Sunday, July 29, 2012


Disney princesses are a a part of our culture. They're a large part of my generation. I grew up watching Disney Princess movies (Belle from Beauty and The Beast is my favorite). There are others that I like, such as the originals who were Cinderella, Snow White, and Princess Aurora/Brier Rose/Sleeping Beauty.

 Pocahontas was unique because she was the only real life princess and Disney was fairly accurate with her story. Mulan was also inspired by a real Japanese warrior, and as badass as she was, she is not actually a princess. Shang wasn't even a prince, but still, they made for a great couple!

Then there were those that really got on my nerves, such as Ariel (she came off as a spoiled brat), Jasmine (winy and complaining), and Rapunzel (just down right annoying). Tiana from The Princess and The Frog I liked because of her sassy sense of humor, even though I didn't care for the movie.

Princess Merida with her family.
Now a new princess is joining the ranks of The Disney Princesses franchise. The wild haired, stubborn, and independent Princess Merida of Scotland. Not only is Merida Pixar's first princess, she is Disney's first princess to have no prince charming.

No, instead she has something much better than that. A wonderful family.

When the movie begins we see Merida (voiced by Kelly MacDonald) as the oldest daughter of King Fergus (voicedc by Billy Connelly), who prefers to be more of a father than a king, and Queen Elinor (voiced by Emma Thompson), who rules the roost just about...everywhere. Merida also has three younger brothers, Harris, Hubert, and Hamish, who are fun loving troublemakers and are downright spoiled by their older sister.

Family life is relaxed, maybe too relaxed for Queen Elinor. King Fergus adores his children and encourages his daughter to be whoever she desires to be. The triplets are the comic relief of the story and actually become unlikely heroes as well.

Princess Merida and Queen Elinor
The storyline generates around Merida and her mother who are at their wits end with each other. Queen Elinor is old school royalty who lives by tradition. She wants Merida to marry and learn to be a respectful lady, with the hope of becoming a future queen.

Merida, on the other hand, is repulsed by the idea of marriage and balks every step of the way. She's an extraordinary horsewoman and deadly archer, and is more interested in adventure than romance.

After Merida publicly announces that she will have no husband, as well as besting her hopeful suitors at the archery contest, she and her mother have an all out yelling brawl. Leaving a desperate and rebellious Merida to do the unthinkable.

Change her destiny.

King Fergus and Queen Elinor
 Change does not always come out the way we want it too and Merida's foolish act of selfishness almost costs her what is most dear and precious to her.

Her mother.

And yet...Merida must find the bravery to atone for her mistakes and make right what what she has wronged. In the process, she and her mother come to a much better and clearer understanding of one another.

Merida realizes that her mother didn't want her to be just a lady, but a strong and generous woman. She also learns that to find your own future, you must sometimes learn from the traditions of the past.

Elinor sees the courage that her daughter posses and knows that she is capable of handling her own life, not with help of a husband, but rather the guidance and support of her family.

This was a very good movie. Now I'll admit, it wasn't the best of Disney Princess movies, but it's one of the best movies that Pixar has come out with in several years.

The animation is beautiful, the soundtrack is stunning and full of traditional Celtic music, and it is hilarious. There is also a great subplot to the storyline concerning the legend of how the kingdom began, as well as a little mystery to go along with it.

Now some gave it a rather scathing review which I thought rather unfair and their opinions unrealistic-Visionary Daughters.

As far as Disney princesses go, I liked Merida. She is feisty, stubborn and rebellious, but she is fiercely loyal to her family and her kingdom. She has a great sense of humor and I especially loved how she just adored her baby brothers!

Of all the lessons that this movie could produce, the importance of family loyalty is the best and strongest. Not waiting around for prince charming to save you, but to rely on what you already have and to never, never take that for granted.


  1. Your review makes me feel much better about the movie! I was very much afraid that it was going to be uberly feminist (as it appeared in the trailers), and that pixar would disappoint me for once. Now I shall have to see it!

  2. P.s. I can't believe Rapunzel annoyed you so much! I loved her!

    P.P.s. Look what I just came across ^_^..


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