Most 3G2S posts contain commission-yielding affiliate links. When you make a purchase after clicking a link, our family earns a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting our blog.

Disney Pixar BRAVE's Princess Merida is a True Heroine Who Changes Her Own Fate

The latest film from Disney Pixar, BRAVE, opens in theaters today.  Our family was fortunate enough to be invited to an advanced screening last week at the AMC in Boston and I have been eager to share my thoughts about the film with my readers.  Before I get into the film, though, I must tell you about the wonderfully delightful treat "La Luna", the Pixar short that preceded the movie.

Also in 3D, this short features three generations of a family whose job it is to tidy up the moon.  Without a single word, this Pixar short shows how even the oldest and wisest can still learn from the younger generations.  The amazing 3D effects make this little tale a magical one.

BRAVE is the tale of a Scottish princess named Merida (voice of Kelly MacDonald) who is a heroine like no other Disney Princess.  This young girl not only changes her own fate, but changes the fate of her people, and does so without the help of a prince at her side.  In fact, this film does not offer any romance for the Princess . . . just 100% adventure.

Merida is not the first Disney heroine to face the unsavory idea of a forced marriage, but she is definitely the first to vie for her own hand.  What she is as a person has been defined by the Queen (voice of Emma Thompson) having trained her to be the perfect princess since birth, time spent with her mother that Merida has grown to resent rather than cherish.  The moments she did cherish were those spent mastering the use of a sword, her trusted bow, and riding her beloved horse Angus. . . all things Queen Elinor did not approve of.  The Queen found it as impossibly challenging to tame her daughter, as it was to tame her wild red hair.

This tale of Merida's quest to change her fate began with a demon bear and ended with it as well.  In between, you will find adventure, humor, bravery, witchcraft, and patriotism.  Although the rest of the film is appropriate for children of all ages, the scenes with the big black ferocious demon bear in 3D on the big screen frightened both our 5 year old twins.  It ruined the film for our daughter, who seemed to be enjoying the film otherwise.  Her twin brother actually cried during the final battle with the bear.  As an adult, I thought those scenes were extremely intense, especially in 3D.  The bear is the main reason the film is rated-PG rather than rated-G.  You can catch small glimpses of the bear in the trailer below . . .

One major victory for Merida is her mother's realization that she could never survive outside of the castle, while her very capable daughter could do so easily.  To me, that was the turning point that started the change in Merida's fate.

In addition to the amazing 3D effects and the breathtaking scenery depicting the Highlands of Scotland, there were two other aspects of this film that help to make it an outstanding one. The first is the hilarious displays of testosterone by King Fergus (voice by Billy Connolly) himself and all the clansmen.  The second is the antics of the the triplets, Merida's mischievous and overly-clever little brothers, who eventually end up using their powers for good.

If you end up going to see Disney Pixar BRAVE in the theaters, I would love to know what you thought of it.  It is a truly amazing film and like no other that Pixar has produced so far.  If you have little ones in your household, you may want to wait until the Blu-ray/DVD comes out.  I'm sure the bear would seem less frightening on a smaller screen and not in 3D.  You can check your local theaters for showtimes here.

My family received an invitation to attend an advanced screening of this film in order to facilitate my review.