Brought Anya to watch Brave on National Day and I have one question on my mind: do I want her to be like Princess Merida?
Brave is set in 10th century Scotland and the plot centres on Merida, a princess who decides to defy tradition at the risk of bringing about war, and in the process creates chaos in her family. Among other themes, the film also touches on the relationship between a mother and her daughter and the position of women in society.
I am generally not very fond of the Disney princesses because most of them are quite helpless and are just sitting around waiting for a handsome prince to bring them their happily-ever-after. I’m really glad that Anya doesn’t have any particular liking for the whole bunch of them because I don’t think they make particularly good role models.
Princess Merida, however, is different and I like her. I like that she is independent and adventurous, loves her family and treats her younger brothers well and that she strives to be as good as or even better than the boys. I hope that Anya will have these qualities as well.
But Merida is also stubborn and very rash and doesn’t stop to consider the consequences before taking action. Anya is like that too and it is very frustrating and sometimes more than I can bear.
That said, I guess it’s precisely the fact that Merida is imperfect that makes her character so believable and endearing. I enjoyed watching the show, even though it was a tad predictable. I wasn’t entirely blown away but it was funny, entertaining and heartwarming.
So if Anya eventually decides that Disney princesses are cool and she wants to be like one, I hope she picks Princess Merida.