Brave plays like a psycho-drama about mothers and teenage daughters. It’s not the story of a plucky, brave girl who is bucking the trend like I had expected. It’s about a girl who is so pissed at her mom that she stupidly allows some strange lady to give her mom a drug that turns her into a wild bear. Bears are her father’s sworn enemy, so there is even more Freud at work as she has to stop her father from killing her mother. My kids were huddled face down in my lap.
Poor “Brave” Mom. She is just trying to stop war in the lands.
“It will end up okay, it will be okay.” I said rubbing their back, thinking “glad I spent $30 on this not including popcorn.”
It didn’t have to be that way. It started off well. Adorable girl with red wavy hair, fun dad, funny little brothers that Rex liked, kind mom. Then the whole bear thing. I thought it was going to be about how she didn’t need to get married and her fierce independence, not poisoning mom so she is hunted. Huh? Turned into premise for a Jerry Springer show. Reminded me of when I performed long form improv and we had a good story going and then someone makes a kooky offer ( improv speak) and the story goes down the rabbit hole, but we all have to commit ( actor speak) and see the story through how ever absurd and weird it gets. Later after the show at a bar we would could discuss. “Why did you endow (improv speak) the brother to be a washing machine??
Forlorn actor holding a long neck, “I don’t know, sorry about that. Just popped into my head.”
But, we were unpaid performers in a small black box theater. This is Disney and I think they had ample time to have a beer and figure this story out. As the credits rolled I said to Vivien, “It was no “Bolt“. A film we really loved. Plucky girl, moral choices, suspense, comedy,lovable dog.
Vivien said, “I hope “Madagascar 3″ is better.”
Later while I made dinner I put on “Ice Age” for them. They hadn’t seen it and Vivien yelled into the kitchen, “It’s better than “Brave”.
I get so pissed at these bait and switch kid movies. The Tale of Despereaux was suppose to be a fun romp with a tough mouse. Instead it traumatized Vivien so greatly I had carry her out before it was at the half way mark because the dark, boring film had caused her to cry. Then Mars Needs Moms was hard enough on my kids, but drove another friend and his child into therapy. The child’s mom had passed away a few years before.
Disney, Pixar, et al, I know you all make big bucks, can you just make happy kids films? Life is trauma enough, what do you think?