MFM was treated to a sneak peek of Disney Pixar’s newest release Brave and was delighted to see an opinionated mum take centre stage.
Traditionally, fairytales focus on evil stepmothers, witches or absent mothers, allowing children the enjoyment of watching their peers on screen fighting their battles alone. But, in the character of Queen Elinor, the mother figure voiced by Emma Thompson, we get a caring mother battling with tradition and the desires of her strong-willed daughter.
Princess Merida (voiced by Kelly MacDonald) fits the Disney bill of unhappy daughter rebelling against her parents. Merida’s certainly feistier than the likes of Cinderella and Ariel and she wipes the floor with potential suitors thrust upon her in an archery competition. But Merida’s goal is the same – she wants to change her destiny and, namely, escape the torment of marriage to one of the scruffs from a neighbouring clan.
Bumbling King Fergus (voiced by Billy Connolly), known as the Bear King after a legendary scuffle with a bear, can only nod along with his wife’s wishes, while repairing the destruction left behind by the young men.
Kids will love the scuffles Merida’s cheeky younger brothers get into, and a naughty bottom or two popping out of kilts is bound to raise a chuckle. The 3D might scare a few younger children – bears often pop out of the screen, but there’s enough cutesy cake stealing and jostling among the hilarious clan leaders to keep it jolly.
With a bear chase or two thrown in and a cracking sound track, Brave does exactly what is says on the tin. It’s a forward-thinking look at the contemporary relationship between a mum and her daughter, with a witch, magic and some half-naked scrawny Scottish blokes thrown in for good measure.
Without giving too much away, there’s an unmarried (and happy) princess at the end. A triumph.