Have you seen the buzz about BRAVE yet? It opens all over the country today, June 22.
Here's the official nutshell: Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse.
Last Thursday, I took my kids to a screening of this. I really didn't have a good idea of the storyline before I went, and that was partially intentional; with animated movies I often like to learn about the movie as I'm watching them. I knew it was Disney Pixar and I had a general idea of the plot – girl with problem, girl finds sketchy means to solve problem, girl now has much bigger problem, girl finds a way to solve problem, nice pretty resolution in the end.
And in my own nutshell, that's exactly what this movie was, but not in an annoying way. I've been asked several times since I watched it if I liked it, and my honest answer is: yes – yes, I did.
Before I go into anymore detail, here's the trailer for those of you who haven't seen it yet:
Now then: SPOILER ALERT!! Only click continue if you don't care that I spill some of the beans (I won't spill them all…promise).
Okay, you still with me?
A lot of these kids' movies have stories that portray the mother/daughter relationship in a very bad light – sometimes the mother is downright evil, sometimes she's dead, sometimes she's stupid. BRAVE definitely showcased a tense mother/daughter relationship, but I was pleased that in this case, the mother was neither evil, dead, or stupid.
The mother had some things to learn about her daughter to be sure; likewise, the daughter had some things to learn about the mother. I thought the movie did a good job of showing how easy it is for both the mother and the daughter to become completely self-focused on an end goal that they can't see the situation from the other's perspective. This movie showed that tension perfectly.
The mother was so hard-headed she couldn't see the desperation in her daughter; the daughter was so desperate she couldn't see the rationale behind her mother's decisions. The daughter makes a very unfortunate choice that has devastating consequences in the form of her mother turning into a bear. You probably know where I'm going with this now: they begin to understand each other during their trial of the daughter trying to get her mother back.
Believe it or not, there were a couple of tear-jerking moments for me, particularly as I had some of my own daughters in the theater and could see some of our own conflicts a little more clearly through their eyes while watching this.
As for some cautions, I do have a couple: there are some bear fight scenes that are seriously scary (if you have kids who frighten easily at movies, this might be better on a much smaller screen later). Also, there were a few particularly unnecessary scenes in the movie involving exposed body parts or implied exposed body parts. They were hilarious, yes, but completely inappropriate and unnecessary. Just wanted to make sure I filled you in on that.
Apart from those things (and they were quick and over), I really DID like this movie. Not all of my kids got to go to the screening with me and I'm thinking about taking them to see it while it's out in the theater.
So there you have it: BRAVE. It opens in theaters today. Enjoy!