This week, Missy Moo and I went to see Disney Pixar’s new film – Brave. I loved it but think it was maybe a little grown up for my little girl! The scenes with bears and warriors (I won’t say anymore!) really seemed to frighten her and actually reduced her to tears! Definitely not the typical Disney Princess story.
And I think that’s why I loved this film. No sickly pink or purple dresses, fawning princes and evil step-mothers, Brave is beautifully animated in muted greens and browns, taking inspiration from the Scottish Highlands and a medieval Celtic, colour palette.
Queen Elinor despairs of her wayward, tomboyish daughter Merida, who far from being the princess her mother dreams of, would rather be riding across the Scottish hills and practicing archery. Queen Elinor, typical of royalty of the day, spends her evenings stitching a floor to ceiling tapestry, as we see her oldest daughter Merida and other children grow.
The tapestry, a picture of Merida, her mother, father and brothers, plays a pivotal role in the film – I’m sure lost to all its young viewers. The needlework is slashed by Merida in a fit of temper – splitting herself from her mother in the tapestry and in her life. As the story unfolds, the mending of the tapestry and the mother/daughter bond of love she has broken is a key theme.
Without spoiling the ending for those who haven’t seen it, the film ends with Queen Elinor and Merida embarking on a new tapestry together. Lovely to see craft being used in a children’s film to illustrate life and love. This gentle, slow art of crafting an heirloom together was a wonderful end to the story.
Who knows, perhaps Missy Moo and I will start making something together soon? As long as it doesn’t involve pink or purple…