Merida

Merida in a scene from the movie "Brave." (Pixar / Disney / June 15, 2011)

Count Jon Stewart among the many thousands of parents and moviegoers unimpressed by Disney’s controversial makeover of “Brave” heroine Merida.

In case you missed it, last weekend Merida was officially inducted into Disney’s “princess collection,” meaning that her image, like that of Ariel, Belle and Cinderella before her, will now appear on a slew of merchandise aimed at young girls.

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The problem is that her image will look noticably different than in the hit Pixar film, which celebrated Merida’s independent spirit: Like a quirky starlet who’s submitted to the pressures of Hollywood by cutting carbs and hiring a stylist, the “princess” version of Merida sports tamer hair, a low-cut neckline, and a narrower waistline. Worst of all, she’s abandoned her trademark bow and arrow.

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