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.