I saw Brave again on New Year's Eve. I think I like it more now than I did when it first came out, five years ago. According to my old blog posts from the time, I was somewhat overwhelmed by the angry people on the Internet who were shouting, "You MUST love this movie, because it's a metaphor for destroying the patriarchy!". I prefer my children's movies without them being hyper-politicized, thanks.
Katie likes this movie, because the main characters are a mother and daughter duo, which is pretty unique for the Disney universe. "Freaky Friday" is probably the only other Disney film with a similar setup.
I still dislike the central plot point that Merida gets a free wish, and she wishes for something that will change her fate. That's ridiculously vague and open-ended. She should have said something specific, like "I don't want to be forced into an arranged marriage" or "I wish for something which will help my mother understand me better". But no, Merida holds the Idiot Ball at this point, and wishes for pretty much anything, as long as it's different.
It's weird, because the witch's response is incredibly specific! I wonder if Merida's wish was different, in the original version of the film. I know the movie switched directors halfway through production, and the witch scenes certainly felt like they were done by someone different. I mean, a parody of automated telephone systems? That came out of nowhere.
To be honest, I don't quite understand how they undo the spell. They have to "mend the bond that was broken", which refers to a specific tapestry. In Mordu's lair, we see that the artwork piece he had to restore was a big stone carving. Jeez, no wonder her ended up being a bear forever. How do you repair something like that? You'd need superglue.
Also, if I'm nitpicking, I don't understand why Merida's mother fixing the tapestry undoes the spell on Merida's brothers. Don't they have their own piece of artwork they need to fix? Seems unfair that they get out of the requirement for undoing the spell.