Last night I went to a preview of the new Disney Pixar film, BRAVE. The event was graciously hosted by Visit Scotland. I didn’t take my nine year-old daughter. It was a busy day in the city and I didn’t have time to get home to bring her into the city. But this is a film that I want her to see, that she has to see, and you had better believe I will be back in the cinema this weekend, with her in tow. Why? Because the character in the film is someone I hope my own daughter to resemble – a strong heroine with a mind of her own. She’s rebellious but smart and with good intentions. Its seriously a film about GIRL POWER. The main character, Merida, has a mind of her own, and she’s determined to take charge of her own future. “Destiny — it’s the one thing we search for, or fight to change.”
And that’s the film’s message and it’s a strong one for all girls to learn, that “our fate lives within us.” You only have to be brave enough to see it.” She is living in a time where she can do anything she wants, be anyone she wants to be, aspire to do anything. That’s the message that I want to send my own daughter, and how fabulous it is for a movie to be relaying the same message to her and millions of girls all over the world. It’s GIRL POWER at its finest. Enough of the girl being the distraught princess stuck up in a tower, waiting for a man to rescue her. This is a girl who wants to create her own destiny. Gotta love that – check out the trailer:
This is the tale of an independent princess, a Scottish “wee lass”. Passionate and head-strong, Merida is a headstrong teenager of royal upbringing who is struggling to take control of her own destiny. She’s a good girl, does as she is told, but every now and then takes a ride on her horse through the country side to escape her controlled reality in the castle where she does as she is told by her parents. She would rather eat an arrow than endure an arranged marriage which her parents decide it’s time for. Her mother tells her that “marriage is not the end of the world,” and Merida is a good daughter, one that loves her mother very much. Merida wants to please her mother but she also wants to choose her own husband, to mold her own destiny. This film explores the love that a mother and daughter share and that love is an important part of my own life. I found this part of the story incredibly easy to relate to.
Merida takes control of the situation when a bunch of suitors embark on the castle to prove their worth in the quest to marry her. She decides that they must compete for her through one her passions, archery. But when she takes her own fate in her hands to win her independence with a bull’s eye, her mother says “Nothing doing.” Her mom wants her to seal her fate the traditional way so Merida runs away. She ends up at a witch’s house and asks her for a spell to change her fate, to change her mother’s demands to run her life and make her get married. The rest of the film takes a turn in a direction you’d never expect.
There are some well-known voices that were easy to recognize: Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly, Craig Ferguson. Merida is played by Kelly Macdonald of “Nanny McPhee” who narrates the heroine brilliantly. Her voice is fierce yet full of love for the mother she vows to protect when things go awry.
In addition, the animation is beautiful. Scotland is shown in all its glory. A country that I have longed to take my own children back to ever since I first set foot in Edinburgh for their annual fringe festival nearly 20 years ago and I took my daughter to when she was an infant, I have a feeling that a future visit is imminent on one of our annual trips to the UK. The images of the Highlands and beautiful scenery in the first part of the film remain etched in my mind. The film reeks of Scottish culture in only the best way possible – from scenery to costumes including kilts to archery, one of their national sports, to mesmerizing Scottish music. Bagpipes, harps and flutes help bring the film to life and there are two songs by Scottish Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis that makes me want to go out and buy the soundtrack.
Disclosure: I was granted access to a preview of the film, hosted by Visit Scotland and Disney, but all opinions are my own. Head over to their web site NOW to enter to win a five day trip to Scotland for a family of FOUR.