Brave was the first Pixar film to feature a story driven by a female protagonist. The character, Merida, was also a princess, which presented interesting questions for Disney/Pixar. Would she remain separate from the other Disney princesses since it was Pixar, not Disney, that was behind the creation of the character? Or would she join the Disney Princess roster and give the line-up its first Scottish influence? We have an answer now and it is the latter, as we hear that Merida will become an official Disney Princess next month!
The princess roster is managed by Disney Consumer Products, which already had 10 on the list, including Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, and Belle. Most recently, Rapunzel was officially introduced as a Disney Princess after her coronation at Kensington Palace in London two years ago.
Stitch Kingdom reports that Merida is slated to become the 11th Disney Princess after her own coronation on May 11 at Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Merida has fit in superbly at Disney Parks with the other princesses, with guests waiting in long lines for meet and greets. While some may argue that she is a Pixar character and should not mix with the princesses created by Disney Animation, there is no doubt that she is incredibly popular among the crowd that the Disney Princess line is aimed squarely at. During my recent trips to Walt Disney World and Disneyland and my voyage on the Disney Cruise Line, many young girls were spotted sporting the Merida costume. Similar to how many growing up in the late 80s and early 90s connected to the likes of Ariel and Belle, there are plenty of children who now identify with Merida. While her coronation in May will make it official, she can already be considered part of the Disney Princess family.
Stitch Kingdom also states that park visitors will be able to view the ceremony. If you are in the area, you may want to head to the castle on May 11 at 9:30 am!
UPDATE (4:15 PM): Inside The Magic posted artwork of what Merida will look like on Disney Princess packaging and promo materials and such:
Stitch Kingdom: http://www.stitchkingdom.com/disney-merida-feted-coronation-ceremony-magic-kingdom-62326/
Inside The Magic: http://www.insidethemagic.net/2013/04/merida-to-become-11th-disney-princess-with-new-look-for-royal-coronation-ceremony-at-walt-disney-world-on-may-11/