Things about Brave.

It’s Pixar’s first movie with a girl. And I saw it! Spoilers after the jump!

  • Merida is a Scottish princess who feels constrained by tradition. She has to go be a lady when all she really wants to do is bend it like Beckham.
  • No but freal Merida is a bad bitch and I love her.
  • The film’s moral: Don’t have kids. They will turn you into a bear.
  • Speaking of bears, there’s this bit at the end where Merida’s mum throws down against Iofur Raknison and avenges the way he ate her husband’s leg. During this section, I kept thinking it’d be great if Brooke Valentine re-recorded “Girlfight" as "Bearfight" for the movie. 
  • The trailers made this seem like it was going to be a rote Girls Can Do Anything movie, but, thankfully, there was more to it than that.
  • I won’t be so joyless as to ask why no one cared about the constrained options of all the members of the clans who weren’t privileged royalty like our heroine.
  • When the movie said “princess” it really meant “girl,” because all girls are princesses? So when Elinor instructs Merida “a princess does not do” whatever, what we’re meant to understand her as saying is “a girl does not do” whatever. I’m not quite sure the point I’m making here: do we have to imagine girls as princesses before we can care about them being liberated? Can we only understand gender constraints if we bind them up with the constraints of political responsibility? Or is it just that girls like princesses?
  • Manohla Dargis complained:
    The tussling between Elinor and Merida is familiar, but while the mother-daughter clashes may make the story “relatable,” they drain it of its mythopoetic potential, turning what could have been a cool postmodern fairy tale into another family melodrama.
    But this was what I liked best about the film! Has Pixar had a teenaged protagonist yet? (Andy in Toy Story 3 doesn’t count.) Merida’s struggles — and her relationship with her mother — were engaging because they were so mundanely and recognizably adolescent and not mythic.
  • You should totes go read J. Bogz talking about the movie if you haven’t.
  • Coming in 2029: Pixar’s second movie about a girl!
  • The short that preceded the film was La Luna, a cute short that was cute like all the other cute Pixar shorts are. It featured a boy sweeping up stars on the moon with what I assumed were his father and grandfather, and he was clearly supposed to be a generic little kid. So, obviously, he had to be male, which stood out a bit considering we were getting ready to watch the PMWAG (Pixar Movie With A Girl). Have any of the Pixar shorts featured female leads?
  • I don’t know what Scottish people think of their portrayal, but it was nice of Pixar to set a film in Scotland and make all the characters Scottish. Y’know, as opposed to how they did with Finding Nemo.
  • When the witch came on I did think, oh boy, a movie with a teenage girl lead and now there’s magic, this is exactly what I want.
  • I thought that song “Touch the Sky" by Julie Fowlis was kinda neat. Even if it sounds less neat out of context.
  • Linda Williams, “Melodrama Revised,” Refiguring American Film Genres: Theory and History (1998):
    I argue, however, for the need to recognize such moments as quintessentially melodramatic. One of the key features of melodrama is its compulsion to “reconcile the irreconcilable” — that is, its tendency to find solutions to problems that cannot really be solved without challenging the older ideologies of moral certainties to which melodrama wishes to return.
  • No but this was a cool movie and I enjoyed watching it.