Sunday, March 24, 2013

Why “Brave” Is Important

Following the Oscars, I heard a lot of people say “Brave” shouldn’t have won Best Animated Feature. They felt the film was underwhelming, not as good as other Pixar films, or “just another princess movie." The last reason is the one that gets under my skin. As the article titles states, “Brave” is a really important film. Yes, it’s about a princess but it’s one of the only movies about a princess that does not involve romance. 

For decades, little girls have been shown film after film that feature beautiful delicate women with perfect hair and pretty dresses who only become happy once a man falls in love with them. I wish I were exaggerating but I’m not. It’s not the existence of these films that’s a problem, because there are princess movies that I like, the problem is that there are so few films that give little girls a different message.

“Brave” is about a young girl who is expected to be a perfect princess, with the dresses and the hair and the husband, but she’s not. And when her mother, with all the best intentions, tries to get her to marry, the young girl tries to change her fate.

Brenda Chapman wrote the story, co-wrote the screenplay and co-directed the film. The film is a beautiful representation of the relationship between a mother and daughter (Chapman based the story on her relationship with her daughter). The story shows the importance of seeing a child as an individual and not as a mirror, and the importance of a child seeing her mother as a real person, who is only trying to do what’s best for her. This film is about compromising and forgiveness.

Little girls should see more characters that are free spirits, characters with natural, crazy hair and dresses worn out from playing. This film shows children that women are strong enough to save themselves, and each other. It shows them that their natural hair, body and faces are beautiful and they don’t have to be presentable and perfect all the time. That gender doesn’t define ability or set limitations.

I’m not saying everyone has to like “Brave” or agree that it deserved to win an Oscar, but I want to make sure people know why this film is so important. It’s a great film for children to see, not just for the messages it sends but because it’s funny, sweet and heart-warming. And yes, it sends a lot of positive messages. There's just so much magic in this film that I wish others could see. So, pick it up from Redbox tonight or find it on demand. It’s worth seeing.

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