Disney Pixar’s BRAVE: A Mom’s Review

Last week my family was invited to attend a screening of the new Disney Pixar Movie, BRAVE.  Just from talking with my personal friends, I know there are mixed feelings about this movie.  Some are excited it’s not so “Princess-y”, others are little skeptical about the target age just based upon the previews.

A little BRAVE Synopsis:

The story follows the legend of Merida – a medieval Scottish princess.  Although she’s definitely not your typical princess.  She would much rather be in the fields shooting arrows and practicing her archery skills.  When her Mom is set on writing Merida’s future, Merida turns to an evil witch to “take care of it”.  In turn she ends up putting a curse on her mother & her mother turns into a bear!  Merida must then help hide her mother until she can get the curse reversed and her mother turned back into … well, her mother!

A little about OUR Experience:

So we took both children – our 3yo daughter and 6yo son.  Our son really loved it a lot.  He enjoyed the action, the silly humor, and all the bear fighting scenes.  Our daughter enjoyed fewer parts.  When I asked her what her favorite part was, she answered “when the Mom turned back into the Mom”.  Here’s the thing – there were definitely some potentially scary scenes.  I say potentially because it all depends on you and your child.  The trailer being shown on TV shows a bear fight scene.  In the movie, there are several of those.  And they definitely scared my daughter – like burying her head scared.  There are also some “questionable” (in my opinion) witch-like scenes.  The witch is ugly.  She’s creepy.  Her magic is creepy too.  This was definitely scary to my daughter and a little to eerie feeling even for me.

And a few of my Thoughts:

The movie honestly gave me a bad a taste at the very beginning.  Having respect for each other is a very big thing in our house right now.  Generally, the kids have a lot of respect for people outside of our immediate family, but we are in a constant pattern right now of trying to show & teach our kids how to have respect for Mom / Dad and Brother / Sister.  And the movie opened with just a lot of disrespect for each other – whines, eye rolling, disobeying – just a general lack of disrespect.  And yes, the movie did have several scary and intense scenes.  But here’s the thing, scary isn’t anything really new for Disney.  I can’t think of a Disney movie that doesn’t have a scary character.  Little Mermaid has Ursula, Lion King has Scar, Beauty & the Beast has The Beast, and Brave has some really mean bears.

But on the positive, the overall message lead to something very beautiful.  Both Merida and her mother learned to have respect for each other – in a very loving way.  They had to work together to reverse the curse.  And Merida was definitely a strong character.

On the ride home, my family was able to have some great discussions about the characters, the decisions they made, the attitudes they had to each other and ultimately – respect.

Tips & Other Reviews:

I’m very glad that we saw it and I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw it again.  If you are concerned about taking your children, here’s a few tips:

  • I would highly suggest the Audio Book that is available at Target.  It’s a very short version of the movie, but would very likely help prepare your child for some scenes (while also letting them know it will all work out in the end).  And might also provide you with a good indicator if they are ready or not.
  • Check out a review at Common Sense Media
  • For a more personal review, I love my friend’s thoughts over at Impress Your Kids.  She gives a lot of great detail and specifics in a very fair way.

We’d love to hear your thoughts!  Feel free to share in the comments below!

Catch a Showtime:

*Note:  We did not see this in 3-D and I think it was perfectly fine.  You might save some money and it also might save a little on the fear factor too;)

AMC Theater – Forsyth Avenue

Carmike Cinemas / Movies 400

Disclosure:  I was provided with Complimentary tickets to a screening in order to facilitate this review.  However, all opinions are my own.

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