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Pixar director, fans angered over Disney changes to character

'Brave' director criticizes Disney makeover for doll version of film's lead character.
'Brave' director criticizes Disney makeover for doll version of film's lead character.
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Updated: 5/15/2013 9:25 am
MARIN COUNTY, Calif. -- The plucky heroine from the Pixar movie Brave has received a make-over from Disney that left fans of the movie angry and led the character’s creator to call the changes sexist.

The changes were made for the doll version of the red-haired heroine Merida from the Disney/Pixar movie.

The Marin County filmmaker who directed the animated hit isn't at all happy with what Disney has done to Merida.

Brave director Brenda Chapman won an Oscar earlier this year for best animated feature.

The main character is a feisty young girl who was based on Chapman's daughter Emma.

"Watching her grow up and seeing teenagers who have realistic bodies; that is what we modeled her after," said Chapman.

But Chapman says Disney has given Merida a makeover. She says it gives Merida more of a Barbie look rather than a character many young girls can relate to.

"I find that kind of revolting," said Chapman.

And the new image will appear on t-shirts, bed sheets, games and other merchandise Disney comes up with.

"The waste is cinched in. She has bigger boobs," explain Chapman. "She [had] more a little girls figure; more of an athelete."

Chapman has signed an online petition directed at Disney that now has more than 100,000 signatures objecting to the new look.

"What I am finding is it is not Merida at all," said Chapman. "It seems very sexist to me."

We asked several mothers what they thought of the change, including Albany resident Keegan Rouhr, who is raising two daughters.

"Girls grow up in an image obsessed culture. They don't need more reinforcement for that," said Rouhr.

Chapman said she hopes the petition forces Disney to rethink their changes.

KTVU asked Disney for comment on the controversy and has not heard back.
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