On a lazy Sunday, discover the child in you and put on an animated feature in your Netflix catalogue.

Even if you don’t have any children, give “Brave”, the Disney-Pixar animation a chance. It is beautiful both in storyline and in visual magic.

And who can’t relate to the complex and sometimes difficult relationship between a daughter and her mother?

Merida with her electric ginger hair and the great green grasses of Scotland

Merida with her electric ginger hair and the great green grasses of Scotland

What is this film?

“Brave” (2012) is the Oscar-winning, Pixar flick that is notable for quite a number of reasons.

Firstly, Merida is the first female protagonist in a Pixar film and is also included in the Disney princess line-up. She is the only one among them who doesn’t have a boy she is chasing (or who is chasing her). Some people thought it an outrage that she could be included as a princess for this very reason.

I tell them to shut up! A prince is not what makes a princess a princess.

This is the first Pixar film set entirely in the historic past, which meant a whole new challenge for the animators and concept designers who usually have just made stuff up.

 

Why is it any good?

The Mother/daughter theme is something that obviously stroke a chord with me (as a girl with a mother), but I am sure that even guys can relate to the misunderstandings and conflicts we have with the ones we love the most.

Actual strong female characters who lead the plot actively forward are still hard to come by. And Merida even makes mistakes and ruins her dress!!

I think it is healthy for little girls to get such a character in the Disney repertoire of passive and sometimes naive princesses, so I applaud the arrival of Merida.

Merida is overall a character who makes really bad decisions and has to deal with the consequences. She is a hotheaded teenager who knows what she wants, and when that want is in conflict with her mother’s wants for her, she does anything to make her change her mind. Like most teenagers.

Both the mother and the daughter learns something on their voyage to release the mother from a spell (one of the consequences), and that I think is important both for mothers and daughters to understand. There are two sides to every conflict.

And we should listen to each other.

 

The animated hair

I want Merida’s hair! Her big, corkscrew-curly, bright ginger, scruffy, beautiful hair. The way it moves in the wind and with every movement of Merida’s body, is nothing short of an animation miracle.

I would watch this movie for the hair alone.

Pixar actually had new software developed especially to make the 1500 hair curls on Merida’s head move with her.

 

What makes it different from other Disney features?

The girl doesn’t end up with a guy, that makes it different. The guys in the film are actually just tools to further the conflict between Merida and her mother and get them to a breaking point.

Merida is also funny and the root of a lot of physical comedy. My point is, she is not just pretty in a corner. She is a proper female protagonist who doesn’t sit around and wait while her parents marries her off. She takes action into her own hands. But at least she adapts and learns from it.

Pixar has with this film given us a proper coming of age tale that makes you realise that you will make mistakes in your strife to become yourself, and you really, really start appreciating your mother (and/or daughter).

 

What mood should you be in?

Something funny, yet at the same time moving and magical. It’s like a hero’s fable. And you need to be in the mood for Scottish accents 😉

You could definitely watch this without children present. It is actually pretty dark for a children’s film and actually has a PG-rating.

The first time I watched it in the cinema and didn’t feel cheated by the story what so ever. If you feel that the story and characters become a bit simple, there are always beautifully animated landscapes and like I already mentioned the mesmerising curly ginger hair of Merida, to wow and entertain you.

 

Word of the movie – Karfuffle

To put into disorder or disarray.

From Scottish Gaelic CAR to twist + FUFFLE to disarrange.

I just love saying that word. Karfuffle. Just say it with me. Karfuffle.

 

Further watching

You should continue to see some strong, female characters in action.

The newest Disney-movie “Frozen” (2013) has two strong female characters, and although there are guys and traditional love in the picture, the movie itself is more about the love between sisters and about being yourself.

If you don’t want more animation, try “Beaches” (1988) which is a wonderful movie about friendship between two very different women over the course of their whole lives. Bette Midler sings in it. Need I say more?

Or maybe you want some more movies that will make you want to call your mom and tell her that you love her. Like “Stepmom” (1998) or “Mamma Mia” (2008).

The Cutie Bear Triplets. Don't be fooled, they can wreck a lot of havoc!

The Cutie Bear Triplets. Don’t be fooled, they can wreck a lot of havoc!

Who am I?

I’m a freelance writer who likes to watch movies. I watch Netflix a lot and sometimes there is a long way between the really good movies, whether good means entertaining or meaningful. So that you can avoid watching all the crap I have had to endure, I will give you some hidden gems or best movies of Netflix right here every month.

Want another good Netflix movie? Check out “21 Jump Street”!

 

Why do I think I can talk about movies?

With an over average interest in movies since watching Star Wars as an 8 year-old, and with some background in the industry, I know at least a little bit about what it takes to get a movie made, and have loads of opinions about what makes them great.

But no matter my merits, it is whether or not you agree with my taste in movies (or my boyfriend’s, whose opinion will be noted if opposing my own) that will make these reviews beneficial to you.

 

Where can you find the film?

All movies in this Netflix-series can be found in the Norwegian Netflix Catalogue, which is the one I have access to.

If you can’t find it on your local Netflix? File a complaint, they really should have it 😉

If you like what I write, please give me your favourite movie in the comments or sign-up to read my next blog post 😉

Next week, we will do another Guilty Pleasure movie. Do you have a movie that you watch over and over again, and you know it’s not the best quality, but for some inexplicable reason, you still watch it again? You do? Tell me which one! I will tell you another one of mine next week.

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