Brave opened last weekend and I got to go see it while visiting my sister and her husband. I loved it and personally, I thought it was the best Pixar movie yet. Well, maybe not the best but it certainly is my favorite.
I’ve heard a lot that Brave is the most Disney-ish Pixar movie yet. I disagree. Yes, it is about a princess which has been solid Disney territory for a long time. And my sister remarked afterward that the animation style for some aspects of the movie were similar to previous Disney movies. However there are two areas where this is very decidedly NOT a Disney movie.
There may be some slight spoilers to follow.
1) Merida’s Parents.
Look at that picture! It’s both her father AND her mother! Merida is not an orphan nor is one of her parents dead. Try to name one Disney animated movie in which the main character still has both their parents. And in the few movies that do (like Tangled), the parents are well in the background or else one of the parents is a fool. Probably the father. While King Fergus is used for comedic effect in the film, he’s not a fool. He’s a respectable man, father and king. And the relationship between Fergus and Elinor is very admirable. The obvious love and respect they have for each other is simply beautiful and the people over at Disney should be taking notes.
2) No Romance.
That’s not exactly true I suppose since as I mentioned above Fergus and Elinor have a very beautiful relationship. But the main protagonist here is the Princess Merida and as anyone can tell who knows anything about a Disney princess, she should be falling in love at some point. Don’t get me wrong, I love a lot of the princess movies and the romance in them. But it’s really nice to see a movie with a female heroine who is not a “strong female character” and yet who doesn’t have her story revolve around a guy. Early in the movie, Queen Elinor tells Merida that it is time for her to get betrothed and on the day of the decision, Merida ends up winning her own hand. (It’s a really good part of the movie.)
The main relationship in this movie is actually between Merida and her mother. And it’s a beautiful, honest look at mother/daughter relationships. But before you go thinking that this is just another girl movie, don’t worry. There is plenty of fighting and humor and good relational drama to keep anyone interested. And I have also already had a guy friend tell me that he thought Brave was awesome too. So go see it!
The only problem I have with the movie is Merida’s hair. Because no matter what I do, I will never have hair as beautiful and amazing as hers. And it’s hard to fully enjoy a movie when all you can think about is how badly you want the heroine’s hair.