Okay: I know Bob Iger defending Princess&Frog by making Tiana a permanent princess was “So there!” thumbing the company’s nose to the box-office analysts, and I was behind him for that, but….even I’M facepalming this as a big, big mistake. I was thinking they were going to quietly cut their losses and move on to Frozen.
P&tF got a bad break, but Brave FLOPPED. It was one of the object lessons for Pixar in What Not To Do (don’t let one director write their “own” vanity movie), and even on the Tiana basis of “Good princess, bad movie”, Merida wasn’t…really that likable. Brenda Chapman’s script overdid the girl-power soapboxing, and Merida in the film came off as snotty, privileged, arrogantly male-bashing, and sort of like that A-student in school nobody really liked.
The more mainstream-marketing Merida in the parks, I haven’t had a chance to see yet, but I trust the face characters will just play up the “Having fun with my bows and horses” aspect for the little girls, and just let us remember the -good- things about her we wanted to see going in.
Merida is very popular in the parks she has huge lines all day for Meet and Greets and if they seeing lots if Merida toys, clothes etc. sold then that is the reason to make her official.
Yeah, I’m not so thrilled about this either. With “Frozen” adding one (maybe even two) new princesses to the franchise, the Disney Princesses have already had enough without adding in a mediocre character who “kind of” meets the criteria of a Disney Princess. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed “Brave” more than some, but adding Merida to this franchise doesn’t excite me.
I have two daughters ages 8 and 6 that have always loved everything Disney, especially the princesses. My younger daughter likes the pink girly usually Aurora, sometimes Rapunzel. But my older daughter fell in absolute love with Merida. After seeing the movie, she said FINALLY, a princess like me (meaning the tomboy kind of stuff as she is too young to mash males or be too snobby or privileged). Also the lines at the parks for Merida have been HUGE sometimes longer than the other princesses. So I think Disney is right in adding her to the princess lineup for sure!
I respectfully disagree and I can’t understand why you’d interpret Merida as “arrogantly male-bashing”. Is it because she doesn’t want to get married at 16? Because she and her father cracked jokes at her suitors? I’m genuinely curious.
And whether you like it or not: Merida IS popular. Her merchandise – especially the bow-and-arrow-set (or so I’ve heard) – sells A LOT at the Disney stores. She had the longest lines out of all the meet and greets when I visited Disney World.
I loved Brave. Most people – especially females – I know also loved Brave. To be honest, whenever I hear men complain about Brave, I can’t help but think that it’s probably because it wasn’t really meant for them. I, for one, am super excited that Merida will become an official Princess and I’m sure a lot of other people are as well!
I mean, you’re entitled to your opinion; I just don’t agree with it.
It feels like Disney already had this spot reserved at London before the movie came out, because it worked so well for Rapunzel’s big hype event, but frankly…Rapunzel DESERVED to be in the Princess Hall of Fame.
They’re both spunky and curious, they’re both doers, they both have “Mom!” problems, and they both know how to wield a bow/frying pan–But you felt for Rapunzel and liked how she got along with Flynn, while Merida was just too perfect, too mean to the boys, and too concerned about not being told what to do. Rapunzel -earned- her place in the new Princess Hall next to Belle and Jasmine, while Merida just seems to be -inheriting- it.
(I still have a photo with Atlantis’ Kida from ’01, and while she had a rotten movie too, and will always be a “forgotten” Princess like we thought Merida would end up, she had a little stuff of her own, and it didn’t bother guys to like her as a character.)
I’m really happy and excited for Merida’s coronation and I fully agree that she deserves to be a princess for Disney. I’ve always hated the fact that Disney always has a prince charming involved somewhere and only a marriage would certify their princesship. Merida defies all that. She might be sporty, and definitely not typical princess material but it reminds us that a princess doesn’t always have to be delicate and soft and utterly useless. The fact that she can use bows and arrows and ride horses and climb mountains shows and tells us that a princess can be just as adventureres and fiesty like any other girl of this era. And making her not marry was the best part. Even though she was a princess by birth, it still emphasizes the fact that a hot guy next to you doesn’t make you a definite princess. The Brave story line is really good as well. It tells us that sometimes a princess doesn’t need to follow rules to be happy and traditions aren’t always the right thing. Even her bond with her mother is something useful to many girls that feel that their parents just don’t understand their thoughts in this generation.
I think Merida has all the right to be a princess as Snow White or Cinderella. She is a inspirational figure for girls that don’t have a stereotypical princess feature in them. Just like Rapunzel, they can make their own call, find their own paths, an touch the sky with their own bare hands. No matter why anyone says, I say Merida is a beautiful figure of a princess.
Well, then that means Disney should have made Kida from Atlantis the Lost Empire apart of the Disney collection. She was a princess, and yet, got so ignored. sure the movie wasn’t a success, but still. Then you have Megara who is technically a princess, and yet no coronation. I don’t think just anny princess should be crowned a Disney princess. Her movie was made by Pixar. Thats hardly what I would call a true Disney Princess. :/
Thank you for reminding us that we only get to be adventurous if we are also overly super sweet and profess a need for some guy in our lives. Because that is the only way Rapunzel “earned” her place as a princess over the story content in Brave.
this this all day is what I wanted to say to that guy, but you got it first, thanks
It’s also a bit disturbing that a (presumably) grown man would go out of his way to rant about what he thinks a Disney Princess ought to be. This seems very personal to him. I find that odd.
Oh dear! I think that’s a trifle harsh. The problem with text comments is that tone can’t be detected, and I think sometimes how we feel at the moment can influence how we interpret others’ comments.. I honestly don’t think Eric was trying to say that at all. He was expressing an opinion, that’s all. I don’t agree with him at all, but that doesn’t make him a bad guy. Granted, I think he could have phrased it better. Sure, Merida was a bit unlikeable at times, but wasn’t that the point? I went through such a stage myself at her age, as did many girls I know. But that’s kind of the stage where you’re trying to figure out your identity while living under your parents’ authority. And Merida makes mistakes. Monumental ones. But what I liked was that she was far from perfect and kind of had to learn to get over herself. (Honestly, her attitude was no worse than Ariel or Jasmine.)
As a gay male who considers himself very feminist I admire Merida’s spunk but agree that story-wise the movie plainly sucked. No good villains or plot. I couldn’t help but think of Brother Bear the whole time and not just because of all the bears. It was just a really pretty but meh movie. Even the mother/daughter relationship that was supposed to be at the heart of it didn’t go much of anywhere. I didn’t find Merida’s snotty or man-bashing at all. I just found her cliched like everything else in the movie.
Ok so I agree with most of your opinion about the movie, it was a mixture of brother bear, Snow White with the whole potion food thing, and kinda like Mulan with the whole defyent child that went against what her parents said. I really think that she just came off as a bratty,unlovable teenager. I do think the animation of the movie was amazing though bc I went and saw this as my first midnight premier and it was really amazing seeming every curly lock of her firey red hair, but the story was way to predictable and the only way u could feel bad about her is because she is being forced into marriage (which u almost can’t even count bc she almost started a war about it…)
You may not agree with the decision but 2 points to make:
1. Any movie that grossed over 230 million at the box office did not flop.
2. It was a critical success. It won the Acadeamy Award for Best Animated Feature.
In the end this was done more for marketing purposes anyway.
Go and look up the Monday-morning-quarterback analyses of last year’s Oscars, and you will see, without exception, EVERY critic cry “Brave WON? What happened?? Wreck-It Ralph had the lock from the day it opened!”
The explanation most pundits settled on was the classic: Nobody ever watches their screeners. Although Brave’s word-of-mouth was decidedly mixed, Ralph’s positive buzz took a little longer to spread throughout Nov-Dec., and many voters, having seen only one or neither, decided that based on the last twelve years, you “couldn’t go wrong” giving a vote to Pixar. (…Or COULD you?)
Just saying, defensive fans, please: You can crunch box office numbers all you like but “It was good because it won an Oscar!” will fool -nobody- in 2013. We were there, we know better.
Have you seen marketing costs these days?
How was Brave a flop exactly? It did $237 million domestically and $538 million globally making it the 14th highest earning animated film of all time. It is in the top 100 all time worldwide grosses for ALL films. It was the highest earning animated film of 2012 and in the #8 spot for ALL films released in 2012.
By what measure, exactly, are you calling Brave a flop? Because by every objective measure imaginable, it was pretty darn successful.
It was only slightly better than Cars 2.
Made. My. Life.
Adam, you are the man. I completely agree. Brave a flop. HA! Nothing Disney does is a flop. Its hard to say that anything this company does is a flop when the average household spends $8,000 on Disney alone. WOW. And they net profit 1.464 BILLION dollars in Q1. Everything they touch is gold.
“nothing Disney does is a flop”
I don’t agree that nothing Disney does is a flop, but I definitely agree “Brave” wasn’t a flop. I loved it entirely. <3
I agree, the numbers speak for themselves as does the awards. I can’t help but think how out of touch those males are (and most of the critics are male it seems) with the life of real girls. My 13 year old daughter and my 5 year old daughter love the movie. I would go so far as to say it is their favorite even. Of course some guys are going to say that it is male bashing, how dare a girl not swoon over the guys that want to marry her. How dare she not just be cute with a bow and a pony. That is clearly what Eric here wants, but that is not what girls really want.
I have to agree to a certain extent.
EricJ obviously has too much time on his hands if he finds princess critiquing is such a priority. Merida is an extremely well loved princess in my aria, and a wonderfully strong character. And like all the others, will most likely grow in popularity as time goes on. Nothing about her came off as snotty, privileged (she was about to be married off to one in a parade of clowns, and so protest was expected) or even slightly male-bashing. EricJ comes off as a little too sensitive to girls that don’t fit the mold. Well, run for you life, buddy, because kick-ass princesses and strong female role models are what we want, and they aren’t going anywhere!
Actually I’m annoyed. that whole year was the same old same old. another strong heroine. where are our clever, intellectual heroines? Now that’s unique! I’m bored with yet another tomboyish main female heroine.
Brave flopped? Last I heard it won an Oscar.
Are you serious? Brave is one of the few children’s animated movies that I actually enjoy! And Merida is at the top of the very short list of princesses that I want my daughters to like. Merida, Mulan, Pocahontas, Belle (because she likes to read and rejects the loutish Gaston), Jasmine, Rapunzel, Tiana. These female characters have brains, spunk, and independent spirits. Too bad a few of them still require rescuing by men! I guess the saying “to each his/her own” applies here, but as a woman, a parent of daughters, and a former little girl myself, I have to say that seeing Brave was a breath of fresh air after so many movies with gender stereotyped princesses.
Wow, you have issues.
Are you an idiot? Brave’s domestic total alone was over $237Million, add another $300+ in foreign gross and that’s over half a billion on a movie that cost $180million to make….. and you say it FLOPPED??? With who???…. Brave is head and shoulders a better movie than Princess and the Frog (which only grossed $104mill domestic and $162mil worldwide = $267million total… almost exactly HALF of what Brave did) … so please get your facts straight before you make yourself look any more foolish
I completely agree with what Eric says. Merida isn’t a good role model. She’s sneaky and rude. I don’t want children growing up with an image in her head that her mother is a Villian and that you can run off, but everything will work out fine In the end with no consequences. She is also repelling the suitors without getting to know them or looking on the positive side of things. She is fully determained to do whatever SHE wants so i think she’s just a horrible character that is (sorry everyone) really bad to relate to. Little girls shouldn’t want to not care care about life, run away from home, treat their mother like the enemy (and trick her into drinking a magic potion), and hate everyone. The movies storyline was alright at first, but after cutting it down and getting over how pretty the movie looked, it was pitiful. It was something that Dreamworks would’ve done. The crass humor, the bitter characters, the overly feminist girl, and the poor morals and values wasn’t something to expect from this company I love. John Lassiter, please come back and help us. Monsters University better save Pixar because Cars 2 and Brave have tainted it forever. The movie graphics on the other hand were wonderfully done and breathtaking!
boy am I glad my daughter doesn’t have you for a mother. I don’t think a single character in Brave was “bitter,” nor do I think that Merida was “overly feminist” – whatever that may mean.
and if you think that Merida’s actions had no consequences, I have to wonder if you even watched the whole movie. her actions had consequences of the best kind – her parents’ realization that just because she’s a girl doesn’t mean that her life isn’t hers to live. or maybe you think that girls are chattel?
LG, I agree! Your reply to Allison was awesome. 🙂
“Cars 2 and Brave have tainted it forever.”
“Tainted it forever”? I love how you state your opinions as fact.
Many people enjoyed both Cars 2 and Brave. Just because YOU didn’t like those films, doesn’t mean others didn’t enjoy them
For most people, Pixar is not tainted at all. There’s no need to act like such a drama queen.
“John Lassiter, please come back and help us.”
What do you mean “come back and help us”?
John Lasseter was the director of Cars 2 and he was executive producer on Brave.
thanks for that excellent example of mansplaining, EricJ. funny how almost no one whose opinion actually matters agrees with you.
Okay well that was kind of rude.
I can’t understand where all of this Merida hate is coming from. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but mine is that this isn’t coming from nowhere.
I was a huge fan of “Brave” and saw it twice in theaters. I’ve always had a very strong relationship with my mom and we enjoyed the mother/daughter story and the fact that the movie is so *different* from everything else. Disney & Pixar took a risk with “Brave” because it was so different…and guess what? It won an Oscar. And not just for a song like most other movies can only claim.
If any problem should be had with this, it should be with the 2D design of Merida – which doesn’t even really bother me.
I do believe that the lineup is getting a little large and should take out Pocahontas (she has no real claim to a “princess” title.)
Also I can’t understand how Brave “flopped” as you say. It made back it’s budget and had great reviews. Until just now, I hadn’t heard a single thing bad about it.
This is just my opinion, but how is anyone surprised that ANY character as popular as Merida (or even Tiana as far as that whole situation goes) AND one that has a proper “princess” title in their respective movie, not be added to the princess lineup?
It’s all just a merchandising angle. That having been said, the toys I have seen in stores look nothing like the character in the movie (which as previously mentioned, is pretty much Brother Bear in a Scottish setting). Even the fish catching scene seemed lifted note for note. Patsy just mentioned Pocahontas as not being worthy of the “princess” moniker. I would say Mulan is less so. Wasn’t she just from a well-to-do family and then ended up becoming a government official?
Being a Disney Princess isn’t so much about being a princess as it is expanding the demographics to which the product line appeals (Asians, redheads, tomboys, etc.)
If little girls ask Mulan “in person” why she’s a Princess when she really isn’t one, the official Disney answer is that the Emperor rewarded her with honorary status after the battle. Pocahontas already says that the chief’s daughter is a “princess to her people”.
And while Merida looked like she would be a great princess in the trailers, the story itself just came too loaded with Brenda Chapman’s agenda–She wanted it to be a girl-power “Take Your Daughter to Work At the Castle” Lifetime Network mother-daughter movie, was fired when Pixar wanted it to be more universal for mass audiences, and the Brain Trust tried to flesh out the thin story with “gag” business for running time. (The modern witch, the three bear cubs, the doltish chieftains and their freakish male sons.) The problem with the movie was that it was still ONE person’s ideas, and one person’s one-note character for one plot message, with none of the unexpected third-act surprises that Nemo or Monsters or the Toy Story movies know how to pull out of their hat when the whole Story department works on them.
One of the problems I had with Tiana and Princess&Frog was that the movie went in with Job One of “We’re not a princess musical, honest!”, made the prince a lazy slob, put in a goony comedy-relief girl to satirize princess-mania, and gave Tiana -nothing- to talk about except how she wanted to build her own restaurant all by herself. Tiana had some personality to escape her Script Agenda, but Merida was just crushed under it: She was supposed to be “fiery tomboy”, but just came off a little spoiled and aloof, and couldn’t outdo Rapunzel’s spunky artistic desire to leave the tower, or Vanellope’s desire to win the race.
Since Disney has to market the Princesses as a positive image to girls, they try to stress the one personality aspect they “symbolize”: Snow White is “sweet”, Cinderella is “good”, Belle is “smart”, etc. We certainly know Merida is “energetic”, but that’s only because Chapman’s story didn’t give her much else.
Interesting. So women can be sweet, good and smart, but so long as they marry the prince at the end? You call Brave ‘male bashing’, yet you seem to have a mountain of issues with anything remotely feminist. (Important note: feminism does NOT equal male-hating, if you’re ignorant to that fact, I suggest you go educate yourself).
Just because this princess does not fit your description of what a princess should be, does not mean the majority agree with you. As a matter of fact, the majority DON’T agree with you.
No. She spoiled in the way that she risks having a great and tragic war, that would probably kill many people, also the fact that she brainwashes her own mother to do her bidding, and all the while not really caring much of what shes doing. Its great that she was rebelious, but she was extremely spoiled that SHE WILLINGLY AND WITH PREMEDITATION tore her mothers hardwork because she was mad. ALthough the mother threw the bow into the fire she didnt think about it till after. No merida knew what she was doing and still did it.
Read what he said again, because I didn’t hear any mention of having to marry a prince with “sweet”, “smart”, and “good”. His description of a true princess is about their morals. I have absolutely NO problem with Merida wanting to live her own life and she doesn’t have to marry a prince. But she did appear selfish for most of the movie until she and her mom mended their bond. That’s what Pixar does in their storytelling. They make a lovable character who makes mistakes along the way, but changes their ways in the end without changing their unique personalities.
Also remember! It’s great for Merida to be a more “girl power” type, but it’s also great for the other princesses to be themselves as well (even if they aren’t sporty or energetic. There are many different types of girls in this world).
Sounds like you have some real issues with “girl-power” when really it is women being able to do anything a man can. Do you find you tend to have issues with women who are not “sweet and good” but rather bold and determined?
#1 She’s not even a real Disney princess, she’s half way Pixar. If Pixar reneged today, she wouldn’t be there anymore. #2 Its not like she’s the only brave princess in the line up. But she lacks compassionate and kind qualities that makes a person not just a princess but a heroine. don’t get me wrong, I loved the movie and her personality. I think she is unique. But I don’t believe she belongs in the disney princess franchise. They didn’t put Kida in there or Megara. Why? Because they did not have classic Disney Princess personalities. So why put Merida, who is not even FULLY disney? I tell you why MONEY. Tomboy girls sell.
Merida is a great role model for young girls, end of. Brave was one of the first films where a “princess” stated she didn’t want to get married and didn’t end up having to go back on that because she discovered her true love. She stuck to her guns (or bow and arrow) and had a story that didn’t revolve around finding a man or becoming a princess, which a huge majority of the other princesses cannot claim. There’s certainly a place for those stories and those princesses, but there’s also room for a character for a contemporary viewer – I think this is a great move for Disney, because the stories told by each Princess now all vary widely based on their goals and aspirations. Just because she didn’t fall in love doesn’t mean she didn’t have a valid story to tell. It wasn’t the best story, or well structured, but it was a step in a new direction and should be celebrated as so.
Looking at the re imaginering of the princesses I trow up in my mouth.
Gone are all the individualy skilfully designed princesses from the animation masterpieces we love to make place for big eyed, glittering lookalikes who look like they are made in China for a cheap theme park rip off.
Disney is killing it’s origanality in favor of enthousiastical parents who call their daughters princesses and pull their wallet with everything that has a princess slapped on it.
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Especially now that they even sexed up the decidedly un-sexy tomboy Merida by throwing her dress off her shoulders, which is totally out of character.
The Princess redesings are universally horrible. And in the case of Pocahontas, painfully racist. They glitterbombed their dresses, slapped some make up on and was done with it.
I think Disney doesn’t understand how much people love Princess Tiana. I wish she was featured more at meet and greets and at the character breakfasts. She is the most beautiful princess and I get so excited when I see her. All my friends love Princess Tiana. But it feels like Disney keeps her locked in the background. I don’t like Merida because I think she takes attention away from princess Tiana.
Honestly I’m still in shock that Tiana was made an official princess, not sure why Merida is becoming one either UGH!
I think the batch of princesses they have are the perfect ones and don’t need anymore, the classic princesses is how it should remain. Though keeping Tiana, Merida still in the parks etc etc.
I think they should just keep her as is, in her own spots–And when the girls ask the character she isn’t at the castle with Aurora and Belle, of course, they hear, “What, me hang around a great stuffy castle all day?”
YES!!! I totally agree with that and I love what u said she should say bc it totally fits her personality!!!
Haha that’s perfect!!!
I don’t see why she wouldn’t be made an official princess? She married a prince, after all, and she’s a wonderful role model. I never thought I’d relate to a Disney Princess more than I related to Belle, but Tiana takes the cake with her no-nonsense, can do attitude and exceptional work ethic. Rapunzel on the other hand was a total bummer to me, but I think she deserves to be in the lineup as well.
Tiana is wonderful and I think Disney is missing out on a huge opportunity by not making a Tiana’s Place-restaurant where Tiana (and maybe other characters) could do meet and greets).
I agree! So many little girls, and big girls, really love her.
It’s not that Disney doesn’t understand, there is a niche crowd for Tiana, but by most accounts – Princess and the Frog was kind of a flop for Disney. It only made $104mil domestic and another $160mil international. $265mil sounds like a ton, but for an animated (esp. a Disney movie), that’s a bomb. P&tF doesn’t make the top 50 grossing list of animated movies made since 1991 (Beauty and the Beast) – it’s an interesting list, but seeing as how movies like Shark Tale, Dinosaur and Hotel Transylvania all made more than P&tF, I can see how it’s not a huge priority for them… the list is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_highest-grossing_animated_films
Rapunzel and Merida are ACTUAL PRINCESSES.
Hey adults. Stop it. This is sad. Take your kids, and shut up.
Go to agree. These aren’t for you there for your kids(if applicable). And it was not a flop
Hahahahaha. LOVE THIS COMMENT
Thank you EP Ripley for saying what everyone else was thinking.
So say we all.
Is anyone else disturbed by the fact that all of these characters have been “re-imagined” as wasp-waisted bratz dolls?
As a girl who grew up with most of the Disney princesses (born in 88), as a 25 year old I’m in love with Merida since she’s a positive role model who can stand on her own two feet and isn’t empty headed and waiting for a boy to save her. The old princesses were all compromised by a boy in one respect or another- is that how you want your daughters growing up?
SHE DOESN’T -DO- ANYTHING IN THE MOVIE! Her entire “goal” in the movie is to run away from her parents, and then clean up the mess she made when she overdid the “teen independence” thing.
We know what Rapunzel, Tiana and even Ariel want out of their story, but as her father jokes, what is Merida’s actual stated goal in life beyond “Ohh, I don’t want to listen to my parents, I want to ride free in the forest and shoot ma bow!” 😉
She doesn’t want to run away from her parents, she wants her mother to LISTEN TO HER. What she wants is a relationship with her mother where the communicate and to not have to be stuffed into a role she clearly isn’t fit to fill [yet]. She wants to be free to live her own life. What more should she want? Why is this less of a proper goal than Belle’s vague “I want adventure”?
Also, the line is “I don’t want to get married.” and not “I don’t want to listen to my parents.” The entire point of the movie is that Merida isn’t the only one who isn’t listening. Elinor isn’t either.
She wants to decide her own future, oh what a little brat! How dare she! How can she expect her parents to actually LISTEN and TALK with her.
You sir, have a chip on your shoulder.
Ok, but the moral of the story is that she also had to listen and be reasonable. neither her nor her mother were willing to listen to each other’s side of the story. hardly call her hero let alone a princess.
Sounds like a normal teenager to me. She fixes it doesn’t she? And then is satisfied with being herself and wither her family in the end. This is why I love her. Also can I add that I saw Brave for the 6th time at a theatre in a small town in Scotland. Best audience ever. They loved it.
None of them aspire to have a boy. Mulan saves a guy. Cinderella wants to go to a party and just meets him. Just because they get married doesnt thats they wait for a boy to save them, other than Jasmine, Snow White and Aurora, They either save the guy, or theyre just a plus at the end. But then again why do the guys have to be the ones who are negetive? Why do they need a girl to save them from themselves? I dont think thats how I want my boys to be thinking that they need to a girl to be good people
The whole point of the story was that neither character was listening, through the fantastical adventure, Merida learned the value in what her mother was teaching her and the mother learned that her daughter didn’t have to fit in to a specific cookie cutter personaility in order to serve their kingdom.
The reason Merida had to get married was to keep peace between the clans, but they found a way to keep that peace without a mairrage.
And Cindyrella, that characters may not have been looking for a man, but the story in many cases was about them getting one. Or at least couldn’t exist without it happening.
Cinderella: Really, you can’t remember what she looks like and have to try the shoe on EVERYONE. You don’t even remember she was a blonde? And of course one evening of dancing is enough to decide who you want to marry.
Beauty and the Beast: I love Belle, I really do, but her intelligence in this story is coincidental. It’s NOT what saves the story. Also, the story is supposed to prove that there is more to love than beauty (well, for the men), and if you have a man who is a violent rage filled beast, stick around, you can change him.
Snow White: Did NOTHING. She was pretty, she sang some songs and cleaned the freaking house. The prince fell in love when her when she was lying there asleep.
Basically the story of many of the princesses reinforce gender stereotypes and in the end, you need a man to have value.
Also, Mulan, Tiana and Merida are the only ‘princesses’ I can think of who have both a positive mother and father figure. Where their family is intact and relevant to the story. (Tiana’s father did die, but not till she was grown). So many of disney’s stories don’t support positive family connections.
Getting back to Brave, it is ABOUT that family connection and the challenges that come along with it. We’re really going to blame Merida for wrecking the sewing project but not the mom for throwing the bow in the fire? Seriously? They are both bull headed (like mother like daughter) and it gets them into trouble. They find their way out by learning to understand each other’s perspective. By learning to listen and appreciate each other.
Like families should do.
I also thought the execution of the plot could have been handled better, especially for Pixar, but I was happy with the messages and I am content to have Merida as a role model for my daughter.
Good analysis, but I will point out that Snow White and her Prince meet and fall in love at the beginning of the film when he hears her singing at the Wishing Well. It was very much an animated version of Nelson Eddy and Jeannette MacDonald down to the fact that Adrianna was a trained opera singer.
Yowza, so much animosity about this subject in the comments. I love Disney princesses as much as the next person, but I think all the naysayers are forgetting one thing, and that this isn’t for you, the adult Disney fan, it’s for the kids. For kids growing up right now who weren’t exposed to princesses like Ariel, Cinderella, or Belle, it’s princesses like Merida and Tianna who are the princesses of their generation. And personally, I did like Brave, and I think Merida (who was in fact a princess) is a strong role-model for young girls; she’s not the typical waiting for Prince Charming to come rescue her. So, I like this move.
Okay. We GET it–Defenders of Merida say “She’s the princess little girls should like because she DIDN’T WANT A GUY! 🙂 ” Anything else, or are we bringing our own social baggage to project onto the character? Since that sure seems to be what the original director did with the movie. For the record, Pocahontas never got married either, IIRC, and dove off of waterfalls to boot, and yet everyone seems to have a bloodlust for kicking her off the pantheon.
This, to help shut up the “Why are adults talking about it?” naysayers is the key difference to why guys like Disney princesses (well, we like Jasmine and Cindy, anyway 🙂 ), and what females see in a Disney character: We take a story as a story–or lack of one, as the case may be–and females immediately project -themselves- into any story and feel they’ve been “personally insulted” if the heroine wouldn’t do what they’d dream of doing. Um, you’re not her, she is–We guys can’t vicariously fantasize ourselves into the role, we just wonder whether we could ever stand to be on the same carpet, forest, castle, or grotto with the character if it ever happened to us. That’s why we don’t want to put some stories up on statues as role models for our social benefit, and/or want to burn others at the stake.
EricJ, I think you’ve revealed your hand here, and really, should stop commenting at this point.
We get it. You resent the fact that Merida is a strong, brave princess–you see it as one dimensional (because you can see no other elements to the story, or to her character, which is quite sad), and you believe that this was something of an ego trip on the part of the director, who apparently had “too much of a girl power agenda” (again, quite sad).
The best point you made here is about women being able to see themselves in the characters. You see, friend, historically, we females have had precious little to go on in Disney movies (and in cinema in general). Men are always the actor, the doers, the heros. Rarely do the women get to even defend themselves, let alone anyone else. They are often soft, weak, sheltered, meek…All of those horrible stereotypes that often (not always) accompany the word “princess.”
And, you see, that’s why Merida is so important, and why “Brave” is such a good movie, especially for little girls. Merida is a princess; she is also brave, likes to hunt, likes to fight, has no interest in a prince, wants to be free, etc. Girls *and* boys need to hear that life is not all about finding your prince or princess–it’s about loving the people around us, and being brave in face of danger and injustice.
That is what “Brave” teaches; and if you fail to see any other themes than a forced “girl power” ethic combined with an “I want to do whatever I want” attitude on Merida’s part, I suggest you sit down and actually watch the movie again. You might learn something this time around.
Thank you for summing up every single point that needed to be said to this guy.
Thank you for that!!
According to a study, only 28 percent of speaking roles in G-rated movies between 1990-2005 were females. (Also, while Brave CERTAINLY didn’t help that statistic: eighty-five percent of the characters were white. Source: http://www.now.org/issues/media/women_in_media_facts.html?printable or http://www.seejane.org/research/ for full report.)
Is that supposed to be an insult? Because that would be hilarious.
No it wasn’t an insult… I was saying it was a good thing haha. Sorry if it came off like a negative thing.
Thank you, Lucinda.
Mixed emotions – thought this was really going to be Princess Leia.
Interesting. I see a lot of men who seem to want to believe the movie “flopped”, complaining all the while about “soapboxing” and “male bashing”, and/or an uninteresting plot (unlike Rapunzel, because of “how she got along with Flynn”).
All it was was a movie about a girl that didn’t revolve around romance. It seems to me that what we’re seeing is the outrage of men at the idea that a film should revolve around a mother/daughter relationship instead of around, well, them.
I didn’t realize ‘Brave’ was so radical (though the fact that it passes the Bechdel test should have clued me in), but I guess it must be. It seems females still can’t be protagonists in something other than a love story without some men blowing a fuse.
Thing is, Disney (as opposed to Pixar) tells us in their movies that life IS about romance, because it’s pretty darn dull without it. I mentioned that guys like Jasmine (seriously, go out and ask ten guys, and see which answer you get), and Rapunzel caught on so much more than determined restauranteur Tiana, because even if they did “find guys”, their relationships were those of absolute EQUALS, if not partners: Jasmine doesn’t want her father’s suitors, Aladdin saves her from the marketplace, and five minutes later, she shows she can pole vault over rooftops too; she deflates his boasts of being Prince Ali, and he proceeds to show her a Whole New World. Flynn gives Rapunzel her long-awaited day out at the fair, and yet she could swing over cliffs and singlehandedly reform an entire tavern of bandits where even he would fear to tread. And yet they’re both two of the most mutually head-over-heels couples in Disney–There’s no gender recrimination there, no Snow White twittering about faraway princes or out-archering for the Sisterhood, just the lesson that if you ever go looking for happiness, you’re not always going to find it by YOURSELF. You can shout “Hear me roar!”, but what happens when no one wants to hear it anymore, and if you shout it in a forest, does a tree fall?
Being yourself, or being enough of yourself that someone else will find it, what lesson do you REALLY want to teach your daughter, or more accurately, which one would she be more grateful for having been indoctrinated upon? There’s “fantasy”, and then there’s the reason we watch fairytales to begin with.
Eric does make a good point here… like Merida, Jasmine is pretty awesome in general for a role model, and Aladdin as a whole is a more solid film. Personally, I think Merida is awesome and I wish there was more to the plot of the film – I liked it, but it felt thinner than most other feature animated films, less solid plot.
That said, out of 11 princesses Jasmine and Pocahontas being the only ones capable of taking care of themselves without the help of a man is kind of sad, and Merida definitely belongs in the mix. Though I too could do without the bared shoulder…
That was perfect! YES
“the lesson that if you ever go looking for happiness, you’re not always going to find it by YOURSELF.”
Except you seem to have a big problem with any character EVER finding happiness without a romantic partner. One film where a female character is independent and you’re trying to paint it as an ideologically-driven propaganda film.
And yes, I would have loved if my parents had taught me to be strong and independent like Merida when I was a kid. Luckily at the time I had She-ra, at least.
Merida is similar to Mickey Mouse in “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”. She’s the unwitting villain of the story, messing around with forces she shouldn’t be, and living to regret it. So she IS flawed and obstinate and proud and self-absorbed (initially), but she learns the error of her ways, and mends the rift caused by her pride. That’s her character arc. Who she is at the beginning of the film is not who she is at the end. Eric’s dislike for her character doesn’t seem to encompass the totality of her character.
That’s a good point–Not a great one (except for Mickey, “I cleaned up my tantrum-screwup!” is not the world’s most sympathetic plot), but just to clarify, consider You Be the Pixar Post-Chapman Script Doctor for a moment: What if–just sayin’ IF–in the “marriage prospects” scene, there had been just a brief gag about a #2 chieftain’s son at the back of the crowd, registering an immediately smitten look of “Oh, wow, she can SHOOT! 🙂 “…But he won’t get a chance either, since by tradition the father “has” to push the big doltish-freak firstborn since. How “male-bashing” would Merida have come off then?–Simply someone who wanted the freedom to hold out for someone who saw her for herself and what she does, as she personally “helps” them by telling them at the end. That just makes -too- much story sense–But Brenda DIDN”T DO THAT. Like SP, she was too busy counting -how many- Beneficial Role Models were affirmative-action placed in movies for the benefit of future empowered generations. Instead of creating fully realized characters, and ended up fired by the people who had a lot more field experience at it.
But in the end, this is just about a Disneyland character, and the good thing is that Disney park marketing, trying to be all things to everyone, can find the more common-ground in a character. The park versions of Alice, Mulan, Pocahontas, etc., aren’t exactly who they were in the movies, and if all the “role-modeling” that Merida does is showing a little girl how to shoot her own bow straight, that leaves her with something much better to remember.
Animation is a medium given to bouts of exaggeration. It’s the nature of the art form. If you want to have an evil crone, you can draw the most hideous thing imaginable and bring it to life. The trick is knowing when you’ve gone too far. In the case of the suitors in Brave, they’re exaggerated, they’re comic, they’re intentionally designed to make Merida repulsed at the thought of marrying any of them. Creating an actual love interest for Merida is an interesting idea, but it’s also conventional and possibly distracting from the mother-daughter story of the movie.
And if I had to slip into Script Doctor mode for Brave, I would have overhauled the “Witch” scenes. They’re slapstick and bonkers, and they’re wildly misjudged. Those moments are right up there with the Gargoyles in Hunchback in the “ill-considered comedy Hall of Shame”.
Actually, the witch scenes are one of the examples of the scenes Pixar’s script paramedics had to “paste on” to make it look more like a wide-audience movie, and not Brenda’s Mother’s-Day Movie. One of the reasons Disney keeps going to Cars, Buzz/Woody and Monsters every time it has to “sell to boys” is that Pixar doesn’t play gender cards–FTM, this’s one of their few movies that even had gender-carded humans in them at ALL, and that’s been the neutral-ground strength of their popularity. Although Brenda went out and cried martyr to the world that she had been fired by “male Hollywood”, the fact is, by making it “herself”, she simply didn’t know how to make a Pixar movie, and was told “And don’t come back until you can remember how you made Prince of Egypt!” John Lasseter could overhaul Bolt and Meet the Robinsons and get them back on their feet, but this patient needed a lot more work in the ER, and its chronic problems still caught up with it in the end.
Heaven forbid there’s a “Mother’s Day” movie, right? What a nightmare that would be.
How does Pixar not play the gender card? Brave is the first movie they made with a female protagonist. Pixar movies are not “neutral ground” in terms of gender.
Looking at the first listed top billed characters:
Main Character(s) male
Buzz and Woody
Main Character(s) male
Mike and Sullivan
Main Protagonist (s) male
Main Character(s) female
Merida and Elinor
I feel like Esmerelda should have been a Disney princess. She has all the spunk bravery and independence as Merida, but her character had so much more depth beyond “breaking the mold” don’t get me wrong I lioved brave, but Esmerelda to me is more of a heroine and deserves wayyy more credit than she received.
Im not very fond of Merida. Albeit its great that shes rebellious and everything. But shes extremely spoiled. I can understand not wanting to marry somebody, and let me remind you Cinderellas rebellious goal was not to find a husband but to have a fun night for once, she risks having a great war between three different clans, that could kill many people, brainswashes her mom to do her bidding. I have to agree that feminisim is shoved into this movie. I can understand not wanting to marry someone but gawsh, they go way over board. I know she doesnt hate men, but shes stil very spoiled. They do go overboard with all of it. Mulan, Belle, Tiana, Cinderella, Rapunzel are great examples and great role models. They hate what they are forced to do, so they fight back. They arent quiet but are hardworking and WORK for their dreams, also finding a guy to marry is NONE of their main goals, except for Snow mind you, but merely a plus at the end.
Blaming Merida for acting spoiled in the first act of Brave is like blaming the Beast for being angry and foul-tempered in the first act of Beauty and the Beast. Merida’s character grows considerably through the film. It’s what the entire movie is about.
Also, Snow White’s main goal is to stay alive, not to “find a guy to marry”. A prince has pledged his heart to her, and she dreams of being with him, but her first priority is escaping the Queen’s insane evil.
Although Linda Woolverton’s never exactly been innocent from stacking the gender/feminist-heroine cards either, and taking away from the original tale that the Beast was kind and generous from minute one, and Beauty was the unenlightened one who had to learn lessons about appearances.
(And for those using Merida as symbolic Single-Heroine Icon, any feminist here not just a little bothered by the fact that in the marriage prospects, she still hypocritically hopes she’ll luck out and end up with the musclebound Braveheart hunk?) 😉
Well I dont think you can hold her accountable for that. If she HAS to get married, atleast get the better one out of the bunch. Id do that, as would anyone else, you would wanna pick the best out of a bad situation.
Yeah, I mean it’s okay to have her be feminist… But why can she find somebody to melt her cold heart just a little?
She doesn’t have a cold heart. Not wanting to be married at 16 doesn’t make one cold.
I apologize about Snow, but I just didnt see Meridas character growth at all. And yes, it is still Beasts fault for being mean, as it would be anyones fault for how they treat others.
You may be right about Merida, I might just have to see the movie again. I guess initially she just bothered me and it just corrupted my image of her
for everyone talking about what a brat Merida was, yes, you are right….and thats the point! Thats why the movie was so good, so real. Merida was a real young girl, who had good parts and bad parts and was a bit selfish but then she realized she was wrong after making a very mad mistake and did what she had to do to right it. It was I thought all the more strong because of her being bratty at the begining, it made her an even better role model because little girls aren’t perfect but when they see a character like Merida who isn’t perfect and sweet and good but can admit when they are wrong and then take steps to fix it, that is so important.
Merida had that role in movie to show young girl how that’s bad example to be towards your parents. At the end I like the film cuz she learned etc. On another note I think Magic Kingdom needs to add more Pochohantas appearances and merchandise and a ride!! (ex: down river bend water ride 🙂 and add some more stuff for Mulan too. Eventhough they don’t have gorgeous princess dresses they are great examples to young girls and deserve more recognition at theme parks especially for being older films too!
Unfortunately yes. I greatly disprove of their redesigns, I feel disney is sexifying them and making them extremely stereotypically girlie by dousing them in glitter
Well that’s just immature. Please don’t cyberbully.
she was a child in the movie, now they are changing her into a woman and made her sexy…..this is why I am starting to NOT like Disney. I have a daughter, and I do not want her to see all these sexy princess. this is so wrong
This thread is ridiculous. It’s a Disney movie. She’s a princess. Get over it.
For the record, my 5-year-old daughter loves both Tiana and Merida and is excited to see both next week when we visit WDW.
Yes!! Well said. Be sure you plan out your trip, download the app, and look into character meet & greet times for your little one. 🙂 Don’t forget sunscreen, water, and easy creative activities for waiting in lines!
I totally agree. Disney’s audience is CHILDREN, and they dont really care what adults have to say on the matter. Her merchandise and movie did fantastic and little girls love her; thats why she is being added to the line up. I’ve personally waited in Meridas line and its always longer than Ariel’s or Aurora’s.
Have fun on your trip! I’ll be there in two weeks! 🙂
Hey Pedro – we’re a family group here so lay off the language!
You’re entitled to your opinions but do so in a family-friendly manner please.
I deleted the offending comment.
I think the people that are going over the top in their protest are MAKING this issue. The reimaged Media doesn’t look particuarly provacative, nor does she resemble an unhealthy weight or demeanor. Her stance is confident and she obviously has a soft belly and hips as do most healthy young ladies. It’s incredibly disappointing to see so many tear apart a great movie with good messages in a manner that is really being given a negative connotation by YOU. YOU’RE not teaching your girls very well.
As an avid Disney and Pixar fan I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed Brave. I thought that It was a cute movie that appealed to both mothers and daughters, and almost all audiences.But honestly I feel as though Merida joining the Disney lineup isn’t that much of a problem. Even though she is Pixar she is still technically Disney.In 2005 Disney bought Pixar and every Pixar film has been funded, in part by Disney’s support. My problem, however, with adding Merida is this apparent need to redesign not only her but every other princess. They don’t even look like the princesses anymore. Just glitterized barbie-like versions of what they used to be. What made the princess franchise so amazing was the individuality of each girl.Now they don’t even look like themselves anymore. And that is really a shame.
So, when will we see Jessica Rabbit crowned princess?
She has everything! She’s strong, independent, loving, working and she has the look without Disney having to do anything. She has the small waist, a glittering dress, make-up and the boobs that go with them.
If only she wasn’t too “risque” for the parks, I wish they could have her at Studios for Limited Time Magic! Maybe if enough people write into Guest Relations for comments….
I loved Brave and think Merida is great. My problem isn’t with her being a “princess”, it’s that it seems that virtually any female lead in a Disney production becomes a princess. To me the “Princess” category should be much smaller, and that the characters should EARN their way in over the years. The last few princesses just got coronated after their movies came out. Not that it matters, but they could have a totally separate section for the fabulous females of Disney that aren’t princesses. Merida and Mulan in particular should head up their own category for being tough as nails. Besides, it’s not like all the boy leads become a Prince. Can you ever see Russell from UP being a Prince?
lol, she IS a princess. like, by profession.
Looking forward to her new royal role.
My biggest gripe about all of this is not that Merida doesn’t get her man, or even that she doesn’t sing; Merida just isn’t DISNEY princess, she’s a PIXAR princess. Yes, I’m aware that Disney owns Pixar, but she’s the only princess not to come from Walt Disney animation Studios. People already see Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar as one and the same, and this is only going to make things worse. And let’s not forget, as I’ve said before, that the Disney Princess franchise has had enough growth over the last five years and it’s already feeling too bloated to include female leads who “kind of” meet the Disney Princess criteria.
She doesn’t act like a disney or a pixar princess. She acts more like a DreamWorks princess.
What a shame that a Disney “princess” has to be all skin, breasts, tiny pinched waist, long legs. Merida was a fantastic role model for girls–independent, loving, devoted, strong. Now they’ve made her “new” and even taken away her bow in some images! Shame, Disney. But, I don’t know what else I was expecting. Can’t a regular girl be a princess? Can’t a princess also be a hero? Apparently not. I’ll make sure my three year old DOES NOT get that memo.
I can’t wait until Disney officially names Vanellope von Schweetz as their 12th princess!!
Looks like the (justified) blowback against Disney’s airbrush of Merida has begun:
Noooooo….what have you done…i feel like crying 🙁
You spent all this time creating a lovely wonderful character. I am so happy to hear Disney talk about her Meridas insides are the same. Now let’s do the same for the outside. I understand the whole princess thing and my daughter loves all the princesses, for better or worse. But she loved Merida the way she was too. Think about what are you saying to girls? I expect more from Disney.
i cannot believe that the mouse would stoop so low!! leave Merida alone!! she was the best example of a young girl….nothing fru-fru, her own spirit, now…she looks like barbie did a makeover on her!! she is not real!! if little girls can say that the “newer” version is NOT Merida.. LISTEN to them…Disney.. you are really messing things up here…DOWN WITH THE MOUSE…and this is why i refuse to go to Disney here in Fl…nothing is like what it use to be…go back to the morals from back in the day, and give up the Kardashian way!!
I think this thread is a good example of the two types of Disney fans.
1) The “Disney can do no wrong” fans. These are the people here who feel that being a fan means being loyal to every decision that Disney makes. So if Disney tells them that Merida is Disney Princess then they will defend it to the end.
2) The “Disney must remain pure” fans. These are the people that feel that Disney needs to be more selective about their brand even if it means leaving money on the table because in the long run then not EVERY Disney product deserves to be honored in the same spotlight.
Personally, I lean more on the 2nd category. I feel that Disney is an awesome company but that doesnt mean everything they touch is gold. And even though I enjoyed Brave, it is easily to understand why someone would be against placing Merida on the same pedestal that we have Cinderella, Ariel or Rapunzel sitting atop. So IF there is enough question on the quality of the movie or the universal love of the character then maybe Disney should consider exercising some restraint to keep the “Disney Princess” brand pure and not just a marketing tag.
Why can’t Megara be a princess? She is one of my favorite characters – so spunky. Like Merida, she is not the “conventional” female heroine. I think Meg deserves her place in the lineup!
And why would they dress Merida in the dress she hated in the movie and where are her bow and arrows???
True… It’s very unlike her character
What do you care? You already said you didn’t like the character.
The change in Merida’s appearance is just sad. And to think I thought Disney was making progress. Disney, you ought to be ashamed. What a fail.
To all you grown ups, this is just sad. As a kid I’d like to say, brave it great. It is a good example of how no matter how mad you might get at your mom, family is important and you should make up. Also, Merida is good because she shows that girls don’t all have to be perfect and pretty and gorgeous. I have always been self conscious, but seeing a Disney princess look like a real person makes me feel better. Also, she shows that its okay not to want to do girly stuff all the time.
My own two cents, for what it’s worth:
Disney recently revamped the whole Princess line. They look younger, their bodies have less “features”. They’re almost clones of one another now. So if Merida is joining the line, she has to “fit the merchandising mold”, so to speak. It’s simply following the pattern. Compare Snow White in her movie to how she looks today; and yet no one is making a fuss about that. It seems to me people just NEED to complain about something… Brave, the movie, is still there, untouched, to serve as a “model” for whoever feel girls should aspire to that nowadays. And if they ever make “BRave 2”, you can be sure they’ll use the original model, not the “Disney Princesses” model.
Personally, I’d rather my daughter “looked up” more to the traditional princesses. Actually, Jasmine seems to me the perfect example of a princess that fought the norm without disrespecting her family and still looking forward to finding someone to share her life with. The way the “message” seems to be going now, it feels like they’re trying to teach young girls they’ll only be happy in life if they’re fighting, lonely tomboys. You know, like those “my body is my own” feminists that have been protesting naked everywhere? My wife, who’s an elementary school teacher, tries very hard to go against the grain on this daily with her students, tries to show them there’s nothing wrong with dreaming with a prince while making a life for themselves.
That’s ridiculous. Merida was not lonely, she was quite friendly and had many healthy relationships, including with her family. Not wanting to get married doesn’t mean you’re lonely, especially not when you’re just a teenager.
There are 10 other Disney princesses whose stories revolve around romance, but introduce ONE that doesn’t, then suddenly that’s a big problem. That girls can’t be allowed to have ONE story that isn’t about romance is the real problem.
Most people don’t notice other princesses being revamped, because they’re so old. I had no idea until this Merida stuff started happening and I looked at the line-up. I’m actually pretty disgusted that ALL of the princesses had a make-over. I think they’re just ugly now. :/
To be honest, I’m not a big Disney fan, but I do like their princesses. I’m pretty disappointed with the change from the traditional princesses to the “kid” versions like Merida and Rapunzel. Though I do respect they should add more perspectives to their line-up, I’m the type of girl who dreams of a prince charming. I’m pretty assertive in real life, but it’s nice you know to have a loving partner that’ll be there for you…who will fight for your love. Not saying men are the solutions to everything, but I just find it romantic that if a guy does that much for you is something quite flattering.
Then again, I’m not much of a tomboy. Heck, I hate wearing jeans and t-shirts and that’s like the norm everywhere. I love Merida’s bravery, but she’s so…much like Rapunzel. Not trying to be mean, but she was obnoxious and loud. I liked the older princesses because they had a good mix of mature and child themes. Like Ariel in trying in finding out her guy married another girl (even if it was under a spell), or Pocahontas showing someone else a different take on the world full of life and colors. I don’t know…I kind of like a dip of darker undertones such as Alice in Wonderland (non-princess), which the traditional princess movies had a bit. Brave was a bit…TOO feminist in my opinion, and Rapunzel butchered a timeless fairytale. I mind as well watch movies with real actors in it by now…but I love animation and their imaginations/colors. Such a shame it doesn’t seem they’ll be going back to the old princesses…
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