Yesterday our whole family watched Brave together for the first time.
I took a few notes as I was watching the movie, so that I could report back to the internet and possibly help anyone who hadn’t yet watched Brave determine the suitability for their child(ren) and/or whether it is something they would be interested in watching themselves.
The movie begins with a flashback involving a brief bear attack. I watched Gabriel and Joshua for their reactions, only to see them intently watching the movie. At the end of the bear attack, Joshua (three years old) inquired as to whether the bear (Mor’du) was a black bear or a brown bear. Answer: black bear.*
Overall, Brave was a more weighty movie than other animated “princess movies” I can recall. Most of the laughs came from the antics of Merida’s younger brothers. The main discussion points, as I saw them, were:
1. Family relationships. Things are rocky between Merida and her mother.
2. Cultural traditions. Brave takes place in Scotland during the 10th century, so it draws on cultural traditions and folklore from that time. Magic plays a large role in the plot.
Finally, a few of my personal observations about the movie:
The horse (Angus) acted like a horse. The dogs acted like dogs. All of the animals acted essentially like I would expect real animals to act instead of cutesy cartoons. I enjoy the cute cartoon animals too, but found animals that were just animals in a movie to be refreshing.
Merida’s hair and the scenery are examples of fantastic animation. I even appreciated Angus’ feathered fetlocks. Well done, Pixar.
There was another bear fight at the end, which Gabriel mentioned was “kind of scary” today. Based on the context in which he used “kind of scary,” I believe he was referring to all that was riding on the fight. It’s been over twenty-four hours since we watched Brave, and there have been several requests to watch it again. I will probably even watch it again. It’s my favorite Pixar movie in years.
*I couldn’t help laughing because my children were so non-traumatized by this part of the movie that they were wondering about the kind of bear. We do watch nature and dinosaur documentaries with them, and live in a rural area, so they haven’t really been sheltered in terms of how nature works.