Once you reach the top, there’s nowhere to go but down. Who hasn’t heard or spoken that old adage or some variant thereof? It’s an adage that applies to so many avenues of life. That also includes movies. And it especially applies in the case of Disney/Pixar’s newest movie, “Brave.”
“Brave” is little more than another update of Disney’s classic 1976 movie, “Freaky Friday.” That original starred Barbara Harris and a young Jodie Foster. It was most recently updated with a reboot in 2003 starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan in the shoes of the previous pair. Now with “Brave”, the mother/daughter team has been filled by Emma Thompson and Kelly Macdonald. The only thing that separates the previous pair of movies from “Brave” is that in the case of Merida and her mother, Elinor, they don’t switch brains. Rather, in this update, Merida comes of age when she asks a witch to conjure up a spell that would “change” her mom. After the spell turns her mom into a bear, she finally begins to realize things in a different light.
Merida’s not the only one who learns some valuable lessons, either. Her mom learns some lessons, too. Elinor realized that it was wrong of her to press her views on Merida. She learns that needs to honor Merida’s decision on when or if she’s ready to marry. Even the princes brought for the betrothal competition agreed with Merida and voice that opinion, too. They state that they were all pushed into things by their fathers.
The story behind “Brave” is anything but brave. It’s not the only problem with the overall presentation, either. Being that it bears a “PG” rating, parents should be aware that the reasoning behind that rating is justified. There is some partial nudity in the movie. To be more exact, audiences get glimpses of some bare backsides at a couple points. Those moments were really unnecessary.
“Brave” is not Disney/Pixar’s best work. That honor goes to the companies’ 2009 movie, “Up.” But while it’s not the best from the pair, it’s not the worst, either. Merida is a wonderfully positive role model for today’s younger female audiences. She’s a very confident, strong willed and independent figure. That’s a big change from most of Disney’s classic princesses. As much as Merida’s a great role model for today’s yougner female audiences, there’s no denying her link to at least two classic Disney princesses. She has Ariel’s hair and Jasmine’s strong willed personality. Keeping that in mind, and that it lifts liberally from Disney’s 1976 original “Freaky Friday” proves that as good as “Brave” may be, there is still no beating the classics. Parents would be much better served sharing the original Freaky Friday with their children before blowing their money on this not so new movie from Disney and Pixar.