“Brave” is a movie full of Pixar firsts. It is Pixar’s first fairy tale. It is Pixar’s first female protagonist. It is Pixar’s first film directed by a woman. It is the first Pixar film to require the company to completely rewrite their animation systems in their 25 years of production. In spite of all these firsts, “Brave” still reflects all the things we have come to love about Pixar films. Beautiful, cutting edge computer animation, engaging plot, and characters that you both laugh and cry with. Plus, for me, it was a story that I could connect with. When you strip away the magic, the archery, and the goofy princes, “Brave” is a story about a mother and daughter trying to define their relationship as the daughter moves into adulthood. It is little wonder that “Brave” speaks to me.
Like many movies that feature women, “Brave” had its share of controversy. Starting before its release nay-sayers insisted that box office sales would be low. It wouldn’t be able to attract a significant male audience as “boys don’t want to watch princess movies”. This proved a foundless fear as 43% of “Brave”‘s audience were male and it became one of the highest grossing features of the year. It was a tough year. Princess Merida was competing with the Avengers, Batman, Bilbo Baggins, Katniss Everdeen, and James Bond, just to name a few.
The larger controversy came when Merida was officially inducted into the Disney Princesses. Her outfit, body shape and face were all changed to make her more ‘feminine’. There was great outcry by fans and she was changed back. If you would like to read more about this in particular, I wrote about it in my Princesses series titled, “Brave: No Prince required”.
What did you think of this film of firsts? Tell me here: