I went to see it when it was first released in theaters in 2012, and it immediately became one of my top five favorite animated Disney movies. Kelly MacDonald as Merida and Emma Thompson as Elinor provide a touching mother-daughter story.
The main song, “Touch the Sky” is easily one of the best songs Disney has produced. I am a big fan of Celtic-themed stories and music. I also appreciate when a princess story takes the focus off of finding “Prince Charming” and teaches children that true love isn’t always a romantic love. My daughter’s favorite characters are the three little brothers, and she giggles each time they are shown on screen.
I think most pre-teen and teenage girls can relate to Merida’s character. Her desires to make her own decisions and gain independence are a large part of human nature. However, the way she chooses to gain that independence ends with disastrous consequences for herself and the people she loves the most. The mother-daughter relationship is one I feel is frequently neglected, especially in Disney movies where many of the Disney princesses are often without mothers with little to no explanation of their absence.
Brave shows the importance of consideration and understanding on both sides. Merida learns that her mother acts out of love for her wellbeing and happiness, and Elinor learns that while she may want certain things for her daughter, the decision is ultimately not up to her. Overall, this is an excellent movie that has made its way to a permanent place in our family Disney movie collection.