Nathan & I rarely go out to the movies, mainly because it's so stinkin' expensive. We have to be pretty excited about a movie to spend $20 to go to the theater. Well, we've been really excited about seeing the new Disney/Pixar movie Brave. Yes, it is a children's movie. Yes, it is a princess movie. But it defies the stereotypes of its genre in many great ways.
Animation: For starters, the animation is breathtaking. Rather than being overly cutesy or unrealistic, the animation depicts the Scottish countryside in dark hues and in an incredibly realistic manner. And the animals in the film (aside from one particularly personified bear) look stunningly real. Now, let's talk about Merida's hair. AMAZING. I have never been so utterly bewildered by animation. Her hair. How do they do it? It's awesome.
Plotline: The story is an excellent children's tale of courage, wisdom, humility, learning from mistakes, and, duh, bravery. The main character, Merida, makes a prideful and thoughtless mistake that she must figure out how to remedy. The story isn't based on pursuing love or being rescued; it is based on cooperation, selflessness, love, strength, and a little bit of magic. I think these are probably some of the best lessons we could teach our kids. And while there is some violence in the film between goofy Scottish clan leaders, the violence depicted is mocked as being silly, frivolous, and unhelpful. Violence is not glorified as a way to solve problems or eliminate the bad guy; it is depicted as something that idiotic drunk men do when they're trying to assert themselves, & will inevitably end up looking like imbeciles.
Love/Romance: And what of love? In this story, Merida refuses to follow the tradition of betrothal. She demonstrates that she neither wants nor needs a husband. But in no way does this translate to her hatin' on love. The love between families and between neighbors is a central theme of the story, as is the importance of women being able to seek out true love on their own terms.
The Ending: (Spoiler Alert) Oh, and perhaps the best part- the story doesn't end with her & a prince "living happily ever after". It ends with her being awesome, completely on her own.
Seriously, all people young & old should go see Brave, if for no other reason than to make a statement that this is the kind of movie we want to see companies producing and showing to our children. Not the typical crap.
I don't know why this poster says August, cause it's definitely already out.