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Disney’s Brave; A Closer Look at the Mother/Daughter Relationship

by Deborah Cruz

I’ve been waiting an entire year to see this movie. This is the only caveat to being privy to Disney media. You get all the buzz early but that usually means an entire year waiting for movies to come out.  Well, Disney’s Brave finally came out a couple of days ago, and  I have been waiting patiently for it. I was not disappointed.

We took our girls to see Brave and it was everything I hoped it would be and more than I expected. It was the first Disney princess movie since The Princess Frog that felt, to me, like it sent the message of strong female empowerment. It was an amazing thing to watch with my girls andI won’t lie, I cried!

The message was about empowering our young girls to be who they are and to stand up for themselves when it really counts. It’s also a beautiful and thought provoking commentary on the complicated relationship between a mother and a daughter. We love one another so fiercely and hold on so tight that sometimes we don’t allow our children to grow into who they are meant to be.

Disney and Pixar have outdone themselves this time. I was impressed with Tiana in the Princess Frog because she was independent and self-made, hard working and driven. I thought the latest version of Rapunzel in Tangled was brilliant because she did not let herself be defined by her beauty. Merida was all of these things and more, exemplifying that a woman can be strong-willed and determined, make her own choices and forge her own way in the world, despite traditional roles.

I loved the storyline and think it was brilliant that Disney and Pixar have finally sent our little girls the message that they can do anything. Happiness does not lie in the hands of a man and is not dependent on the kiss of a prince.

More importantly, I was touched by the skillful way that Pixar and Disney brought the mother-daughter dynamic into play. When we were teens, at some point, we all wished our mothers would just go away or at the very least, get out of our business. But what if she actually had? Where would we have been?

Some of us don’t realize how dear our mother’s are to us until we become mothers ourselves. Merida is faced with the possibility of her mother never being the same and in that she realizes how very much her mother meant to her.

I won’t lie, I was crying in the theater. Partly because I have been Merida and I know the feeling of trying to prove to your parents that who you are is good enough, partly because I know soon I will be Elinor (Merida’s mother), the one being dismissed as not knowing anything and partly because one day, we all lose our parents and we can not change that fate, no matter how much we may want to.

Be kind to yourself and kind to one another. Go see Disney and Pixar’s Brave; you will not be sorry. It is an amazing movie that can be enjoyed by parents and children of all ages. Will you be going to see Brave?

Photo Source: Disney

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