One of the things Karli was worried about in terms of delivering this kid was that Squatch would decide to show up before Brave came out and she had a chance to see it. Or, worse, that Squatch would come in the middle of the movie.
Fortunately for her, Squatch held off and we got to go see the movie a couple days ago. She’s been looking forward to this movie for a while. I think there are several reasons for that—she digs Pixar movies in a bigway; she’s always wanted to visit Scotland/England/Ireland; and the main character in it seemed like a pretty cool chick.
As it turns out, we both really liked the movie. Had this come out 20 years ago, Merida (the girl in the movie) would’ve been someone Karli looked up to—and it’s not just because they share the curly hair. I can see a lot of girls getting into Brave because it’s a girl who can not only hang with the boys, but can also kick them around a little bit. She’s not a stare-out-the-window-and-wish-for-independence type of Disney princess. She’s an independent Disney princess. That speaks volumes to kids who watch the movie—both boys and girls.
Watching the movie, a part of me seemed like elements of it came straight out of focus groups, and I don’t mean that as a knock (this time). I’ve seen a lot of discussion around the internet about the kinds of (poor) examples that Disney princesses leave for children. And I’ve seen as much discussion about the staggering number of dead and absent parents in Disney movies. Yet, with this movie, you see a character who acts as a strong, independent role model and who has two loving, engaged parents. They seemed to address two of their biggest criticisms in one big, curly-headed swoop.
Pixar also addressed something that appears to be not simply limited to Disney. Brave is mostly about a mother-daughter relationship, which I think a lot of books and movies see as the kiss of death. They think boys won’t want to see a movie or read a book where a girl is the main character.
The thing is that they’re not always wrong. They’ve come to that idea through a lot of experience. It comes with a big ol’ asterisk, though. Boys won’t go see a movie where the main character is a girl who whines and texts and plays catty little games all day. Too many of those sit around their classrooms to be interesting. But when you allow a female character to have adventures like you would a male character, I’m pretty sure boys couldn’t care less about the gender of the people in the movie. I sure as hell would’ve watched this movie as a kid.
This is one movie I don’t think I’ll mind showing Squatch. I think that whether Squatch is a girl or boy, Brave showcases a good female role model with values I want my kids to pick up. We’ll see if my opinion changes after the 53rd consecutive viewing of the movie.
It turns out that yesterday’s post was my 100th post. It went by without any fanfare because I didn’t even notice. Oops. Guess I’ll help myself to some more cake batter ice cream in celebration.