Avatarland was announced in 2011, there still hasn't been any construction started.
This, along with this article's topic, are fantastic examples of how Disney doesn't know how to work with creative types anymore. The company is so unlike walt's vision it's astonishing.
The firing of Brenda Chapman, on the other hand, disturbs me, but I didn't know this until now. It is old news. I wonder why it bothers me for someone I haven't even met and for a movie I haven't seen yet? Okay, I'll get over it.
I Respond: That's not accurate.
However, the thing that bothers me the most is that a LOT of the backlash has implied that to be feminine is to lose one's intelligence & brevity, and I think if one is going to be outraged in the name of feminism as many claim to be, they need to choose wiser words when addressing the issue.
(I am not talking about this blog post - I'm referring to the posts in every major publication including what Brenda Chapman herself had to say about it)
I don't love the illustration. I get it. I don't exactly think it completely strips Merida of her essence but it is decidedly more feminine & they've aged her. I"m relieved to see that the Meet & Greet character is still the same (which is the costume worn for the coronation) and Merida is just as fierce in the few items of new post-coronation merchandise at the Disney Store. Everyone take a deep breath, our girls are going to be just fine, particularly if we keep an open dialog with them.
They're going to sell more tiaras to be sure, but not to me.
From a fact checking standpoint, many of the arguments are also wrong: the dress that Merida is wearing is her original dress (see sleeves and neckline) NOT the one that got ruined when she fell from Angus that she hated in the movie. They added bling at the bottom but that detail existed already on the Meet & Greet Merida, except that the ornamental pattern is not gold at the bottom. Many articles & blog posts have also cited that her hair is less wild, and this is simply the difference between illustration styles - crystal clear CGI hair vs a chunkier graphic design.
She doesn't have her bow and arrow in this particular illustration but she did during the coronation. Does Rapunzel have her frying pan in every illustration? No one freaks out or sees her as weak if she sets it down for a minute.
I don't love the makeup and prefer for her to stay a young girl, but I do not think that wearing makeup means Merida is no longer brave. In fact, to say so (as many, many people have) is to imply that to be feminine is to loose your intelligence and brevity. Also, calling (original) Merida a tomboy is to say she's "boy like" and I just wonder why a girl can't be brave, intelligent and good at a sport without being labeled a boy? Brenda Chapman herself said Merida was "not just a pretty face that waits around for romance." Well, that statement implies pretty clearly that a pretty face is one that just waits around for romance, which is a load of crap and as anti-feminist and anti-woman as you can get. It perpetuates the myth that only unattractive, masculine women are of substance and that makes me very, very angry.
If we're going to make this a feminist issue, I'd love it if someone started talking about things that really matter & not making mountains out of molehills while demeaning femininity while they are at it. I can't think of anything more anti-girl than that.
Feminist issues aside, I think that ALL of the princess redesigns are tacky and unnecessary (when it comes to the illustrations and some of the merchandise). It drives me nuts when they give bogus tiaras to Snow White & Cinderella. I wish we could all stick to the original character design because that's all I'm interested in buying anyway. But sparkle sells.
My daughter picks up her bow and arrow or puts on her Merida wig and she feels POWERFUL. I don't believe this illustration has the power to change that. In fact, I think that they will push Merida into the mainstream more than they have already, and the more girls who discover this willful interesting princess the better.
I'm MUCH concerned about the words that equate being feminine with being idiotic, and strength with being male.
And I'm trying to figure out what Anthony means by his post. Something about a hand Universal is playing in this?
And have you ever seen Roger Rabbits wife?
I didn't mind the makeover, being a graphic artist and all, but the almond shaped alien eyes were horrible. Disney genius strikes again....