Lately, Lizzy's absolute favorite book is Princess Smarty Pants by Babette Cole--it's a story about a princess who doesn't want to get married despite her mother's pushing, and eventually avoids the issue by kissing her prince and turning him into a frog. Lizzy loves it, so I was also pretty confident that she would love the movie Brave, and had been excited for it to come out on video so that we could rent it. So when I was contacted about doing a review and giveaway of Brave, I totally jumped at the chance. If you've been living under a rock and haven't heard of the newest Disney/Pixar movie Brave, here's the description from the studio:
An original and thrilling journey set in the ancient and magical Highlands of Scotland, “Brave” follows the heroic journey of the headstrong, young adventurer Merida. Determined to carveher own path in life, Merida confronts tradition and defies an age old custom that inadvertentlyunleashes chaos, and forces her to discover the true meaning of bravery.
Essentially, the story is about Merida, a young adventurous girl, whose parents (especially her mother) want her to get married in order to join two highland clans together. Merida's mother arranges for the sons of other clan leaders to come and compete for Merida's hand in marriage. Merida is less than thrilled, and eventually decides to compete for her own hand--and blows the boys out of the water. Unsurprisingly, this causes a huge disagreement between Merida and her mother. A little while later, Merida visits a witch and asks for a spell to change her mother so that she doesn't have to get married--and is shocked to discover that the "change" it brings is to turn her mother into a bear...whom her father then attempts to kill.
Like Tangled, Disney/Pixar's Brave showcases a strong female lead, which is something that I love to see, having a daughter (and quite a spunky one) myself. But Brave takes things even a step further than Tangled in that there is no romantic sub-plot whatsoever. No prince swoops in to save the day. The movie doesn't conclude with Merida thinking that maybe prince so-and-so isn't so bad after all. Heck, even Merida's big Scottish father doesn't play a huge part in the movie...it's mostly a movie about Merida and her mother...and I thought that was sort of refreshing. Call me a fuddy duddy, but I just don't think that every movie targeted at the under 10 crowd needs to revolve around falling in love.
A few other notes:
- Lizzy has quite a few older cousins, as well as some friends with older (elementary) brothers and sisters. We'd heard from several of them that Brave was pretty scary, and I know a few of our friends actually had to leave the theater with their kids. I can see how some of the scenes with the bear may have been even scarier on the big screen at the movie theater (and especially in 3D), and how some kiddos may still have a hard time with them even at home...but they really didn't seem to phase Lizzy at all. Neither did the scenes with the "witch", who seemed to us to be far more eccentric and far less "evil" than in past Disney/Pixar movies. So as far as I'm concerned, the moral is to know your kids, and now that the movie is coming out on video, you could always pre-watch if you're unsure about how they'd do.
- I've also heard some comments from boys and their dads that this is more of a "chick flick", and that they didn't like Brave because there wasn't as much action and adventure as some of the other Disney/Pixar movies. I'll tell you right up front that I don't put much credence in identifying things as "girl movies" and "boy movies" at this age--one of Lizzy's favorite movies is Cars--so I sort of tended to roll my eyes when I heard that feedback. That said, I asked Justin what he thought just to get a second perspective, and he said that he thought it was a great story and a good movie--not just a "chick flick" at all.
- How cool is it to have a princess with crazy hair? Is that just me? I loved Merida's hair!
- LOVED the soundtrack/score. It was absolutely beautiful!
Overall, we really liked Brave. We watched the Blu-Ray version, but we're excited to try out the Blu-Ray 3D version at my parents' house sometime, because I'm sure it's very well done. Brave will be released on Blu-Ray and DVD on November 13th, but can be pre-ordered from Amazon here (non-affiliate link).
AND, I'm thrilled to have a copy of the 5 Disc Collectors Edition to giveaway to one of YOU! The Collectors Edition includes a copy of the Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray 3D, DVD, and Digital Copy, and retails for about $35!
Here's the scoop:
(1) This giveaway is open to US Residents (or those with a US shipping address).To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog. That's it. You don't need to be a blog follower, though I do appreciate it.
(2) You can enter once per day (three total entries per person) until 5pm PST on Thursday Nov 8th.
(3) For the love of all things holy, please make sure that you have an email attached to the account you are commenting with or that you leave your email address in your comment itself. If I don't have your email address, I WILL choose another winner.
(4) Disney/Pixar needs the giveaway winner's address by November 12th at the latest, so please get back to me ASAP if you're the lucky winner. If I haven't heard from you by 6pm PST on Sunday November 11th, I will be forced to pick a new winner.
Disclosure Statement: I received a copy of the Brave 5-Disc Collectors Edition for review, but was not compensated in any other way. As always, all opinions included in the review are my own, and were not influenced by the review/giveaway sponsor. Thanks so much to Eric and Disney/Pixar for sponsoring such a great giveaway!