25 June 2012 @ 08:35 pm
Brave Article  
I found this on Yahoo...

http://movies.yahoo.com/blogs/movie-talk/brave-ushers-different-kind-disney-princess-merida-tomboy-200837672.html



"  We knew Princess Merida could hold her own at target practice, but now we also know she can hold her own at the box office as "Brave" debuted at No. 1 this weekend, taking in $66.7 million.

Pixar's first film with a female lead protagonist also marks a first for Disney: Merida is the only tomboy to enter the famed Disney princess ecosystem, and the first one who doesn't wind up with a prince at the end of her story.

"She can save herself. She's not on a quest for 'happily ever after,'" the film's director Mark Andrews tells Yahoo! Movies. "She's on a quest to find out who she is. And that's very different,"  he adds of the archer and sword-wielding red-headed heroine who revels in adventuring through the forest atop her enormous Clydesdale, Angus.

"There's a grand tradition of Disney princesses," says "Brave" producer Katherine Sarafian, adding, "[Merida] is a Pixar hero. It's completely different from a Disney princess."

Indeed, Merida's story is markedly different than those of, for example, Ariel ("The Little Mermaid"),  Cinderella and even Disney's first African American princess Tiana ("The Princess and the Frog") -- who all needed to seal their future happiness with a kiss by a current or soon-to-be prince. Quite the opposite, Merida, voiced by Kelly Macdonald, revolts against kissing princes.


While Sarafian sets Merida apart from the rest of the pack, the fact remains Merida is now in the club. Disney theme parks have been featuring a [face character] since about May. Accompanied by the animatronic bear cubs depicted in the film, Merida speaks with a Scottish accent and wears a huge, curly red wig. Merchandise for the animated character also appears in the princess room at World of Disney gift shop adjacent to Disneyland.

Merida is definitely breaking the mold, but one writer at Entertainment Weekly thinks she could be doing even more than that and has questioned her sexual orientation, leading many commenters to bristle at the thought.

Merida does not seem to be trapped in the closet by any means, but she does exemplify a recent trend in big box office heroines launched by that other archer Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) in "The Hunger Games as well as Kristen Stewart's warrior spin on the classic fairytale character in "Snow White and the Huntsman" and even the upcoming "The Amazing Spider-Man" which is said to have more focus on Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) and her relationship with Spidey.

It is clear that Merida has not only changed her own fate, but the fate of Disney's princess system altogether.  "



Aside from the "Merida is the first princess not looking for love" thing, which has been discussed here before, this paragraph really bothers me:

"Indeed, Merida's story is markedly different than those of, for example, Ariel ("The Little Mermaid"),  Cinderella and even Disney's first African American princess Tiana ("The Princess and the Frog") -- who all needed to seal their future happiness with a kiss by a current or soon-to-be prince."

The only one of those examples who actually NEEDED a kiss was Tiana.  And she really only needed it to be human again, which I suspect is not what this author is referring to, or they would have listed Snow White and Aurora instead of Ariel and Cinderella.

Other thoughts?

 
 
Current Mood: aggravatedaggravated
 
 
 
( 31 Dreams — A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes )
Abigail: The Godmothermdmbrightside on June 26th, 2012 02:22 am (UTC)
MOST RECENT PRINCESS IS THE BEST

ALL PREDECESSORS ARE BAD ROLE MODELS

FEMINISM
rizbef: rapunzel oh pleaseemharri on June 26th, 2012 03:04 am (UTC)
Exactly! I remember all of those 'this princess is SOOO different' articles popping up back when Tangled came out...
dark_rapunzeldark_rapunzel on June 26th, 2012 07:38 pm (UTC)
I love her, but she isn't that different.
genforever246genforever246 on June 26th, 2012 04:08 am (UTC)
............Really? Really?
Sailor Donut: Tiana well you knowjeweledeyes on June 26th, 2012 08:15 am (UTC)
This is the truest comment that has ever existed on the internet!
Carry P.: FUCKYOUherdarkgarden on June 26th, 2012 11:21 am (UTC)
Remarkable how much money those BAD ROLE MODELS can market! When it comes to a powerhouse company like Disney, that's kind of the point, so don't be surprised if she fades away in Disney history like certain other Princesses.
dark_rapunzeldark_rapunzel on June 26th, 2012 07:43 pm (UTC)
Nah, she is princessy enough to market her along side the princessy princesses and make her a standout.

She has:

a tiara
long hair, red even makes it better
pretty dresses and a cape!
a cool hobby
a horse
Ray G.milleniumrex on June 26th, 2012 02:46 am (UTC)
Mulan, Esmerelda, Belle, and Pocahontas weren't "looking for love" either, just to name a few. They all had their own motivation that just happened to result in meeting a great guy.

Heck, I could actually say the same about Cinderella. Her goal was to escape her stepmother's reach, not to marry a prince.
Becky: feedinglightalicornmoon on June 26th, 2012 02:56 am (UTC)
While Ariel's goal became Eric
(after the witch made a deal with her when she seemed just as happy at first with something that looked like him and maybe seeing him again to talk to him) she was already in love with the *human world* first, as well....
rizbef: jasmine - sketchemharri on June 26th, 2012 03:07 am (UTC)
Agreed. This whole article just makes me cringe. It's like they can't even remember the actual story lines or character personalities. And I'm really not sure why Tiana was listed as an example, considering she pretty much found the romance by chance and was mostly focused on her career.
dark_rapunzeldark_rapunzel on June 26th, 2012 07:43 pm (UTC)
Same with Ariel. Her original desire was to be human. oops, I see someone else pointed that out!

Actually I can not think of a single princess who started off on her adventure because she was looking for love.


Edited at 2012-06-26 07:50 pm (UTC)
Becky: endingstoryalicornmoon on June 26th, 2012 03:03 am (UTC)
Merida is the only tomboy to enter the famed Disney princess ecosystem, and the first one who doesn't wind up with a prince at the end of her story.-----------------------

*cough* Mulan *coughcough* A number of others :\
rizbef: fantasiaemharri on June 26th, 2012 03:10 am (UTC)
Like Pocahontas. Seems they forgot about her... again. And they seem to have forgotten Shang wasn't a prince. Or maybe they forgot Mulan altogether, as they tend to do that -__-
Beckyalicornmoon on June 26th, 2012 03:20 am (UTC)
Why does it seem like the people that write these pieces are always the ones that actually haven't sat down and watched a Disney movie in years :\?
Paulinelinepau1 on June 26th, 2012 04:38 am (UTC)
No spoilers. Everything I mention is in the trailers

Did that article from EW piss anyone else here off as much as it pissed me off? Did they completely miss the scene where the three sons are being introduced and Merida perks up at the rather buff guy she THINKS is being introduced, but the father yanks out the real son from behind the buff guy instead and she droops back down into her seat?

I have no issue with a gay or even bisexual princess. Hell, I'm bisexual. But it pissed me off that because she's a tomboy with no interest in love she's suddenly a potential lesbian.

This article is just as bad though. I read one this weekend that said there were 8 princesses. 8? What'd you do? Count them in your head?

See, this is why we research things before we write about them.
rizbef: belle - sketchemharri on June 26th, 2012 05:44 am (UTC)
I think the people who write these articles have never seen any of the movies they reference... Otherwise it's just sad.
Julia Rhaye: Gisellepinkcomposer on June 26th, 2012 11:27 am (UTC)
YYYESS! THE BIG BUFF GUY! I wished he was the love interest! That would have been soo awesome!!!
ballerina_222ballerina_222 on June 26th, 2012 04:55 am (UTC)
Ugh. I hate how in entertainment, all people seem to be able to focus on is a female character's romance or lack thereof. They diminish Merida by focusing on the fact that she doesn't have a romance in the movie. So, all the other things she did are just ignored? And wow, let's go the traditional route of assuming all Disney princesses only had men on their mind and had no other goals in life other than getting married. Nope, if I think through the whole line-up, none of them had marrying a prince as their primary interest in life (well you can maybe say Snow did). They desired freedom, adventure, etc.
rizbef: rapunzel artemharri on June 26th, 2012 05:50 am (UTC)
That's a good point. Most of these articles just focus on her lack of love life. And the few I've seen that mention her archery? They just compare her to Katniss from the Hunger Games. It's like they can't just discuss Merida herself.

If there are articles discussing the plot and things relative to the movie, I haven't seen them...
ballerina_222ballerina_222 on June 26th, 2012 05:58 am (UTC)
Yeah it's kind of annoying that they just compare her with other popular heroines from this summer but I guess that's what they do in these kinds of reviews. Yeah, I haven't seen any articles just discussing her character or the plot yet. They either talk about her lack of interest in boys and her tom-boyish activities, or complain about the movie centring on female relationships. I also feel like people are really generalizing her as a character. They say that she doesn't like being a girl because she does more active stuff and didn't want to get married. Yet we never see her wearing boy's clothes, not even for riding. Evidently she likes her dresses, just not the confinement of her mother's choices.
borg_princess: emma-thinkingborg_princess on July 1st, 2012 08:34 am (UTC)
it's kind of annoying that they just compare her with other popular heroines from this summer but I guess that's what they do in these kinds of reviews

That's what aggravates me about movies/shows with female protagonists- they're endlessly compared to other female leads and rated against them. It's never possible to consider the character on her own merits and judge the source material alone, there's always gotta be comparisons to other ladies and who's better/worse. :/

(Then if one doesn't do so well, it becomes 'female leads aren't popular and can't carry a movie' as opposed to specific plot/character issues with that one particular script. You never see that with male leads)

complain about the movie centring on female relationships.

WHYYYYY. There are so many movies out there that are all about men interacting with other men and maybe only one token female with no real role to play, god forbid we have this one rare movie that focuses on the mother/daughter relationship! JFC!

They say that she doesn't like being a girl because she does more active stuff and didn't want to get married.

This is the kind of thing that makes my blood boil- riiiiight, because girls aren't allowed to enjoy sports and they are obligated to get married? *eyeroll* It says disturbing things about what those commenters think about girls, tbh, if they believe those are pre-requisites to being female.

I like your point about her never wearing boys' clothing, which she totally would if she hated being female as opposed to being forced to do things against her will.
cameronlilitzecameronlilitze on June 26th, 2012 06:29 am (UTC)
I think the fact that the director was a guy and made that comment is quite telling about his mindset. I also wonder what the film would have been like if it had stayed with its original female director.

Just some food for thought. And also, I wouldn't classify any of the Renaissance and forward princesses as either girly OR tomboyish. To me, they each had a bit of both in them.

Also, can we get a lesbian princess? Please!? I'm not even a lesbian and I would LOVE to see that.
Chris90scartoonman on July 3rd, 2012 10:13 pm (UTC)
Seconded, but society is going to have to do a lot of growing before that happens!
kittylefae: Dinahkittylefae on June 26th, 2012 01:50 pm (UTC)
*sigh* Dont they say this everytime a new princess comes out?

Anyway its just as harmful to make out that you HAVE to be a tomboy/outspoken/independent to be taken seriously and that if you're soft/quiet/girly you're BEING FEMINIST WRONG!

WHY DO THEY KEEP TRYING TO DEFINE WOMAN?!!! Cant we just have characters who are characters and not just troupes? Honestly that whole article is how to do feminism wrong -_-;;;;;


Edited at 2012-06-26 01:51 pm (UTC)
whittertwitterwhittertwitter on June 26th, 2012 04:17 pm (UTC)
New rule! Anyone who writes an article that so much as references another Disney movie has to have watched that movie in recent memory and actually PAID ATTENTION to it. There is just so much fail in this article, I don't even know where to start...
dark_rapunzeldark_rapunzel on June 26th, 2012 07:37 pm (UTC)
"Merida is the only tomboy to enter the famed Disney princess ecosystem, and the first one who doesn't wind up with a prince at the end of her story."

Couldn't we argue that Mulan and Pocahontas are tomboys? And Pocahontas doesn't really end up with John Smith. Kida is kind of a tomboy too although she is not an official princess.

"She can save herself. She's not on a quest for 'happily ever after,'"

Actually she doesn't and she is. Her mother saves her and she saves her mother. It is a partnership. And she is seeking happily ever after but it is just a different kind of happy ending. She wants a life where she isn't forced to be married. She seeks that life and tries to change her mother.

"She's on a quest to find out who she is. And that's very different,"

No, Mulan even SINGS about trying to figure out who she is. It is not a unique theme. Plus Merida isn't trying to find herself, she already knows who she is and want she wants.

"Merida...revolts against kissing princes."

No, actually she says she just wants to fall in love in her own time and not be forced to marry. I am sure if she fell in love with a prince later on she would be happy to kiss him. This is just not a story about that part of her life.


"Ariel ("The Little Mermaid"), Cinderella and even Disney's first African American princess Tiana ("The Princess and the Frog") -- who all needed to seal their future happiness with a kiss"

Ariel did need a kiss to keep her legs and freedom, but in the end the kiss was missed and all she really needed was an understanding father to give her her hearts wish. Cinderella needed a shoe. Tiana got married to her prince and was planning to live a happy froggy life together before the kiss. Technically the kiss was only needed to make her human again. Aurora and Snow needed kisses to break the spell. Jasmine needed wishes to be granted by a genie and for Aladdin to tell the truth and for her dad to change the rules. Rapunzel cried. She cried and her tear drop healed Eugene (even in the original story her tears heal the blinded prince and her singing draws him to her in the desert). Pocahontas and Mulan both did not need kisses. One ended up single, the other found love but her story wasn't really about love. It was about honor and breaking tradition to do what is right. Belle has to say I love you. Her prince needed her. He was saved by her, not she by him. She broke his spell, he did not break hers.

"It is clear that Merida has not only changed her own fate, but the fate of Disney's princess system altogether."

Doubtful. There are lots of stories yet to be told as Disney stories and many of them involve the same themes of love and being saved. People still love a good old "damsel in distress" story and "knight in shining armor" stories.
rizbef: jasmine & belleemharri on June 27th, 2012 12:41 am (UTC)
This, so much this. Really they should get actual movie-goers to write these articles!
dark_rapunzeldark_rapunzel on June 27th, 2012 04:06 pm (UTC)
I wish they would. At least critique the movie. Was it good? What did you like and not like. Going on about breaking the mold is old. I can remember them saying the same thing about Ariel, Jasmine, Belle, Kida, Mulan, and Tiana to name a few.
rizbef: ariel cuteemharri on June 27th, 2012 09:06 pm (UTC)
Indeed... They seem to forget almost everything about the previous princesses when a new one debuts.
(Deleted comment)
rizbef: yeah ok - eilonwyemharri on June 27th, 2012 12:43 am (UTC)
That's probably the article that was referred to here... "Merida is definitely breaking the mold, but one writer at Entertainment Weekly thinks she could be doing even more than that and has questioned her sexual orientation, leading many commenters to bristle at the thought."

I haven't read it, but... really? These writers are off their rockers >_>
borg_princess: lizabeth-right or wrongborg_princess on July 1st, 2012 08:20 am (UTC)
Serious question- why would people bristle over that? I'm just wondering why it's a bad thing if she was a lesbian. I mean, I don't expect writers to ever actually pursue that as a legit storyline, but in terms of general discussion, why would it be so terrible?

I get that 'isn't interested in marriage = gay' is dismissive and insulting, but the defensiveness with 'ZOMG, NO WAY IS SHE GAY' also has negative undertones.