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  • Writer's pictureLoren Javier

Its Tartan Day. Let's Revisit Pixar's Brave.

Pboto: Disney/Pixar

Today is Tartan Day, a day celebrating people's Scottish Heritage. I posted a picture of Merida from Pixar's Brave on my social media sites as she showed off the tartan if the DunBroch clan.

I actually absolutely love meeting Merida in the Disney Parks. I don't care how bad her Scottish accent might be, its her big personality that separates her from other Disney Princesses and makes her so fun and different to meet.

And, I love the song "Touch The Sky" as sung by Scottish singer Julie Fowlis. There is a sequence in "Mickey and the Wondrous Book" in Hong Kong Disneyland where Merida sings this song that just brings me such joy.

Pboto: Loren R. Javier

All of this is to say that, while I very much enjoy seeing Merida and any Brave presence in the Parks, I didn't really like the movie. I didn't hate it, but I just didn't connect. So, I've decided to give it another chance and watch it today and see how I feel a few days later.

So, be right back...



Okay, I'm back.

So, I have to admit I enjoyed it more than I remembered. Actually, I enjoyed it quite a bit.

I think the attention to detail in regards to the time period and location is amazing. The colors and the textures of the landscapes make you feel like you're really there. The character designs are quite nice and contrast off each other quite well. Merida's red locks are a character into itself. I can only imagine the time it took to animate it. Merida's brothers Hubert, Harris and Hamish are adorable and entertaining. For some reason, I just noticed they never speak.

Pboto: Disney/Pixar

I used to think Merida was a little one note with the archery thing, but I see she has more depth. It's not that she wants to just to a warrior woman, but she wants to be herself and respected for who she is.

Pboto: Disney/Pixar

When I first watched it, I had a hard time connecting with is the relationship between Merida and her mother which is the basis of the story. But, I get it now. There is a scene, for some reason that I didn't remember, where Merida and Queen Elinor say what they want to say to each other without being in the same room together.  Its cut together, though, as a complete conversation and illustrates what often happens in mother/daughter relationships. I see it all the time with my mother and sister when they are in conflict. Both of them can tell me what they wish the other could hear, but, for some reason, they can't say it to each other.

I love the magical element of it and how Queen Elinor always told her daughter that the Will-o-the-wisps would lead her to her fate. Those Will-o-the-wisps lead Merida to the witch who gives her the spell to change her mother. But, the spell isn't about her mother. It really is about changing Merida's fate.

Pboto: Disney/Pixar

By changing Queen Elinor into a bear that cannot speak was a clever way to accentuate their communication problems, yet, it is as the bear, mother and daughter finally learn to hear each other.

When I first watched the movie, I thought the bear chase at the end a bit extraneous. Like they didn't need it. But, it actually not only adds to the drama, it adds to the story of the love between both mother and child. They will do what they must to protect each other by the end of the film.

When I first watched this film, I did not cry because I didn't feel it. But, this time, I genuinely sobbed. I don't know why I didn't get it before or see all the symbolism, but if, like me, you didn't care for the movie at first, rewatch it.

It really is a beautiful story.

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