Princess Merida is not a badass.
In Pixar’s latest, “Brave,” the animation studio known for movies with strong stories and characters sports a heroine and leading lady — the studio’s first in its 13 films. The trailers promise a strong-willed woman who defies the fate pushed upon her to forge her own path. Throughout the film, however, we see Merida for who she really is: a petulant, selfish teenager. She is only a teenager, after all.
When Queen Elinor, Merida’s mother, announces that the first-born sons from their kingdom’s three neighboring clans will fight for her daughter’s hand in marriage, as is tradition, Merida flat-out refuses. The princess goes so far in her defiance that she nearly causes a war between the clans.
Not that viewers should worry. All the men in this film are buffoons who spend more time eating and arguing than making any decisions whatsoever.
I know this may spoil the plot (it also spoiled any of my hopes in this movie being
saved), but the film’s twist comes when Merida wishes to change her mother instead of herself, to find her own destiny. But things get hairy.
Something is just missing in this film. It has magic, but it isn’t creative. It has heart, but it isn’t worn on its sleeve. It has a simple message and a simple desire — to show the strengths of the motherdaughter relationship — but it takes unneeded back roads to get there.
It’s a Pixar movie, so its animation is beautiful, but Merida is a lacking character. Even with her l aming red hair, she’s forgettable.
By Bailey Loosemore