One can only imagine what Disney executives were thinking when they decided to give all the Disney princesses a makeover. Maybe they thought that little girls nowadays would like them better if they had a little more ‘modern flair.’
Whatever they were thinking, the final results have been largely horrific and in some cases even offensive. Characters like Mulan and Pocahontas are reduced to a hokey representation of their cultures while characters like Cinderella and Aurora are almost unrecognizable.
Now the latest character to be ‘updated’ is Merida from Pixar’s Brave. And the response has been largely outrage. Her dress is lower cut and now exposes her shoulders and in place of her bow and arrow she has a glittery belt. Not to mention she appears to have unnecessarily lost some weight .
Some have even been moved to protest. The website A Mighty Girl, devoted to female empowerment, has started a petition to make Disney leave Merida’s design alone. The Petition is titled “Say No to the Merida Makeover, Keep Our Hero Brave!”
One could hope that Disney might listen but it’s pretty unlikely they care about the messages they are sending young girls.
Check out the list to see all of the redesigned princesses
Here is Merida as she appeared in the film Brave. Merida has become an example of the Disney Princess done right. Her goals for life fulfillment had nothing to do with finding a man which was refreshing. And she was loved even though she didn’t like wearing pretty dresses.
And here she is with a more glamorous dress, a shrunk down waist, no bow and a weird belt. What was the point of that Disney? The Merida that appeared in the film would probably find this new look to be absurd.
Pocahontas as one remembers her from the 1995 film, staring off dramatically at all the colors of the wind or something. Her dress is a simple thing (even if it is historically inaccurate) and she runs around in bare feet.
Obviously what Pocahontas needed was heavier make-up, feather earrings (because Native Americans wear feathers guys), and some kind of Native American Uggs.
Aurora’s original look along with the art direction of the whole film was actually based on Medieval art and architecture. This film eschewed rounded shapes for lots of sharp edges.
Now she looks like a Polly Pocket that has been doused in glitter. The hair has more texture but her facial design looks so different from the original she looks like a different character now.
The Little Mermaid looks pleased to be under the sea and whatnot. Animator Glen Keane has stated in interviews that he based her design off the look of his wife.
A princess who manages to escape largely unscathed. Her hair has more texture and the dress glitters but at least she still looks like the protagonist of the 1989 film.
Mulan happens to be this writer’s favorite of all Disney ladies. Strong willed and brave, she proved that she could be just as great, if not better, than any man. And she didn’t need to wear make-up or a fancy dress, she just had to be herself.
One might assume that maybe this was an attempt to make her appear more Chinese? Maybe? It just looks like a mess and nothing like her. The extra make-up, the goofy hair…This writer has no clue why anybody thought this was a good idea.
Beauty and the Beast was the first animated film to get a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars. Belle looked just fine in the film. She was already a pretty princess so what improvements are there to be made?
How did nobody notice how idiotic this whole thing is? Is glitter the key to happiness? Is Disney trying to tell us the secrets of the universe here? Glitter and weird hair apparently made Belle better.
Cinderella came out in 1950 and the titular princess really looks like she belongs in that time. Her look and movements were based on Ilene Woods her voice actress, and Helene Stanley her live model.
Seriously? She appears to have been transformed into a barbie. Gone is the classic hair and facial design. Even the shape of the dress is gone now and her upper body appears to have shrunk.
Jasmine the Arabian princess with her puffy pants and cool hair. She looks great. Supervising Animator Mark Henn worked on the early design of the character and says her look was inspired by a young girl with long black hair who was visiting one of the Disney parks.
One wonders if sparkles are just a requirement now for all Disney characters? One supposes Flynn Ryder could use a bit of sparkle too. Her hair and face are largely unchanged although her body proportions have gotten a little funky. And who knows what is up with the pants veil.
Rapunzel is the most recent of the Disney Princesses. Stubborn and spunky with her signature purple and bare feet. Tangled was initially going to be titled Rapunzel but it was changed to Tangled in the hopes of appealing to the boy demographic.
To be fair the transition from computer graphics to two dimensions was bound to be odd. Otherwise her design isn’t too terrible. It’s mostly the addition of the requisite sparkles and apparently shoes are also required.
Snow White Then
Snow White was the first Disney Princess, and as a matter of fact Snow White was Walt Disney’s first animated feature film. Made in 1937 the film received an Oscar nomination for Best Musical Score and Walt Disney was rewarded an honorary Oscar.
Snow White Now
Luckily for the fairest of them all, her design is largely unharmed. Just an absurd amount of glitter. Because of course, everything about a princess should glitter. I bet even their tears sparkle.
Tiana is another recent addition to the Disney Princess line-up. While The princess and the Frog was probably not the best, film audiences loved Tiana’s drive and independence.
Fans of Tiana can breathe a sigh of relief. She probably got the best part of this deal. Her design is almost totally unchanged except for what? Can anybody guess? Oh right, of course. More glitter.