Disney and Pixar Studios has done it again. Their new hit, Brave, came out into theaters less than two weeks ago and already it’s a story unlike any other. This year’s princess isn’t a damsel in distress rescued by your quinessential knight in shining armor. In fact, there’s no knight at all in this tale. It’s about one girl: Merida. And about how she changed the life fate was trying to hand her.
The controversy is minimal surrounding this fairy tale. There’s no obvious pushing of the envelope, but even the absence of such challenges has brought some viewers to question the motives behind this adolescent tale of freedom. Adam Markowitz of Entertainment Weekly even goes so far as to question Merida’s orientation toward women in his article, “Could the heroine of Pixar’s Brave be gay?”
I was having dinner with a friend last night when she questioned the entire premise of the movie. She felt the movie was flip-flopping gender roles in saying that women need to be the brave ones. “Who are the ones who are supposed to be brave?,” she asked her 13-year-old daughter. Men are. God created them to be protectors. Even Rachel Held Evans points out the weak men portrayed in this film, making the difference between daughter and father that much more stark.
S0, we ask you, readers: What do you think about this? Is Brave simply a sweet compelling story about one woman’s fight for freedom, or is it something more? Do you think there is an underlying agenda in play? Or should we all just forget about it and enjoy the entertainment?
What do you think?