My husband and I took the kids last night to see the new Pixar movie Brave. I tend to love Pixar movies, even when I really didn’t have any desire to see them in the first place (i.e. Toy Story). My two youngest girls loved it, but I have mixed feelings about it. Parts of it were beautifully done, but I don’t think it was Pixar’s finest work.
Brave Summary (from IMDB.com):
Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse.
Things I loved
- I thought the music in Brave was hauntingly beautiful. I love Celtic music.
- The animation that showed the Scotland countryside was gorgeous.
- Merida, the main character, is a bit rough around the edges and doesn’t really fit the stereotype of the typical Disney princess, which was refreshing.
Things I didn’t love
- The movie was dark at parts. The bear chase/fight at the end scared my 7 year old. Not like “had to leave the theater” scared – but “crawled up into daddy’s lap” scared.
- The bear plot reminded me of Disney’s Brother Bear. I would have to do some research and see if this story is part of Scottish folklore or not. (If anyone knows, leave me a comment below.) If this is a part of their folklore, it makes more sense. If not, it seems like Disney is just recycling plot lines. And yes, I know the circumstances under which the characters transformed into a bear are different in the two movies, but it was similar enough that I thought they should have used a different animal or maybe a different plot device altogether.
- This movie didn’t have as much humor as past Pixar movies had. The triplet brothers provided some comic relief through their antics, but not much.
- In my opinion this movie wasn’t so much about Merida being brave, as it it was about the importance of compromise in family relationships.
On Princess Merida as a role model:
I have seen a lot of other bloggers lately referring to Princess Merida as a good role model. I am not sure I agree with that. Merida is a typical teenager, rebelling against her upbringing and her parents’ wishes. She acts rashly and then has to make things right. Alright, in the end Merida races off to save her mother. However Merida is only undoing the problems she created herself. I am not sure that Merida constitutes someone I want my daughters to view as a role model. In my opinion Belle from Beauty and the Beast is a much better fit for that.
All in all, the Pixar movie Brave was just ok. Did it make for a nice evening out for our family? Yes. Will we be watching it again? Probably not. While kids may love it, I think parents will have to agree that Brave doesn’t really live up to all the hype. Have you seen Brave? What did you think?