty Girl released a petition to Disney that outlines the reasons why the redesign is problematic. The petition culminates with a request: to pull the new 2D Merida and restore the character to her original form.
Yesterday, Disney executives went on record regarding the petition. They’re refusing to retract the new Merida—and their comments show they’ve missed the point.
The L.A. Times reports on the refusal to retract the new Merida:
“Disney has no intention of abandoning its sexier version of the Scottish archer featured in the movie, “Brave.”
The modified Merida was created specifically to welcome the character into the company’s princess collection. And according to a Disney representativeon 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.”
No one ever doubted that the original Merida would still be available on products; the objection is to the new Merida redesign. Full stop. The fact that it’s “part of a limited run” doesn’t make it any less problematic.
A Disney representative expanded on their stance in an exclusive interview with fan site Inside the Magic, calling the controversy “blown out of proportion.” This makes clear that Disney execs either don’t truly understand the objections, or are willfully ignoring them.
According to Inside the Magic:
“[Disney] had no intention of changing who Merida is. The artwork that has circulated online depicting the new 2D rendering of Merida was intended to be used only on a “limited line of products” as a “one-time stylized version.” They noted Disney uses different styles of art on characters regularly, changing them to fit their needs at the time.
….So, Disney’s justification for making the change is that Merida herself wanted to dress up for her coronation ceremony. This seems disingenuous: Merida is a fictional character who doesn’t want anything – and besides, at the actual coronation in the Magic Kingdom, Merida was dressed in attire more closely resembling her outfit from the film than from the new 2D art.
And where is this “limited line of products” to be sold? At Target, according to Inside the Magic. Have a look atTarget’s main page for the Disney Princesses.
It’s all about the new Merida, and it features rather frightening products, like this doll with spindly space alien arms.
…This brings us to the crux of the matter: If Disney hopes that the girl empowerment community and our allies will be placated because 2D Merida is only temporary, they’re missing the point. People are up in arms because the changes to Merida — even if temporary in nature — completely undercut the character, selling girls short.
…. Let’s call on Disney to address their poor decision to redesign Merida in the first place—however temporary and “limited” that change might be and reassure us that they will treat this character with integrity in the future.
Sign the petition here.
P.S. I hope A Mighty Girl will consider updating the petition to a) include Target, which is apparently to be the main retailer of products featuring the new 2D Merida; and b) respond to Disney’s response, outlined above.
Read the article, it was long so I cut some parts out for reblogging. Also, to be clear, the new Merida is still on the Target site as of now, and that is one of their main retailers. Disney has NOT completely pulled the design or said they would pull it. Sneaky
I had this saved this issue a draft from another site but wanted to wait on it since it has some problematic ish, but then Sociological Images posted this today, so I will mostly just copy a lot of what they have, since I agree with it.
In 2006, The Walt Disney Company bought the computer-animated feature film powerhouse Pixar. This makes the lead of their most recent movie, Brave (2012), not just a princess, but aDisney Princess. Merida is having a royal coronation at the Magic Kingdom this morning.
For her coronation, the princess has gotten a good ol’ Disney makeover. On the left is the new Merida (“after”) and on the right is the old Merida (“before”). Notice any differences?
Here are the ones that I see:
- Sleeker, longer hair with more body
- Larger eyes and more arched eyebrows
- Plumper lips
- A thinner waist
- More obvious breasts
- An overall more adult and less adolescent appearance
- Lighter colored and more ornate gown
- A lower cut neckline that also shows more shoulder
- Perhaps most symbolically, her bow and arrows have disappeared in favor of a fashionable belt
Never thought about how her bow was actually replaced by the fashion belt… the “belt” she’s wearing before is actually holding her arrows in place! Her face is thinner and her upper arms are, oddly, shortened. Her eyes also seem to have eyeliner/more emphasis in that way. The waist nipping really is just… why did you have to do that? She’s a child.
This just makes me sad because really I remember being actually impressed that she did look more adolescent, and I liked that her face wasn’t traditionally pretty. It seemed like at least an interesting move for Disney. Not so much, now.
You can check out their site for their collection of toys and characters that have received “sexy makeovers.”
What is “Disney feminism”? It’s using positive messages in Disney to turn the lens inward and examine what could be better.
It’s embracing and understanding intersectionality. If a Disney movie does not treat a marginalized group well, I will not ignore it or try to make excuses for it. It’s time to be vocal about what needs to change.
Feminism means nobody gets left behind or forgotten
It’s kinda little, and sometimes broken, but it’s still good.
So basically I just wanted to talk about how people are complaining about Disney. About their title changes, character designs, and more specifically, about Frozen. All Disney is getting is complaints about how bad Anna looks, how bad the story is, how bad the title is, and this negativity is really pissing me off! Why can’t y’all just wait until the final product? Wait and see if it is good or not. Sure Disney is a little behind, and sure Anna looks sort of like Rapunzel but so what? Did it bother you when Aroura sort of looked like Cinderella? When Rapunzel sort of looked like Ariel? And the title change, who cares!? It is just a title! The title doesn’t make a movie bad or good, what makes it good are the characters and the story! And that brings me to my other point, people are complaining that this story is stupid, or that it isn’t anything like the original. It really bothers me, because this isn’t the 90’s! Some stories have to be changed to fit with todays audiences! It is sad that we have to add in a male protagonist to increase the movies income, but that is how it is! And also, maybe Disney wants to tell a new story! The Princess and the Frog, Tangled , Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen are all new! They aren’t all original but they have new plots and such. Disney is being more creative than they were, and you have to give them props for that! They are thinking outside the box, new characters, and stories. So please stop complaining! I understand that you want the 90’s films back, but these aren’t 90’s films, they are a different time era, a different audience. The 90’s films weren’t the 50’s films either, and they were still good! They had a new formula each time, a new type of layout that worked! We are in the Disney CGI renaissance right now, better known (or rumored) as the Disney Revival. The Disney Golden Era, Renaissance, and Revival, have each had different formulas, and characters. Some where similar, but yet they are still amazing! So deal with it, that it’s not 1990, and leave the past behind! Look ahead to the future!
I get both the impression that you genuinely wanted to know why people are upset, and that you haven’t read literally any of the critiques and were just looking to vent. But since you tagged this right up, I’ll help you out and break it down. Starting with your closing line, because it realllly stands out.
leave the past behind! Look ahead to the future!
I’m not sure where you pulled the angry nostalgic 90’s kid strawman from, but either way, this line? This line right here?
It’s pretty funny, because as it turns out, that looking to the future is what a lot of critics are doing! That’s where a good chunk of disappointment comes from! I am boggled by your angle, really. You’re looking at this from a weird battle of the decades psuedo animation history perspective, and that might be why you’re missing what a lot of critics/unhappy fans are talking about.
You’re a Disney enthusiast, so I assume you know that Anna is their last listed “Upcoming Princess” to date, and their list of future films doesn’t indicate any Princess stories on the horizon, let alone any starring WoC.
Pixar’s upcoming films are: the Monster’s Inc. sequel, Good Dinosaur, the Finding Nemo Sequel, and an untitled Dia de los Muertos movie. Seeing as how Pixar could barely handle Merida without title, story, writer, and advertising angle being drastically altered —and since it takes Pixar about four to seven years to finish a film, and Disney studios about four to five years (Tangled was made in two, after 10,000 years of development hell)— I doubt we’re getting a PoC princess anytime soon.
This, in combination with their history (~*the past*~) is the problem!
Disney has been making princess movies since 1937, and they didn’t have a princess of color until 1992. They wedged Pocohontas and Mulan in there to placate, and even then, their “Princess” status is h u g e l y contested within the Disney fandom, and they usually aren’t included in most Disney Princess lineup gear. And when they are, you can bet they’re usually in the back. Seriously, most of the time they’re waaaay back there. Really now, Disney almost literally releases buffer walls of four White princesses in between what I have come to call their PoC Princess dumps.
That is why a lot of people are upset!
Sure Disney is a little behind, and sure Anna looks sort of like Rapunzel but so what? Did it bother you when Aroura sort of looked like Cinderella? When Rapunzel sort of looked like Ariel?
Because they are all W h i t e. Frozen easily could have been based in a PoC culture. Disney is no stranger to changing up their source material. So no, the main squibble here isn’t “OMG LOOK HOW SIMILAR THEIR EYEBROWS AND BUTTON NOSES ARE, YOU ARE SO FUCKING LAZY DISNEY” it’s the fact that Disney keeps cranking out White Princesses.
It’s the fact that, to quote Moniquill:
“Ok we’ve been to ‘Total Fantasy World Inspired by Medieval Germany’ ‘Set in Mystical Medieval Scottland’ and now ‘Anderson’s Scandinavia’. They’re just going to the whitest places on earth on purpose now. It’s like a scavenger hunt for places that they can have plausible deniability for not including POC even as background characters.”
This is why the concept of comparing Anna and Rapunzel completely misses the point, as does your above “Why are you guys so mad!!” post.
No. No one was saying that their chins were too similar.
((Here. Another example: At best, I think it’s safe to assume that we won’t get another Black princess for at least fifteen years. I’ll have children by then! Just in time to tell them “Well, hold on to this Princess. Treasure her, even if you don’t relate to her, because that’s the only one you’re get.” All while the endless flood of White princesses with brunette hair or blonde hair and different eyebrows and button noses vs. slightly less button noses roll out, with the occasional PoC princess flung in to shake things up -or, more realistically, aim to appease critics of their white-girl formula, while the majority of the Disney fandom sits back like “WOW. A blonde princess with green eyes! How progressive!!” That’s not cool, and it is excluding a lot of little girls of color from having media representation!))
That’s why initiatives like the Princess Reina project, Racebent Disney, and even This Could Have Been Frozen are so popular; because PoCs get suuuuuuch limited representation when it comes to Disney, the Disney Princesses, and the media at large.
And the title change, who cares!? It is just a title! The title doesn’t make a movie bad or good, what makes it good are the characters and the story!
If you think the title of a film has no bearing on the film itself, proceed directly to Film 101. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.
The fact that Disney’s new marketing angle is to reduce their princess story titles to single genderless adjectives because EWW GIRLY THINGS!!1! is deeply problematic. Like, you literally said “It is sad that we have to add in a male protagonist to increase the movies income, but that is how it is!” right after alleging that the changed titles don’t matter. Do you really not see the connection, here? (Here is the connection, in case you really don’t. Here are more thoughts about the changes to the story: Gerda as a girl vs. Anna as a Princess, Kai vs. Kristoff, the absence of little their girl and the addition of Elsa, and why it’s not exactly progress.)
They are thinking outside the box, new characters, and stories. So please stop complaining! I understand that you want the 90’s films back, but these aren’t 90’s films, they are a different time era, a different audience.
What even is this part?
Firstly, Wreck-It-Ralph is not a Disney princess movie. So I’m not sure why you included it in this discourse?
Secondly, are they really thinking outside the box?
Because they sure as hell aren’t being very diverse. In fact, their releases post-PatF are looking very 50’s, chromatically speaking.
Why can’t y’all just wait until the final product?
So, if you’ve come to understand even a fraction of why people are upset re: Frozen, you now know that waiting until the final product is released doesn’t address the critique at all!
Y’all mothafuckers got millions of skinny characters out there
WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU MAKING ONE OF THE FEW AWESOME FAT PEOPLE SKINNY?????
Quite frankly, I see it as you being a no talent hack.
Yeah, I said it. Making fat characters skinny in art means you got no talent in my eyes.