Posted by Hannah Buchdahl aka Mainstream Chick on June 23, 2012
First, the good news: Brave centers on strong female characters. It’s visually appealing. And it does a fine job illuminating the complexities of the mother-daughter relationship. The bad news: it’s also kind of a downer. Not as much of a downer as Up, but parents should be forewarned that Brave is not for small children. It can be a bit scary at times and the characters’ Scottish brogue can take some getting used to. Madagascar 3 remains the better choice for funny and light family entertainment. That’s not to say that Brave isn’t worth seeing, especially if you like fairy tales in the vein of Lion King or Beauty and the Beast (without characters bursting into song). Just know that it’s not an animated comedy, despite some comedic moments.
So what’s it about? From the trailers, you may be expecting some sort of Hunger Games cartoon. The movie does feature a high-spirited gal who definitely knows how to handle a bow and arrow, but the similarities end there. And rest assured, no kids get killed.
I promise not to give too much away, but basically, Brave is about a red-haired princess named Merida. She’s fiercely independent and balks at her well-intentioned parents’ plans to marry her off to one of three dweebs vying for her affections. Merida and her mother the Queen are both rather set in their ways, which leads to a chain of events that threatens not only their relationship – but their lives as well. Merida gets more than she bargained for when she asks a quirky old witch to “change” her mother. Ah, semantics. Let’s just say, Brave gives whole new meaning to the term ‘Momma Bear’.
Ultimately, Brave is a sweet fairy tale with a timeless message about familial love, bravery, and the importance of communication, compassion and compromise. And in true Disney/Pixar fashion, it’s also about merchandising. And the Scottish tourism industry. But mostly about love, communication and compromise, especially among mothers and daughters. The males in this movie are wise to respect, and defer to, the women folk. Bravo for that, Brave! It’s about time.