‘Brave’ princess offers laughs and a lesson

'Brave' princess offers laughs and a lesson

Photo: Pixar Studios/Disney

"Brave" is an enchanted story about fighting to change fate.

By Joanna Olsen, Staff Writer

In the past, Disney princesses have been pretty girly (with the most notable exception being Mulan). Flowing hair, happily ever after, handsome Prince Charming – the whole shebang. It leaves the rest of us, who loved the fight and charm of Mulan, wanting to run and hide under a nice large pillow and scream. Personally, I don’t like watching some frilled-up, silly girl bat moon-eyes at the handsome prince while he does all of the sword-swinging and saving.

You have to imagine my excitement when I found out about Brave. Finally, another princess who fights back! I completely fell in love with Merida, her passion for archery and her teenage stubbornness.

However, Brave wasn’t totally what I expected. Looking for a story about having to fight hordes of evil advancing armies to save the country, I found myself engrossed in an enchanted story about fighting to change fate.

Merida’s mother, Queen Elinor, is trying to groom her daughter into a respectable princess, constantly nit-picking and correcting Merida on her behavior as a “proper lady.” Merida hates it. When Elinor decides that Merida is fit to be married off to one of the other clans, the Scottish princess is left in a sticky situation: get betrothed to one of the clansmen’s princes or break time-worn tradition and choose her own fate. Her choice has explosive consequences that she must try to resolve before the kingdom rips itself apart.

With the guidance of mythical creatures called wisps, Merida and Elinor follow a winding trail across their homeland to try to correct the consequences that happen as a result of Merida’s decision. However, Merida keeps denying, to her mother and to herself, that anything that has happened so far is her fault.

On their journey, they learn the secret of the terrible monster Mor’du and must protect each other as he seeks revenge on Merida’s family. As time runs down on the chance to correct Merida’s mistake, she realizes just how much trouble her pride has gotten her into. Desperately, in the last few minutes, she finally bends her pride and takes responsibility for her actions in an attempt to save her kingdom and her mother.

I cried toward the end, because the movie completely describes the relationship that I have with my own mother, and how I wish sometimes that I were free to make my own choices without her looking over my shoulder, just like Merida and Queen Elinor.

And even though my friends keep telling me, “It’s just a movie!” I think it’s a little more than that. It helped me to realize that my mom isn’t just trying to ruin my entire life by grounding me; she’s trying to help me become a better person and learn from my mistakes.

I would definitely encourage those who have children to go see it; it’s a lot of fun to watch, and it has a lot of laughs, even for adults. I went with a whole bunch of my friends, and we had a blast. Brave is just one of those stories that you can relate to at any age; you can go back to see it again and again and still take something new from it. It’s an amazing movie.