This summer, the folks at Disney’s Pixar studios introduced a new film set to rival all the Disney princess movies that have come before: Brave. Set in Tenth Century Scotland, the movie Brave stars the spirited Merida who defies her parents’ wishes for her marriage by placing a spell on her mother. The spell causes all sorts of upheaval in her father’s kingdom and she has to set things right.
What makes Merida, this new princess, so special? Well, not since Mulan have we seen such a strong, adventurous female heroine. In fact, Merida is Pixar’s very first female protagonist. For many viewers, this will be a breath of fresh air. Another difference between Brave and the other Disney princess movies is the story’s centrality of her relationship with her mother. In most of the Disney movies, mothers are either absent (as in the movie Beauty and the Beast) or one of the antagonists (as in Cinderella).
In the movie Brave, we see the internal battle that Merida fights between her own desires and how they affect her family. Pride vs. duty. In the end, Merida and her family reach a compromise. And her relationship with her mother survives the harrowing adventure.
Brave is receiving good reviews and promises to set itself up as the next favorite for young Disney and Pixar fans across the country. Merida has already made her appearance at Disney World and Disney has begun producing Brave merchandise. It will be interesting to see how Pixar’s new star compares to their other fan favorites like Cars and Toy Story (Check out some Cars and Toy Story merchandise here and here.)!