Disney bows down to BRAVE fans

This astute blog post from a media studies professor (yes, there are quite a few of us out there!) shares an update on the Princess Merida brouhaha: Disney has pulled the 2D image of the new version of the doll from their website, most likely from the negative media blitz and petition with over 120,000 signatures saying we all prefer our archer princess without the turquoise eye shadow and push-up bra, thanks.

The Christian Science Monitor weighed in with a piece that went directly to the source, asking a seven year old fan which version she preferred. No surprise, the sexed-up Merida drew forth an unqualified “Yuck!”

It just goes to show, in this age of 24-7 news and instantaneous public floods of emotion (including outrage) that can be registered in the digital arena, manufacturers and corporations are closely watched to see if they listen to consumers, and if their brand might suffer they’ll respond accordingly. So good on ya, Disney.

Now: will there be an archery range installed at your theme parks any time soon?

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • http://www.facebook.com/marienne.foxwood Marienne Hartwood

    There already is an archery range at the Disney parks… been there for years. Shh, don’t tell anyone, though. It’s a really neat experience. ;)

    http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2012/06/be-brave-discover-your-inner-merida-with-an-archery-lesson-at-disneys-fort-wilderness-resort-campground-at-walt-disney-world-resort/

    • http://twitter.com/themediawitch Peg Aloi

      Really? I had no idea, I wouldn’t be caught dead in one of those places (shudder)

      • http://www.facebook.com/marienne.foxwood Marienne Hartwood

        There’s a decent amount of neat things there that never make the headlines for the parks that makes them a pretty neat pagan playground. It is the only place on the planet I know where there is a ritual to invoke the four elements for a blessing of planet earth that has occurred every night for more than 13 years now (except for two nights where a hurricane hit and on 9/11). There’s the annual Blessing of the Four Quarters. There’s a GreenWoman performer who I could sit and watch for hours. They had an amazing exhibit on Islamic ritual tools and another exhibit about the Oaxaca carvers who make wooden beings by releasing the spirit of the wood (although I’m not sure if it is still there or not). There’s the African storytelling around the fire most nights. Lots of other things hidden around the parks, too.

        • http://twitter.com/themediawitch Peg Aloi

          Thanks for that description; I’d never have guessed.

        • http://www.facebook.com/chkraemer13 Christine Hoff Kraemer

          Fascinating! Which Disney park is this?

          • http://www.facebook.com/marienne.foxwood Marienne Hartwood

            The invoking of the four elements is the Illuminations: Reflections of Earth show at Epcot. (The show begins with drumming to raise power into a single firework that shoots across the sky to light the fires of creation, followed by huge fireballs from an inferno barge, the fires are quenched by fountains of water that come up from the lake the show is done in, and then a giant globe sails into the middle of the lake, showing the history of humankind in about 7 minutes. At the end of the show, nineteen torches are lit around the lake to represent the first nineteen centuries of the modern era, and then a central flame is lit to bless the next century. There’s some great videos on YouTube of it.) The annual Blessing of the Four Quarters is done in the Wilderness Lodge, the GreenWoman (named “DiVine”) is at Animal Kingdom (there’s videos online of her as well). The ritual tools exhibit was at the Morocco pavilion of Epcot and the Oaxaca carvers were at the Mexico pavilion. The storytelling around the fire occurs both at Jambo House and Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom Lodge. By far, my favorite thing that isn’t there anymore was the Sage of Time from the Tapestry of Nations parade, which I would love to recreate for a festival someday. (You can read about and see pictures of it here: http://www.intercot.com/edc/tapestry.html ). It was held at Epcot for the millennium celebration, but I’m still hoping someday it will come back in some form or another.

          • http://www.patheos.com/Pagan Christine Kraemer

            Thanks!

  • Brian

    I think it is awesome that people were able to change Disney’s mind on this, my daughter loves this character and being a future feminest was offended by the change. But I can’t help but be saddened that the American people haven’t shown the same outrage over the thousand’s of deaths in the garment factories. The textile industry has a long and disgraceful history of abusing its workers.

  • http://www.patheos.com/Pagan Christine Kraemer

    The fight is not over, perhaps? The feminized image of Merida is still going to be used in the line of toys. http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/disney-pulling-new-merida-from-website-not-victory-after-all–say-petitioners-155018183.html

    • Peg Aloi

      I think the company hopes the brouhaha will die down, but the fact is they’ve been putting out many different Merida dolls and figures since the film came out. I imagine they’ll continue to offer different versions.


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