In the past few days, the new Merida designed for the Disney Consumer Products Division has lead to heated controversy.
On the one hand, critics argue that the redesign undercuts Merida’s strength, serving her up in a more stereotypical princess form. Meanwhile, their detractors argue that “it’s not that bad,” that they “can’t see the difference,” that the critics are “overreacting,” or that the redesign “HAD to happen this way.”
In this post, I’d like to address that last point: the argument that the redesign HAD to happen this way. The core argument is that Merida must look different in the Disney Princess line because she’s drawn in 2D, rather than as a CGI image–so her image must change in translation, by necessity.
Let’s see what the animation and cartoon experts have to say on that point.
First, let’s begin with cartoonist Matthew Bogart’s take on that argument. He writes:
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