a review of Brave. One day, the minds at Pixar said...

Pixar: So, princess stories. Disney has done that a lot. But.... maybe we can improve on some stuff.
Pixar: You know how mothers just seem to be.... well, missing from those stories? Missing or just quiet or a non-presence in the shadow of The Father or evil in-laws?
Pixar: Yeah. Let's give our girl a mother.
Pixar: Hell, let's make the whole story about their relationship, without minimizing the father-figure and making sure to give all of them unique and rich characterization.
Pixar: Oh, and our girl can shoot. Like a BOSS.
Pixar:
Pixar: Let's make a point of celebrating her physical strength without making it the only thing that defines her!
Pixar: ..... in fact, hey. Wow.
Pixar: Let's make her defining character moment center around compassion and *rhetoric*, where her intelligence and maturity and love of family are as important as her physical heroism.
Pixar: Oh.
Pixar: And while we're on a roll?
Pixar: Let's make sure that our female protagonists have complete agency, that none of their major defining moments or decisions revolve around or are accomplished only through the actions of men, that they are graceful and kind while being equally capable of crassness and unkindness, that romance is not our heroine's goal and that no part of her motivation hinges on pleasing or impressing or playing the catalyst for a male character--
Pixar: --and that we accomplish all of that without belittling the importance of the male characters or their relationships as a realistic interconnected family!
Pixar: And while we're at it?
Pixar: Let's take that conservative "mama bear" trope and redefine it in the most simultaneously heart-rending and humorous way possible, leaving more metaphorical parallels for the audience to chew on than they'll even realize until later.
Pixar:
Pixar: And I guess we can make it heart-breakingly lovely to look at while we're at it.
Pixar: And with Celtic aesthetics. That mythological trove is way underused these days.
Pixar: .... and we have thoughts for a short, too.....
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