Sunday, May 12, 2013

MCL: Down the Rabbit Hole with Camille Rose Garcia; Merida Gets a Princess Makeover

Happy Mother's Day from The Mouse Castle Lounge!

In today's episode, I talk with artist Camille Rose Garcia about her new exhibit at the Walt Disney Family Museum, Down the Rabbit Hole, a fanciful interpretation of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Ms. Garcia shares with me the things that influence her work, from Walt Disney to Philip K. Dick to all manner of pop culture. She also talks at length about how it feels to share space with the great Disney artist Mary Blair, whose concept art from Disney's Alice in Wonderland also adorn the gallery.

Camille Rose Garcia

Down The Rabbit Hole at the Walt Disney Family Museum
This weekend, Merida from Pixar's Brave officially took her place among the Disney princesses with a royal coronation at Walt Disney World. 

It was all the usual Disney fluff and fun for the benefit of guests, but on the consumer products side, Merida's princess makeover is causing a stir among fans of Brave for making the headstrong Scot a little too princessy. Even Brenda Chapman, who co-directed Brave and created the character, has gone out of her way to criticize the new look, calling it "a blatantly sexist marketing move based on money."

I respect Chapman's objections. After all, Merida is a very personal character to her. But, in the grand scheme of things, is this really that big a deal? Disney has been tarting up its princesses for years, not a look I'm particularly fond of, but in the end it doesn't change the spirit of the characters I remember from their movies. Merida is strong, brave and wields a wicked bow and arrow. Nothing Disney merchandising can do is going to change that.

Walt Disney Animation Studios released a sneak peek of Big Hero 6, its new animated feature based on a little-known comic book series in the Marvel universe. Think The Avengers with an Asian vibe. And while this clip is attractive to look at, it's little more than an animation study and really doesn't do anything to create excitement for the film which is due out November 2014. Sorry, Disney, you're going to have to show me a bit more to get me interested.

All this and more is in today's edition of The Mouse Castle Lounge. Enjoy!

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