Pixar’s Brave: A Mother’s Love Affair

My apologies to my friends, my family, my readers, but unless Pixar moves up its release date for Brave by about, oh, 12 months, you’re going to be hearing a lot about the first girl-centric movie out of Disney’s computer animation wing for awhile.

I wrote about my reaction to the trailer over at The Stir over the weekend, and I expected to get slammed. One because the nature of the Internet is that people read what they want, not what is there, but also because what I said was a tad bit controversial. To say that Disney has given mothers of girls a fair amount, that mothers of girls can be a tad bit greedy is . . . controversial. I won’t rehash it. Go read it. It was heartfelt (and my bosses will love you for reading it).

But the release of the official trailer today has me all ferklempt. I’m going off in another direction yet again. I know, it’s just a movie.

But we are defined by the movies of our childhood, aren’t we? A kid who grew up without TV, its the movies I remember most. Go ahead, laugh, but I remember Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. I was obsessed with Tina Turner (girl’s got great gams), and so my first official in-theater movie was a bit too old for me, but so apropos. And then there’s An American Tail. I was just 4 1/2, so scared for the little mouse, new to American, and ready to climb into my mother’s lap . . . only her stomach was swollen with my brother, and so I had to make do with her hand. These are the memories of childhood that stand out, the movies.

So call it my Disney obsession. And yes, sigh, I have to give my little spiel here — Disney flew me out LA for the Cars 2 press junket for my day job, but all opinions are my own y’all . . . all I got to see was a trailer!! Speaking of:

Did that not give you chills? Not a mother of a daughter? Not a woman? OK, I’ll forgive you. But there’s something about a kick ass female that just makes me weak in the knees. I recognize the irony in that statement, and yet, there it is. Greedy or not, it’s what I crave for my daughter. Movies that make her run outside of the house yodeling and screaming like a banshee, throwing “ladylike” to the wind. I want “strong” and “powerful” and yes, I want brave.

Maybe that’s it. I don’t know much about the story of Merida; although my 18-year-old “daughter” (the elder of my two babysitters) has told me a bit about the fairy tale upon which the Scottish lass is based. But I know that she’s Brave. And I can’t ask for more from a child, any child, than to throw back their shoulders and face the world with courage.

So maybe it’s not a girl thing. It’s a parent thing after all.

Are you looking forward to Brave? Are you a parent to a girl or a boy?

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