What we're really excited to see is the courageous Princess Merida in Pixar's Brave, who challenges her family and country's customs while wielding a bow and arrow on horseback - now that's a real Disney princess "first."
At first I thought this was someone being sarcastic, then I realized it it was something someone actually said.
Don't get me wrong, at some point I'll most likely be seeing Brave myself, and the idea of an animated Pixar film taking place in ancient Scotland is all kinds of neat, but come on. Even when I saw the trailer the whole, "MERIDA THAT IS NOT LADY-LIKE" had me nearly rolling my eyes. I'm really, really
hoping the film isn't going to prop itself up on, "there is a young and feisty girl BUT SHE ISN'T LIKE OTHER GIRLS BECAUSE SHE WANTS TO BE A WARRIOR AND DO THINGS ONLY BOYS DO AND EVERYONE THINKS IT'S WRONG BECAUSE IT'S NOT LADY-LIKE BUT BECAUSE SHE'D RATHER DO WILD THINGS INSTEAD OF LADY THINGS how ground-breaking."
Never mind the fact that:
1) It's not a "first." Not even by a long shot (not even for Disney).
2) This trope has been so utterly beaten to death that we've long since reached and passed this point. I'm not saying girls still don't get "oh ur a girl so thats not 4 you" in real life or that stuff like that doesn't exist, but for every cliched "i am a gurl but i want 2 do boi things and i am different becuz i am rebellious and wild and warrior NOT LIKE THE OTHERS" trope we see in fiction replayed to death I feel like it's losing out to actually making a film about other
just-as-prevalent but far-less-used gender issues that still plague females. I saw some people getting defensive and bristly when some pointed this out, but seriously, we've long since hit the "i am girl who wants be warrior feisty feisty feisty NOT LIKE OTHER GIRLS DEFY TRADITION FUCK YOU PARENTS" and it would be damn nice to see different issues on the table for an animated flick featuring a female lead.
I'm not attempting to bash Brave, or Merida for that matter (so far she seems fairly promising and I like her design), nor am I trying to dissuade people from seeing it or anything of the sort, but a number of promos, both trailer and text, touting the "she isnt like other girls becuz warrior and bows" is just beating the horse deader than dead.
Edit: Before a million others mention "Mulan," it's not the fact Mulan "did it before" or the question of Mulan's status as a "princess." It's the fact the cliche of "i am a gurl who wants to be warrior like boi" is flaunted as something new and original when it's not. It's the fact we've already seen this trope across more than a few films, games, books, etc. and it's old.