Friday is generally my mommy day. From morning until night I’m 100% focused on my daughter. No writing. No checking my email. Nothing but momminess. So, this past Friday we watched Frozen. Well, actually I watched Frozen. She can only sit still for 30 minutes tops.
Some of you may know that I generally harbor nothing but disdain and frustration for Disney and their portrayals of “princesses.” There is the color/ethnic thing but also I’m sick and tired of stories that romanticize women who can’t take care of themselves. Brave was a breath of fresh air (but then they had to go and give Merida a makeover) so I didn’t have high expectations for Frozen.
Much to my surprise, Frozen was much better than I expected. Well, technically it came close to being as I expected but it missed the boat at the last minute. The “Prince Charming” turned out to be a conniving phony that preyed on our princess’s desire to finally feel loved. And the major shock came at the end when…wait for it…the princess saved herself! To put icing on that cake the princess danced off into the land of happily ever after with her sister.
Good job Disney!
Here’s a bit of my personal truth. I don’t want to get married. I never have. I didn’t daydream about what it would be like as a little girl. I didn’t plot and plan to acquire that elusive diamond ring as a young adult. I was busy thinking about other things. I still am but every so often I’ll turn on the news to some politician saying stupid things or I’ll have a conversation with a friend that gets me thinking. Marriage. Is it a friend or foe to modern-day women?
I saw Brave in 3D over the weekend at the fierce insistence of my mother. We settled into our seats in the middle row and half way through the previews of one Disney movie after another I leaned over and whispered, “It just hit me this is a kiddie movie.”
Despite being a “kiddie movie,” Brave absolutely delivers. It had me from the opening scene, where this tornado of livid red hair flounces about amidst an onslaught of childish giggles. Merida, the lead character, is as lovable as any Disney princess. She comes of age in medieval Scotland, where tradition and legend are closely intertwined. Her mother spends a considerable amount of time and energy preparing a rather disinterested Merida for her destiny: royal marriage. Merida, on the other hand, would rather ride horses, climb mountains, and sharpen her archery skills. So, when the time comes for her to make good on her destiny Merida puts up an admirable fight. In fact, in her ingenuity she manages to turn a difficult situation into a total disaster!
Brave has all the necessary ingredients – a fitting soundtrack, an engaging setting, and ripe dialogue. The storyline is a glorious combination of theme and originality. It takes quite a few surprising turns with enough poignant moments to make you smile and cry. Not to mention hanging on to the edge of your seat. If you can relate at all to parent-child angst (most of us can) you will enjoy this movie. Personally, I loved that while each of the characters maintained their distinct personalities not one of them was less strong than the other. Merida’s father – this big oaf of a man is an obvious embodiment of bravery and strength but surprise – his wife and daughter are equally matched! Disney can definitely add Brave to its growing list of movies promoting female empowerment. An all-around great movie.