Family Movietime – Brave

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Kia S. | DWF Photo

The newest addition to the Disney line-up is Brave. The story of a Scottish princess Merida who casts a spell to change her fate and learns a huge life lesson. Even though this is a Pixar movie everything about it does not scream Disney.

Merida is a young teenaged princess and first-born to King Fergus and Queen Elinor. As a princess she is expected to learn all the social graces and be more like her mother but it’s very clear she has more than her red hair from her father. She is an expect archer, loves to ride horse, climb rocks and do other un-ladylike things much to the Queen’s dismay. She has triplet brothers Harris, Hamish and Hubert who have far more freedom than she does. When the time comes for her to be betrothed, the Queen has the other classes present their eldest son to compete in a tournament to win her hand. Merida rethinking how to skirt the rules picks Archery as the method of competition and then decides to break from tradition and win so she doesn’t have to marry anyone. This of course creates multiple levels of chaos, a rift between her and her mother over being unladylike and a rift between the clans because what she did is unacceptable to clan law.

The fight results in Merida running away and coming across a witch who gives her a spell to change her mom. What she doesn’t realize is it changes her mother into a bear. She now has to race to break the spell because after 2 sunrises its permanent. Add to this her father is considered the “great bear slayer”. While her mother is a bear Merida finally learns to bond with her.

I had to remind myself at least twice during this film this is Disney because it sure screams Dreamworks to me. The main protagonist has her mother which is very unusually for Disney, there’s a lot of family fighting and I’m not talking about the fantasy violence of the swordplay and the massive attempt to kill the great bear Mur’du. There’s a secondary story weaved within about the bear which ate her father’s leg and how it works into the history of the clans. The movie definitely has its dark moments and its villainy death which is trademark Disney. But there is technically no Prince to rescue her. While this is a very pro self-reliant female movie which is great in this day and age it’s definitely not the norm for the studio.

I personally did not find the story to be overly complex or deep. The main theme is about family communication. Merida and her mother come full circle in their relationship through this movie and I’m sure many moms will see traces of themselves in either Merida or the Queen or that relationship dynamic.

This movie will work for ages 6 and old. It’s a little dark so the younger kids might be a bit scared. It should appeal all the way up to middle schoolers. The movie clocks in around 100 minutes and is rated PG. The kids will enjoy it but i have to admit i liked the Pixar short La Luna that was shown before was much more enjoyable. The movie has a great message but it could have been told better.


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Kia S.

Kia S.

Kia is a mom to a teen who lives in Wake County. She spends a lot of her time in her truck. When she stops she tends to review movies. She can be found at her blog on twitter @NotTheCar or Kia on Google +

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Kia S. Posted by on July 7, 2012. Filed under Entertainment, Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.