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Today, I have a few thoughts to share on Disney/Pixar’s recent movie, Brave. Some of my viewpoints may seem odd to you, but if you really think about it, they should make at least some sense. After all, if they didn’t, then why in the name of the Valar would I be holding these opinions?! (Just so you know, I am a reasonable person in real life. ;-P)
First of all, Merida’s attitude in the beginning of the movie is really… *ahem.* She should be less cavalier in leading the country to war, and more into diplomacy like her mother Elinor. However, she shouldn’t be so upset about her impending marriage; these arranged marriages are not the end of the world, however grumpy you may get about them. Besides, there are other options, such as negotiation. “Would that kill them?”
Second, the dress she wears during the whole scene with the suitors, the archery contest, and the witch. While completely GORGEOUS, this dress is not historically accurate! Sure, the pattern is, but the sizing isn’t. By the time that Constantine became Roman emperor and the world became Christian, there was such a thing as modesty standards– and though that dress covers every inch of skin, it’s too tight, far too revealing to make the cut. Thus, it’s inaccurate.
Also, the general attitude of the movie is slightly off. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it’s a great story– but it’s not entirely accurate. Call it artistic license, but the BBC show Merlin is actually more accurate in attitude than Brave is! The Dark Ages are not quite so dark as some history books would have you believe. Look at Oop-Arts (Out Of Place Artifacts), for goodness’ sake!
That’s the bad side. Now for the good stuff. 😉
Merida learning to fight– that is historically accurate. Especially in the Highlands, the women of various Celtic races would learn to fight, and follow the men to war. They wouldn’t fight in the battles, but they would defend the camp if it was attacked. Also, the chatelaine of a castle would defend the castle if it came under siege while the lord of the castle was away. More than that, I love the idea of the “Wisps.” They are probably my favorite part of an enchanting movie. Instead of leading you to your doom (as in, a bottomless bog), they lead you to your fate? Awesome. And the idea of Mor-du, one person’s selfishness and greed unleashing a monster, is one of the best to come out of Pixar recently. The sets are nothing short of amazing, perhaps even better than How to Train Your Dragon‘s, and the animation is the best yet. I sat, mouth open in awe, at the detailing on leaves, grass, boards, moss. It wasn’t quite The Lord of the Rings, but it was nothing short of incredible.
Off topic, but I think it’s obvious from my critique what kind of person I am… I’m a mercuric and mischievous sprite with an unexpected steely streak.
And now, for a poem. This was inspired by some of the poetry of The Lord of the Rings and the Redwall books (by Brian Jacques. I highly suggest that you go to your library and read them!!!) as well as Brave. Enjoy!
They say the Fates repeat their tales
So legends are lessons and ring with truth
And history repeats itself;
A monster is born from the selfishness of youth.
For five hundred years the blight of the land
What haunted the crags with its past to rue,
And from peak to peak its terror grew,
The demon in bear’s shape, the great black Mor-du.
His pride and his selfishness a horror unleashed,
And for five hundred years his kingdom in ruin,
And only death could set his soul free,
After the bear took hold and the monster grew in him.
So follow the Wisps to your fate’s doorstep
And change destiny before you will rue;
Beware the monster before you fall to it,
Beware yourself! Beware Mor-du.