Brave was a film that I initially got very excited about. It promised to be a Disney/Pixar film with a non-passive princess: one who genuinely did all of her own stunts, solved her own problems without waiting for a handsome prince.
There have been, obviously, Disney princesses who were more than simply damsels in distress – Mulan is a particularly noticeable example. Yet her story, while being an awful lot more progressive than Snow White, still has a man as a central focus – much of what Mulan does is to impress Li Shang, and he is her reward at the end. It also bears mentioning that Mulan is about a woman trying to prove that she is as good as a son, which, whilst a positive conclusion, shouldn’t count as a progressive idea.
So I was very interested in Brave, and its protagonist Merida. All the posters showed her armed and alone, not needing to rely on anyone else. Naturally, given my interest, I promptly forgot about it for a couple of years and only watched it at the very end of 2014. Continue reading “Brave”