Has Disney taken aim at the Scottish accent in new Ralph film?

4 December 2018

Merida in Disney-Pixar’s ‘Brave’ (Image: Disney)

Around the world, much has been written about the Disney princess scene in the recently-released Ralph Breaks the Internet.

When the film’s trailer was first released, a slew of memes captured the hilarity of being unable to understand what Merida (from Brave) was saying. Some even thought she was speaking Gaelic.

I gie ma mammy a cake, she turned in tae a big bear and my auld yin tried tae dae her in. If that’s no a pure mess, I don’t know whit is!
Merida, voiced by Kelly Macdonald

”We don’t understand her”, one puzzled princesses confesses to lead character Vanellope.

“She’s from another studio,” another replies.

But were the filmmakers guilty of throwing major shade at the only Scottish – and, for that matter, only British – Disney princess?

Alistair Harkness of The Scotsman explained to 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.

“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.”

Alistair Harkness on The Afternoon Show

When Oscar-winning film Brave arrived in 2012, Merida achieved notable feminist credibility as one of the few Disney princesses who doesn’t marry a love interest.

But for little girls and boys growing up in Scotland, has one of the most influential media companies in the world undone its good work by poking fun at the Scottish accent?

Or was the joke actually intended to be more at the expense of Pixar than the Scots themselves?

Is Merida’s accent softer in the original 2012 film?

Trailer for Brave.

Scottish stars and their accents

Disney princesses: are they a good influence?

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