Not everybody is "sold" on Princess Merida from Pixar's "Brave" -- one columnist thinks the heroine is actually a stereotype! At issue? Merida's hair! (read more about how her hair was animated at the MTV Movies Blog) Slate's L.V. Anderson pointed out that Merida embodies the "fiery redhead" -- hot-headed, impulsive, and brimming with "passion":
"Merida...is as fiery as they come: rebellious, quick to yell, obstinate, easily offended. And Pixar isn’t shy about associating these traits with her hair: When Elinor, Merida’s mother, trusses her up in a satiny dress to parade her in front of suitors, she not-so-subtly puts Merida’s hair under wraps, too. (Elinor’s hair is dark and straight, befitting her by-the-book housewife priorities.)"
Anderson (who has red hair herself) refers to other "fiery" redheads from popular culture: Ginger Spice, Joan Holloway from "Mad Men," and Jessica Rabbit. She also contrasted Merida to fellow Disney redhead The Little Mermaid, actually giving the former points for not going after the "superficial goals" of the latter.
But is this a tempest in a (Mrs. Potts) teapot? Does the heroic qualities of Merida -- especially when there are relatively so few action-oriented female rolemodels to go around -- make the question of her hair-color minor, even irrelevant? Or does the Pixar film also teach kids "the old, faulty lesson that there’s a correlation between what’s growing from their head and what’s inside it"?
Let us know in the comments!