'Brave' New Look: Disney Gives Princess Merida an Age-Inappropriate Makeover

‘Brave’ image © Disney/Pixar
‘Brave’ image © Disney/Pixar

Last year people argued endlessly over whether she might be a lesbian, but no one ever questioned whether Merida, the princess in "Brave," was beautiful. For goodness sake, they even had to invent new animation techniques just to capture her glorious red hair! And yet, now that she's being inducted into Disney's official "Princesses" collection, she's received a makeover that's rubbing many fans the wrong way. It's all too predictable: a little skinnier, a little sexier, a lower-cut blouse (especially ironic since her formal attire in the film was comically modest and restrictive). The petition I linked to has almost twenty thousand supporters; I'm curious to see whether Disney will pay as much attention as they did to yesterday's "Dia de los Muertos" debacle.

The rock band The Aquabats have been dressing in superhero drag for ages, but they finally walked the walk by releasing "The Aquabats Super Show," a retro-style series in the spirit of Sid and Marty Krofft. As someone who hasn't listened to their music since the dark days of ska, I was pleasantly surprised to find them keeping company with film stars like Jon Heder ("Napoleon Dynamite") and Lou Diamond Phillips as they solve mysteries in cartoons peppered with pop-culture references. At this rate it's only a matter of time before they end up on the big screen! Well, a slightly bigger screen at least.

People have been whispering "Jurassic Park 4" for almost a decade, and Colin Trevorrow's production has come the closest yet, scheduled -- until recently -- for a June 2014 release date. That's right kids, official word has arrived that production's on hold (preceded only slightly by unofficial word from Twitter and Ain't It Cool News). Looks like what happens in the near-future stays in the near-future, for just a little bit longer. But hey, any excuse to link to that really weird abandoned "JP4" concept art from a couple years ago!

In the interest of hearing both sides, below you can hear Zach Braff's rebuttal to critics who claim that rich dudes like him shouldn't be using Kickstarter to fund films. Braff protests that he's not exploiting his fame -- he's very engaged with his own fan-base online. Plus, he does plan to throw in an "ass-ton" of his own money, so the project does carry some personal risk for him. I think he comes across as a little sweaty and defensive -- but I could just be making that up based on the fact that the video looks like it was filmed in a police interrogation room. Observe for yourself: