There has already been some outcry among fans over the sexy makeover "Brave" character Merida recently received from Disney -- her waist narrowed, her eyes sultry with a "come hither" look, no bow and arrow, and wearing a fancy dress that the "real" Merida rejected in the movie. Now Merida's creator Brenda Chapman has taken the company to task for the revised look as well, calling it "a blatantly sexist marketing move based on money."
Merida's new look recently debuted in conjunction with her official "induction" as the 11th Disney Princess.
Chapman -- the first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature -- told the Marin Independent Journal that she even complained to Disney chief Bob Iger himself about the unwelcome change:
"I think it's atrocious what they have done to Merida. 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."
The filmmaker no longer works for Disney/Pixar, being replaced in 2010 by Mark Andrews. In the Los Angeles Times article "When The Glass Ceiling Crashed On Brenda Chapman," it was inferred that a culture of sexism might have played a role in her removal: Chapman, who is now at DreamWorks, told the Times, "I think it's a really sad state. We're in the 21st century and there are so few stories geared towards girls, told from a female point of view."
An online petition to restore Merida to her original self has attained more than 100,000 signatures.