Disney says Merida re-design was a 'one-off'

Ben Arnold
Yahoo UK Movies News

Disney has said that the redesign of Princess Merida from 'Brave' was a 'one-off' to celebrate the character's induction into the Disney Princesses merchandising range.

In a statement to NBC News, the studio clarified its position after much criticism from the public over what appeared to be the character's more glamourous new look.

“The artwork used on Merida’s official social media sites has always been the imagery from the movie – there have been no changes,” read the statement.

“We routinely use different art styles with our characters and this rendition of Merida in her party dress was a special one-time effort to commemorate her coronation.

“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.”

[Brave director slams redesign of Princess Merida]

It added that the new look Merida had not featured on the official Disney websites.

The statement follows widespread criticism of the new look, including scathing words from the film's director Brenda Chapman, who said that the studio 'should be ashamed of themselves'.

“They've gone through the whole Disney princess line and I think they're just doing standard procedure which in this case was I think a bad choice because Merida is not standard procedure,” she told CNN.

“She's not one of the regular princesses and - and she was created to be not one of those princesses.”

A petition directed at Disney boss Bob Iger, which has seen 210,000 people sign up, proclaimed that fans should 'Say No to the Merida Makeover', which depicted a thinner version of the character, minus her bow and arrow, and with a more adult hairstyle.