Friday, June 22, 2012


Finally, after a few weeks of stalking the calendar, all four girls and I headed to the movie theater for the first day showing of Disney's Brave.

I don't NOT let my daughters watch Princess movies, but I try to keep them to a minimum and watch with them, so we can talk about the culture/gender issues we see. (Yes, I'm one of those people.) So while I don't want my daughters growing up under a rock and not getting any pop references that are important to their friends, I try to encourage them to challenge and take apart the morals and themes that are put out for them. Young though they may be, I think 3/5/7 are fine years to start talking about those sorts of things, since they're going to catch some moral or another. ;oP 

Because, let's be perfectly honest, Disney's main moral for girls (up until Tangled) has been fairly formulaic: look pretty, be spunky, be charming to the end of finding True Love. The End. Tangled at least has Flynn Rider as a side story (I'm being generous here), with the main point being embracing one's true destiny. Which is to be a princess. Still, she ends up with Flynn, and trusting/loving him is a major theme of the movie, which is fine. But a little tired, in my opinion. 

Enter Brave. I'll try not to spoil the plot too much, but I left the theater absolutely grinning from ear to ear. The focus of the movie is a mother-daughter relationship, understanding one another's point of view, appreciating differences and embracing one's destiny. (Hurrah, letting another relationship be important besides the dead horse of girl meets's about DAMN TIME! {cheers wildly} That aspect of womanhood is SO important, and I'm so glad they chose to portray it in a healthy light!)  It was also fun and hilarious and spirited. Both my girls and I loved Merida, and they left the theater hugging my hands and grinning and begging to watch it over and over once it hits Netflix. 

And you know what? I'm totally gonna let them. Finally, the Disney of my childhood (that filled my head with the over-romanticized marriage, perfectly pretty and "forever after") has delivered a girl-themed movie to the next generation that holds out it's hand out to my kids and beckons them to grab life by the nuts while being compassionate and tender toward the people who matter. I also love the conspicuous lack of villain. 

Bravo, Disney!! I'll admit that the characters could have been slightly more developed and the one-liners a wee bit funnier, but I'll take it. It was a lovely first stab. May you continue to pursue these themes and give us a richer, more well-rounded girl culture of stories for our youngsters to love and relate to! My inner Merida feels a little vindicated and heard. 

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