From the opening teaser, a little girl about five years old sitting behind me blurted out, “That scared my heart.”
Brave is one of the most suspenseful children’s movies that I have ever seen. For young children, it can be a little scary. That same child managed to climb into her mother’s lap during the movie and was being held tightly. Even my nine and a half –year old wanted to leave during some pivotal battle scenes. I had to have her bury her head into my shoulder and hide her face from some truly gut-wrenching scenes. At one point the little girl started to whimper and her mother told her to cut it out. Though maybe not the best approach, I did understand.
You see, the Brave trailers that I saw on television did not exactly portray the story. I was lead to believe Brave was a movie about a young princesses coming of age who chooses her destiny to be a warrior instead of the wife of a prince. While that was a subplot, it was a small part. The movie is not about the young lady coming into her destiny, but the unintended consequences of choosing one’s path. Plus, the bravery it takes to pursue your destiny when others have a different plan for your life. In Merida’s case, it was her parents, especially her mother. Brave is a mother-daughter movie.
It is a good movie for mothers to take pre-adolescents, especially in relationships where tension is rising as daughters search for their independence. The catalyst in the plot is a relationship between a strong-willed adolescent and a mother who “knows” best. Though sometimes the battles were hard to watch, I, like the other mother, wanted our daughters to fully embrace the message of the movie. It was during the battle scenes that you saw the fierce loyalty and devotion of the mother and the daughter to each other. And I do mean fierce literally. But, to children, seeing one’s mother in danger as Merida experienced is hard to watch, regardless of how outstanding the animation.
And I am not sure what exactly what Pixar is, but I loved the animation just the same. The transformation of the bear in the story is mesmerizing. I am sure I enjoyed it more than my daughter, who asked me to take her to see it. She was looking for the comedy of the mischievous little brothers and a little girl power. She got more than she bargained for. As a mother, I appreciated the growth of Queen Elinor and Merida as well as the expression of the depth of the mother-daughter bond. I also like to see women kick a little butt. I would like to see it again in 3D. All in all, I thought it was a very original movie.