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As many of you probably already know, Brave was the most recent Disney-Pixar movie released in 2012.  It has received much recognition for being the first Disney film to portray a strong, independent princess.  I completely agree.  The main character is Merida, who is a free-spirited young girl who wants to go against tradition and not marry into one of the surrounding clans.  She is very defiant throughout the film and I enjoyed that.  She was basically saying that she does not need a man in her life and that is an important message to young girls today.

Past Disney movies have portrayed princesses terribly.  Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty taught me what was conventionally beautiful, that I should sing like an angel, talk to animals, and fall in love with a prince- because that is what being a female is all about.  Then came The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Pocahontas, and Mulan.  They showed a slight shift to more androgynous roles.  They were a bit more defiant and rambunctious, however, there seemed to be a common theme, the prince.  Just when we think Disney is moving towards a more feminist outlook, they push us right back into those stereotypical ideas.  The damsel in distress always ends up being saved by a man.  Even Mulan, the brave female warrior posing as a man ends up with the handsome soldier.

This is why Brave is so important.  It shows the not-so-typical princess.  Merida is a character that more girls can look up to.  Her hair is wild and out of place, her clothes are dirty, and she likes to do more adventurous things.  This is a much more relatable princess.  I wish Brave would have been released when I was young, that way I could understand that not everyone can look like Snow White or Cinderella.


  1. heralex27 says:

    I heard that Brave was written by a woman who was inspired by her relationship with her own teenage daughter. I think that the way she wrote the story to still include love was great. The love between a mother and daughter.

    It is a problem that every ‘children’s’ movie has that damsel in distress that you mention. Or at least, every princess is distressed.

    The originality in stories has certainly improved recently, and it is significant to finally have an independent princess.

    But personally, the movie was too scary for me to watch – I camp and a fear of bears is a very serious matter to me. I cried with my 4-year-old niece when we saw the movie in theaters.

  2. lysaleh says:

    Although I have not watched Brave, I think your post is pretty truthful. Almost every Disney movie has that damsel in distress that is waiting for her prince charming to come save her. I’m not going to lie, I love the entire series of Disney princess films, but I agree, it is refreshing to hear of a film that doesn’t depict females to be waiting around for her prince.

  3. maelsaye says:

    Mulan accomplished this by showcasing the strong and independent woman way back in 1998. So she found love ended up with the prince? Is that such a bad thing? She still kicked butt much harder than most of the men did in that movie. While I haven’t seen Brave, it is good to hear that more movies are moving away from the archetype damsel in distress.

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