The Disney princess scene in new animation feature Ralph Breaks The Internet has come in for criticism after some felt it poked fun at the Scottish.
Accents are an aspect of everyday life, something that helps to make each individual unique and offer a reflection of where a person is from with little questions needed. While some can master the understanding of accents no problem, others are not quite so fortunate.
Much discussion has surrounded the new release of Ralph Breaks the Internet, but not so much around the plot as you might expect – instead, around the Disney princess scene.
Shortly after the film’s trailer released, a surge of memes depicted the confusion, and hilarity, of both the characters and the population struggling to understand what Merida (Brave) was saying in her strong Scottish tongue. With spectators even asking if she was speaking Gaelic.
Medira, voiced by Kelly Macdonald states: “I gie ma mammy a cake, she turned in tae a big bear and my aild yin tried tae dae her in. If that’s no a pure mess, I don’t know whit is!”
The princesses explain that they can’t understand her, with one saying: “She’s from another studio.”
But questions have been raised as to whether the filmmakers are guilty at throwing a little dig at the only Scottish, and British for that matter, Disney princess.
Alistair Harkness of The Scotsman, explained to the BBC Radio Scotland’s The Afternoon Show, that Disney’s careful attempt at dismantling their own gender stereotyping might have ended up missing the mark this time.
“It’s slightly ruined by the fact that it ends with them just making fun of the fact that nobody can understand the character from Brave because she’s Scottish.
“I didn’t understand why that was the punchline.”
Oscar-winning Brave hit screens in 2012, and Merida achieved notable feminist credibility as one of the few Disney princesses to not carry a love interest in the script.
Perhaps more so than that, for young children growing up in Scotland, she has to be one of the most influential media portrayals ever to hit Disney.
Have the filmmakers of Ralph Breaks the Internet not considered the potential harm that could be caused by poking at the Scottish accent for humour? Or was the joke intended to be more at the expense of Pixar than specifically at Merida, or the Scottish themselves?