Brave – The Perfect Mother-Daughter Date

Brave, Pixar’s newest release, opens this Friday, June 22nd.

I’m going to start out by saying I wasn’t super excited about this movie. From the trailers and hype, it looked like a movie about a girl who revolts against her parents wishes and kingdom’s rules. Another movie about childhood angst, not listening to your parents and falling in love. Basically, another princess movie.

Not that the Disney princesses are bad, many are just a little stale.

My girls were very excited to see the movie, so I volunteered to take the family to the screening.

Like with all Pixar movies, I loved this movie.

Pixar has a way with creating unusual characters in either common or very unusual situations. Characters that may not at first come across as lovable or even likeable like the standard Disney characters. Who doesn’t love Whiney the Pooh the first time they see him? Wall-e had to grow on me a little bit.

Brave is a story that looks like a classic tale but takes twists and turns and follows its own path.

This isn’t about a lonely princess fighting an evil step-mother while awaiting her prince.

Brave has stunning animation and beautiful music. It takes place in Scotland and follows the story of Princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald), a skilled archer and independent daughter who wants to  change her fate. Her mother, Elinor (Emma Thompson) has other plans for Merida and raises her to be a good queen. Merida is expected to one day take the throne and rule the kingdom. But Merida has other ideas.

She doesn’t want to worry about acting proper or being a queen. She isn’t interested in the political issues that face her kingdom. She wants to be free to be herself.

When it is time for Merida to marry one of the first born from the fighting clans in an arranged marriage, she stands up against her parents and refuses. Merida takes some risky steps to change her destiny and unleashes danger and peril for herself, her family and her kingdom. Elinor and Merida must work together as mother and daughter to set things right again.

This movie also stars the voice talents of Billy Connolly, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, Craig Ferguson, Kevin McKidd and of course a cameo by John Ratzenberger.

This is a movie for mothers and daughters to see together. It shares the difficulties that they face when coming from different generations and points of view but must work together to overcome.

Brave is for mother and daughter relationships like Nemo was for fathers and sons. Merida and Elinor are both very strong characters, who come to understand each other and compromise.

I am so thankful for movies like this that show my daughters you can be whatever and whoever you want if you put your mind to it. You don’t need to wait in the ivory tower waiting for a man to sweep you off your feet. You can choose your own destiny as a solid person on your own and in a relationship.

I highly recommend mothers and daughters see this movie together. But it isn’t just for the girls. The boys will also enjoy the archery, the humor (Merida’s three younger brothers are troublemaking comic relief) and the story. Some parts are a little dark and could frighten some littler ones, so keep that in mind.


Susan Wells is a native Colorado mom to two girls, ages 7 and 10. She loves to find the learning in everything. In past lives, Susan has been a symphony bassist, sound engineer, news web producer and web developer. She currently works for Steve Spangler Science in web marketing, social media and blogging. She also blogs at