Saturday, January 19, 2013

Brave: The Movie

Pixar Makes Magick

Though I know the movie has come and gone from theaters, I felt it deserved mention here. And it was one of my Christmas presents. :) I read many reviews that absolutely hated this film. I couldn't understand the ugliness and anger. They ranged from things like "The whole movie reeks of feminist fantasy" to "weird politically correct preaching, overdone action scenes, and generally random and weird plot." They called Merida whiny, petulant, and selfish. It really made me wonder what was behind all the vitriol.

The movie I saw was a beautifully animated, well told story that stands with the best of Pixar as an equal. The mother-daughter relationship, which is rare in a Disney film that usually opts for single fathers, was wonderful and complex, like real life. It was a bit more serious than most Pixar or Disney and lacked musical numbers to lighten the mood, but that doesn't make a lesser story. What some saw as petulance was a typical teenage girl rebelling against parents who had her whole life planned; an arranged marriage and being a "proper lady" like her mother. The major difference with Brave's heroine was that her act of rebellion had dangerous consequences for which she had to take full responsibility. I also loved that the witch who supplies the potion that creates the main conflict of the story isn't evil or playing with dark magick for her own purposes. She warns Merida of the abuse of magick, that it doesn't always work how you want. Personal responsibility is an important message.

With all the magick in the story (and not of the evil variety), I wonder if some of the negative reviews weren't fueled by fear. Certain organizations don't take kindly to telling girls that they don't necessarily need to find a husband and settle down to have a great life. They have the power within themselves to be great.

The added bonus to this fabulous movie was the enchanting short film "La Luna." It was a simple little story of a boy going with his father and grandfather to learn the family trade; cleaning up all the loose stars on the surface of the moon. It was one of the most Pagan things I'd ever seen from Disney (until I saw the Tinkerbell movie). That six minutes alone was worth the ticket price to see in 3D.