We saw Brave, the latest Disney/Pixar movie yesterday. In general, we are predisposed to like Disney/Pixar movies, and Brave was no exception. To begin with, the animation was visually stunning. From the panoramas of the Scottish highlands to each individual strand of Merida’s (the heroine’s) hair, everything was beautifully rendered and surprisingly realistic. It was easily the best animation we’ve ever seen.
The story was also excellent. Our 13 year old found the story predictable, and the plot did follow a traditional story arc. But Jim and I thought the storyline of the evolution of a mother-daughter relationship extremely touching. Perhaps it’s because we have a teenage daughter, and we can see the beginning of the appearance of adolescent angst. I also found it interesting that the critics who were mildly critical of the movie (which seems to be as negative as the reviews got) were all men. The universal theme of the continually evolving relationship between parents and children appeals to all, but the story definitely centers on the mother-daughter relationship. We were also amused by the strong resemblance between Merida’s “wee devils” of brothers and our 10 year old (much to his displeasure).
We also liked the fact that the heroine stood alone (with no prince hovering in the background) to find her own path and a solution to her problems and eventually took responsibility for her actions. And I stand by my theory that there is a conspiracy by bow-and-arrow manufacturers as you can add another movie where the hero/heroine shows off their skill in archery. (See Hunger Games and Avengers.)
After the movie, I was asked by Jim whether I had eaten any dessert prepared by our daughter lately (you’ll have to see the movie to understand the joke). It all makes sense when you realize that the common warning given in our family when I’m in a cranky mood is “Don’t poke the bear!”