The Oscar nominations came out this week and everyone is abuzz about Lincoln and Les Miserables. I, however, am focusing my attention on something much more important - the Best Animated Feature category.
Everyone loves animated films when they are small, but I never lost my love of them. I still like to go see the latest Disney or DreamWorks movie on the big screen. Is that weird? Maybe. When my husband and I bought our 3D TV, the first movie watched on it was Tangled.
I live within walking distance of a small movie theater and when Brave came to town, I was extremely excited. I loaded up on snacks and made my way over, ready to be enthralled. What I was looking forward to with this movie was a powerful message for young girls - if you are brave you can accomplish anything. Disney movies are always predictable, and I thought I had this one pegged, as with all the others.
The beginning of the movie explains how Merida is a princess and her mother wants to prep her to be married off to the winner of some archery contest. Merida refuses to be forced to marry, and enters the contest herself, both winning and royally pissing off her mother. But up until this point in the movie, so far so good. I too fought a lot with my mother when I was younger, so I was able to relate to this relationship and argument. Good for you Merida, I thought, you should be able to choose your own path like Pocahantas was able to.
As the movie progressed, it got really freaking weird. Merida runs away and bumps into a witch who gives her the power to change her mother, but Merida doesn't do her research and ask what kind of change. She feeds her mom this magic cake and her mom turns into a big old grizzly bear. Grizzly bear, really? So not realistic. And I get it - a Disney movie by definition is fiction. But where was this going exactly? At what point does Merida turn into the brave girl that young girls should admire?
By the end, I realized that this was the most disappointing Disney movie I'd ever seen. It was even worse than Aristocats - I mean, honestly, were any of you even able to finish that stupid cat movie?
Why am I so upset, you may be asking yourself? It's just a stupid movie afterall and p.s., you're 30! Go watch a film that is targeted to your age demographic! Well I'll tell you. Merida doesn't ever do anything BRAVE! You want brave? Kissing John Smith is brave. Disobeying your mer-father and becoming human for your true love is brave. Eating a bright red apple from a super scary homeless lady is (yes, also stupid) brave. Fixing your selfish mistake? That's called adolescence.
The movie wraps up with Merida trying to find the witch in time to change her mother back before it's permanent, all the while figuring out that, oh yeah, maybe my mom isn't so bad after all. If that was the message they were trying to get across, that mommy ain't so bad and is actually worth listening to, then they should have had the movie progress until after she got out of college and was feeling dirty with booze and frat boy cologne. I got real close to my mother after college kicked my butt hard.
But alas, that is not how the movie ended. Merida ended up fixing her mistake, which does not translate into bravery WHAT SO EVER. Fast forward to today, this lame story is now nominated for an Oscar that it does not deserve.
I am curious to hear if anyone else who has seen this movie shares my opinion. Clearly I feel very strongly about this - maybe I should be spending my time seeing some of the grown-up movies that have been nominated instead. Oh well.