Disney's BRAVE discussion/debate -ALERT: MAJOR SPOILER!!!

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by McKennaL, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Jun 22, 2012

    SPOILER ALERT

    SPOILER ALERT

    SPOILER ALERT

    SPOILER ALERT

    SPOILER ALERT

    SPOILER ALERT

    SPOILER ALERT

    SPOILER ALERT

    I went to see Disney's new movie, BRAVE. I really looked forward to this movie...but knew NOTHING about it before I went in. As I am watching it, I was surprised by the story line...and something seemed unsettling. But I wasn't sure what it was that was bothering me.

    Just now it hit me.

    Is anyone else bothered by the fact that the story revolves around the complications following a daughter's near poisoning of her mother...and then later - due to neglect, her brothers... because she disagrees with her mom's directions/instructions? :eek: The more I think about it...the more this bothers me. Merida is being called a "girl-hero" by Disney and the media. Really? :mad:

    My daughter and I recently had a discussion about the musical, INTO THE WOODS. The story of the musical revolves around common fairy tales and the consequences of things that happen in them. My daughter's point of view was that JACK (in the Beanstalk) was the cause of all the problems and deaths in the show. She is bothered that no where in the story is Jack held accountable for his actions. (I asked, "Did you want Jack to be killed because he caused the eventual death of others?" ...to which she didn't have an answer.)

    Maybe it was that debate that tainted my watching and thinking about BRAVE. But...it just bothers me that this girl fed her mom food that she knew wouldn't be good for her, watched gleefully (at least for a while) while her mom seemed to get deathly ill from it - knowing that there would be SOME change coming and hoping the change would be in her favor... and in the end, she is looked upon as a hero.

    Just sitting here bothered by the whole premise. :( What about you?
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jun 22, 2012

    I haven't seen it, but, based upon your observations, I probably would not take young children to see it. It sounds like it should be an adult movie.
     
  4. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Jun 22, 2012

    I took my 10 year old daughters to see BRAVE today. I also worried about the hero casting a spell on her mother (via the very stereo-typed witch) without even finding out how it would effect her. In the end, Merida finally said, "It was all my fault," for the first time, which broke the spell. She had to mend the divide by taking responsibility for herself.

    Maybe it was because Merida was so carefully not-stereotyped, but for some reason, many other overly cartoonish (not animated, but buffoonish?) stereotypes in the movie:

    - Brothers "get away with everything"
    - Brothers were out of control brats with violent tendencies which were supposed to be funny in a "boys will be boys" way
    - Father was a big, dumb, brute who was cowed by his wife
    - Mother was a stern, critical, control freak
    - Suitors were all ridiculous compared to the princess
    - Witch (as mentioned above) was old, hunched, with a wart on her nose

    ...
     
  5. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Jun 22, 2012

    This is funny because BF and I saw a trailer for it last night and it said "From the writers of Toy Story 3 and Up." And he said sarcastically "That must be a cheerful movie then."
     
  6. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Jun 22, 2012

    Haha, Silver. It wasn't a sad story, or a happy story. I guess it is supposed to be about mother/daughter relationships and the fact that legends are lessons with truth in them.

    I admit, once the animated story did NOT take the turn for romance and/or lady in distress, I was off balance myself, not sure what the story was.
     
  7. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    Jun 22, 2012

    While I can definitely see the major concern--if we look at almost every Disney movie out there--contain actions that we definitely would not want our children to do or find acceptable.

    I will admit that it bothered me too--but I was honestly relieved to see a Disney movie (even though it was made by Pixar) where the main character actually had BOTH characters active in their life. While the father did have the buffoon nature, it was more than evident that he loved his family. ESPECIALLY his wife.

    I enjoyed the movie, but I can see how it would be seen as unsettling as well.
     
  8. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jun 22, 2012

    Any movie that has a red-headed heroine has to be SOMEWHAT redeemable! :) :) :)
     
  9. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Jun 22, 2012

    I took all three of my boys (ages 15-10) to see the movie today and they all enjoyed it.

    My observations on the movie and the previous posts:

    Mirada did not intentionally "poison" her mother. She knew the spell would "change" her mother, but she thought it would just change her mothers' mind about the suitors and the impending betrothal. She had no idea it would physically harm or change her mother. She thought it would change the way she thinks.
    Moral: There are rarely any "easy" or "simple" solutions to a problem. You MUST face the problem AND consider it from perspectives other than your own to determine the best solution.

    Mother was stern and definitely a control freak, but only because she took her responsibility as queen and the traditions of their land so seriously. Daughter was a free-spirit who only thought about what SHE wanted without understanding how her choices affect others besides herself. Both needed to compromise and see things from the others' POV.

    Dad was buffoonish, but also devoutly loyal and loving of his family. He and daughter were kindred spirits, but he also loved and admired his wife for being the one that kept both of them under control.

    The witch was definitely stereotypical in appearance, but for a change, not in demeanor. She was not "evil" or "wicked". She didn't use the spell to get rid of the queen so she could take over the land. She just cast the spell that was requested. As is often the case, "magical solutions" tend to come with "unexpected consequences". The prince who wished to have "the strength of 10 men" was granted his wish - by becoming a bear. The witch had a serious obsession with bears. Then again, that may have been the only kind of spells she knew. At least she DID leave a "message" telling Mirada how to reverse the spell instead of keeping it secret.

    Finally, Mirada discovered it took more than a "surface mending" of the rift she created. She couldn't just sew the tapestry back together and make everything all better again. She had to accept personal responsibility that HER selfishness created all the problems to begin with and apologize for those. It reminded me of the exercise we do of having kids write hurtful words on a piece of paper and wadding it up. They can unfold the paper and smooth out it over a little, but they will never get rid of the ALL the "wrinkles" (hurt feelings) their words created. The only way to "smooth" the paper completely is to accept responsibility for their actions and make sure they don't use those words in the first place from now on.
     
  10. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Jun 25, 2012

    We went Friday morning & I posted that I would not take young children to it...

    Cerek... Hubby & I talked about it and said a lot of the same things...

    We probably all see teachable moments. I think this one has many different lessons good or bad...

    It was nice to see a young girl not having the man "rescue" her either...

    I do think this is one of the more in depth story lines from Disney...
     
  11. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Jun 25, 2012

    That movie takes some time to digest. Over the past few days, it's been on my mind a lot! I have always fought (some say too hard) against stereotypes. So Merida is an icon for that fight. Speaking of fights, was BRAVE more violent than a typical Pixar movie?
     
  12. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Jun 25, 2012

    TeacherShelly... I thought the bear fight was pretty frightning!! I mean black bears, lightning...
    I think of the sharks in nemo, some mean things done to the toys in toy story movies, cars...not really anything I can think of.
    Disney though... Lion King had some pretty intense parts, Sleeping Beauty with the dragons.
     
  13. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jun 25, 2012

    Cerek~I agree with your post.

    I took my 8 year old daughter to see it Sat night and she loved it, as did I. What I took away from the movie is the typical mother/daughter relationship. The mother wants one thing for the daughter, the daughter something totally different; and there is usually a huge fight that ensues because of the difference. However, at the end of it all, the relationship is able to withstand the differences.
     
  14. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Jun 25, 2012

    The bear fight was pretty intense, but also very predictable. I knew it was coming when they first discovered the other bear beneath the ruins. After all, the common cliche' states "You don't want to come between a mama bear and her cubs". So I knew that fight was coming.

    Lion King had the fight between Simba and Scar, but that was pretty one-sided. The only other "fight" I can think of in Disney that was this "frightening and intense" was the fight between Baloo and Shere Khan in "Jungle Book".

    I've seen some comments on FB from parents that didn't like the movie. I agree it is NOT your typical Disney movie. The story is much deeper than usual and there are many lessons and teachable moments throughout.

    My boys and I liked the movie, but not really enough to buy a copy when it comes out on DVD.
     
  15. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jun 25, 2012

    Cerek~If you wanna count Beauty and the Beast, there's the fight between Gaston and the Beast. I agree that there are lessons in the movie. We just went to enjoy it because J wanted to see it. She normally is very jumpy, and though the fight scene did scare her a bit, it wasn't because it was scary but because she was worried about the mom.
     
  16. glen

    glen Companion

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    Jun 25, 2012

    Not Pixar (my boys are a bit older), but Disney movies do tend to be violent. I remember watching Tarzan with them when they were little- it is very clearly violent.
     
  17. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Jun 25, 2012

    Yeah, I'm remembering a lot of other violent scenes that surprised me now - the cookie in Shrek. Oh, that was cruel!
     
  18. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Jun 26, 2012

    Shrek wasn't Disney though... but their are a lot.
    I think the Lion King part that was more violent was the end fight with Scar and Simba and then the shadows of the hyenas and Shadow.

    STG... forgot about BB fights.

    Cerek... had the feeling about the bear fight as well!!! I think it was nice to go to a Disney movie that wasn't as predictable and a girly princess movie.... Tangled wasn't too girly either...

    I thought the scenery in the movie was just beautiful though!!! LOVED IT!!!
     
  19. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Jun 26, 2012

    I was surprised by Tangled. It was better than I expected.

    ALL of the Disney movies have conflict with a "villain" of some sort. Some of these conflicts are naturally more violent than others. Simba had to confront Scar in order to regain his "throne" and make the world right again. On the other hand, it would have felt rather odd to see Cinderella attacking/fighting her evil stepmother (although I'm sure many in the audience would like to see that).

    Of course, Cinderella was made in a different time when it wouldn't have been considered "appropriate" for her to physically attack the stepmother and sisters. Same for Snow White and other early heroines, circumstances still dictated that a man come in to save/rescue them.

    Brave is a significant departure from that and, again, reflects the changing values of society. Merida is determined to fight her own fights, quite literally, and not depend on anyone else to determine her fate. The tagline from the trailer, "I'll be shooting for me own hand", drove this point home repeatedly. Merida is the "21st century woman" that doesn't need a man to make her happy OR to "save" her from peril. She is perfectly capable of doing those things herself.

    The main messages I felt the movie was sending to young girls was: (1) Even though your mom seems controlling and dictatorial in her rules, she only wants what's best for you and she is doing what she feels is necessary to provide that, (2) You can disagree with your parents rules, but there is NO "magic solution" that will suddenly make them change and any such action will almost always have unexpected (and unpleasant) consequences, (3) the best way to work through conflicts with your parents is open communication - from both sides - and a willingness to see and understand the other person's perspective (again, that goes for both sides), and (4) Once you've made a mistake, you can't just magically "sew it back together" and make it alright (sewing the tapestry back together didn't reverse the spell). The only way to repair the damage you've done is to accept full responsibility for your actions and the damage they caused.

    Of course, all of this is from a guy's perspective and, more specifically, from a guy with no daughters. So my perspective may be different from female view and especially from the view of mother's with teen daughters of their own. I would enjoy hearing other perspectives on this.
     

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