The creator of Brave character Merida has taken aim at film bosses for giving the red-headed archer a sexy makeover ahead of her official induction into the Disney Princess collection.
Pixar Animation Studios chiefs recently gave the headstrong teenager a modern makeover by narrowing her waist, altering her unkempt hair and redesigning her dress to make Merida appear more visually pleasing.
However, the changes have infuriated the animated movie's original director, Oscar winner Brenda Chapman, who dropped out of the production in 2010 due to creative differences. She was replaced by Mark Andrews.
Chapman tells local California publication Marin Independent Journal, "I think it's atrocious what they've done to Merida. When little girls say they like it (the dress) because it's more sparkly, that's all fine and good but, subconsciously, they are soaking in the sexy 'come hither' look and the skinny aspect of the new version. It's horrible!"
Fans have also launched a petition on Change.org, urging executives to scrap their plans to give Merida a new look, stating, "Merida was the princess that countless girls and their parents were waiting for - a strong, confident, self-rescuing princess ready to set off on her next adventure with her bow at the ready. She was a princess who looked like a real girl, complete with the 'imperfections' that all people have."
Though bosses at Walt Disney Pictures, which owns Pixar, have defended their decision - a statement from the firm reads, "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."