My children have been excited to watch “Brave” ever since the teasers came out on Youtube.com.
We were so excited when we settled down at the new theater in J Center Mall to watch Disney’s latest offering together, as a family, and we were NOT disappointed.
Personally, it was a pleasant surprise for me that “Brave” is not like Disney’s standard princessy fare. Why? Simply because it is not a romantic love story. There is no boy meets girl.. boy madly loves girl… boy and girl live happily ever after that was present in every Disney princess movie, even Mulan.
Instead, it is a FAMILY love story, focusing on the love-hate relationship common between teenagers and their parents, or more specifically mothers and teen daughters.
The mother was raised in a world of staunch rules and expectations for princesses so it was but natural for her to expect her daughter to do the same. She couldn’t understand why her daughter was resisting what she saw was her role as a Scottish princess. She was doing it out of love for her daughter but she forgot to listen to her daughter, and appreciate her.
The daughter, Merida, was headstrong, tough and outdoorsy. She was more interested in archery than sewing or music. She looked forward to the days of No-Princess-Lessons when she could just run around and do whatever she wanted to do. She resented her mother for trying to control her. She didn’t want to acknowledge any responsibilities.
Both sides were focused on what they want. They didn’t stop to think about what the other person is thinking.. or why. All they cared about is getting their own way and they clashed all the time.
I think this is true of a lot of teenager relationships with their parents. The parent’s tendency is to stick to the safe route… they want their children to grow up into good, self-sufficient individuals. They really want what’s best for their children but forget to listen to their children. Truly Listen…. to the child’s own dreams and struggles.
Teenagers, however, are busy finding their own identity and they chafe at any intervention of parents that seems to take away from their freedom to make their own path. They lose sight of the intention of their parents and become defiant and moody.
Brave successfully puts all this teenage drama into a film that manages to be funny and heart-wrenching at the same time.
Fast forward to the ending of the movie, (so as not to spoil the movie too much) mother and daughter managed to repair the love they had for each other simply by setting aside their pride, putting aside their differences and being there for each other through every problem thrown their way.
This is, again, true of most conflicts in general…. any conflict can be repaired if both parties are willing to set aside their pride and fix what needs to be fixed.
My daughter, understanding the depth of the message, was bawling into my arms in the middle of the movie, her whole body was shaking with unsuppressed tears. My son, 5, shed tears in a movie for the first time.
When we came out of the theater and stepped into the light of setting sun, both children hugged me tight and told me they will always love me.
I guess you can say I’m biased on why I loved this film because of how my kids reacted after the movie ended.
Nevertheless, I salute Disney for going against the grain. For a kiddie movie, (or any movie for that matter) Brave contains a lot of life lessons that even adults can benefit from.