On the one hand is their traditional Disney Princess line-up. The most recent inductee was Tiana from The Princess And The Frog. Nevermind she's only technically a princess because she married a prince, she ran her own diner at the end of the film. All the princesses are presented as girlish ideals, where all they do is prance around, socialize, and so on.
On the other hand is Pixar. Pixar has made strong characters since its beginnings, making what could have been tokenism into genuine individuals. Simply put, Pixar's characters don't mix with the Disney Princesses. Pixar women are strong, assertive, and independent. The Disney Princesses are not.
So along comes Disney announcing the newest member of their Princess line-up. It's Merida, the anti-Princess from last summer's awesome Brave movie.
Those of you thinking this means Disney is finally giving the Princess line-up a shot of women's lib, check out the picture. On the left is Merida from the movie. On the right is the Disney Princess version:
So, does anyone else notice that the After dress is the very one Merida rejects in the movie? Also notice she's a bit skinnier, a bit sexier (slimmer waist, sultry eyes, tamed hair, lower hanging dress), and less tomboyish (her trademark bow and arrow only appears occasionally in promotional art).
Yup! Anyone can produce body dysmorphia and encourage conformity, even the nonconformists!
A Disney spokesperson insists there is nothing contradictory or "sell out" about this. "Merida exemplifies what it means to be a Disney Princess through being brave, passionate, and confident and she remains the same strong and determined Merida from the movie whose inner qualities have inspired moms and daughters around the world."
I'm actually very curious to see which merchandise sells more. I still see Brave stuff in the stores. This could be interesting.