Released on June 22nd, 2012, Brave is the first and only Pixar film about a princess. Set in medical Scotland, the film begins on Princess Merida’s (Peigi Barker/ Kelly Macdonald) 6th birthday. We see her father King Ferguson (Billy Connolly) gift her a bow and arrow at her mother, Queen Elinor’s (Emma Thompson), discord. The young Merida tries her bow, losing an arrow in the woods. Merida ventures to retrieve her arrow when she encounters a Will – O-the- Wisp, but before she can follow it, she hears her mother calling her. Returning to the camp excited to tell her mother of her encounter, a demon bear named Mor’du attack’s the family. Queen Elinor escapes with Merida as King Ferguson and his men fight off the attack, costing Ferguson one of his legs.
Fast forward ten years, Merida learns that she must be betrothed to one of her father’s allies. The allies arrive to compete in the Highland games, each first born son would represent their clan. With this information, Merida declares that she too will compete as a first born. She chooses archery as the main leg. She out does her suitors. Upsetting Queen Elinor, Princess Maria and her mother have an argument in which Merida runs away. Merida finds herself back in the woods where she first encountered the Will-O-the-Wisp. Seeing it again, she follows it to a witch’s cabin.Merida bargains with the Witch (Julie Walters) to change her fate.
Returning to the castle, Merida puts the potion in a cake and gives it too her mother. Queen Elinor transforms into a bear, losing her ability to speak but she kept her human characteristics. Merida and Elinor return to the witch’s cabin only to find she disappeared leaving a note. The note states “unless you are able to mend the bond torn by pride before the second sunrise, the spell will be permanent,” Merida and Elinor are then led by the Will – O-the Wisps to ancient ruins discovering that Mor’du not only resides there but he is the prince from the legend.
Understanding what she must do, Merida and Elinor return to the castle to repair the damage from their argument. Merida manages to set the clans at ease who are on the verge of war while sneaking Queen Elinor up to the tapestry room. Fergus discovers Elinor and mistakes her for Mor’du. Fergus and the clans give chase as Merida and her younger brothers, who are now also bears, escape with the tapestry, following Fergus and repairing the family tapestry.
Fergus and the clans capture Elinor when Mor’du arrives. Mor’du fights the warriors and targets Merida. Elinor, seeing all this, intercepts Mor’du and crushes him with a falling Meir, freeing the prince’s spirit. As the sun rises, Merida quickly realizes the true meaning of the message, freeing her mother and her brothers from the spell. With all back to normal, or mostly with some changes, King Fergus, Queen Elinor and Princess Merida bid the other clans a farewell.
Merida is Pixar’s first and only princess which makes her special. She also doesn’t sing unlike Disney Princesses and she’s a warrior in her own right. While I will agree Mulan is as well, Merida is well different than the others. She is more relatable to modern women despite Brave being set in 14th Century Scotland. I mean who doesn’t want to be kick ass in archery, right? Brave also brings a lot of clarity to the Pixar Theory, which wad discovered just after the release of Brave. So as you can say, Brave set the stage for the Conspiracy theories to take off. Let me know what you think of Babe down in the comments.