Merida [Kelly Macdonald] is a skilled archer and impetuous daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson). Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane). Merida's actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Wise Woman (voice of Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it's too late.Why I'm looking forward to Brave
- Awesome hair.
- Billy Connelly.
- AWESOME hair.
- All the clips so far have been effortlessly funny.
- Doesn't seem to have "find true love" as the main plotline.
- Billy Connelly. [And Emma Thompson and Robbie Coltrane, for that matter.]
- OMG the HAIR!
I am so definitely going to see this movie. And I know I'll enjoy it. I love the adventures of Girls Doing Stuff.
Why I'm not looking forward to Brave
It's not just that we've had this story before - that stories about a girl proving that girls can do "non-girly" things are about the only Girls Doing Stuff stories that some people seem able to tell. It's the way this one seems to be presented.
Merida starts out exceptional (a princess). She disdains things normally associated with girls (dresses). Her skills are greater than all her peers (beyond exceptional). She chooses to refuse the role her society expects of their princesses (getting married off to the winner of an archery contest) and this brings disaster (possibly because the three fathers of the archery contestants will end up in a civil war unless their princess obligingly settles the rulership of the land on her back). Trying to fix the situation brings about a curse (I would assume that this is the bear which Merida will kill, thus resolving the curse).
The story so far is GIRLSCAN'TDOTHAT GIRLSCAN'TDOTHAT GIRLSCAN'TDOTHAT GIRLSCAN'TDOTHAT - even if they're super-exceptional. Girly things are bad. Girls doing non-girly things cause disaster. Disaster is to be fixed by girl doing non-girly thing.
At a guess Merida will end up being allowed to inherit her kingdom rather than being a vessel for someone else to inherit it. She will probably win her freedom from those horrible restrictive dresses. Possibly she will be able to inspire less exceptional girls to disdain girly things and kill bears as well.
Whether any of this leads Merida to attain the political and economic nous to actually rule a country is another question. And, oddly enough, everything I've seen of her suggests that Merida's mother would be a great person to learn how to rule a country from.
I'm sure Brave will be a wonderful movie, and I expect to enjoy it. But instead of Merida-Hates-Dresses trying to escape an arranged marriage, I would have adored Merida-the-exceptional leading her people into battle, or Merida-the-wise outwitting those trying to undermine her father's rule, or Merida-the-can't-shoot-straight inventing a new and far better method of killing bears. All of those great possible stories which I could love, which will never come into being because over and over and over again the story has to waste its time on GIRLSCAN'TDOTHAT.
This is why I write egalitarian worlds.