Brave? Not So Much.Stefanie Wilder Taylor
My kids enjoy movies. Although Elby, now seven, used to be scared out of her mind the second the lights went down. Her first experience was Shrek the Third when she was approximately two (almost three) and she shrieked “I wanna go home!” at the top of her lungs at the very first scene. I had to carry her out of the theater and wander around a DSW shoe store for two hours while we waited for our friends to come out and drive us home. But the twins have been pretty good so far as long as the movie is fairly tame. We’ve seen the Smurfs, Chipmunks, Winnie the Pooh, Madagascar 3 and maybe a few others so it seemed like a great idea when we got the birthday invitation to come to a showing of Brave.
The party was for a little girl turning four so the newest Pixar movie featuring a princess with a mass of curly red hair would seem appropriate right? Not so much. Sort of spoiler alert: (sort of because we left halfway through the movie so how much can I really spoil?) Within the first few minutes of the film there’s a ferocious bear attack and someone loses a leg. Uh, yeah. Good luck taking my kids camping now right? Not that we were planning any big forest outings in the near future but still…The thing is, it’s really my own fault because I didn’t even realize that the movie is rated PG. You just don’t think that a Pixar movie is going to require a warning that some of the material may not be suitable for children.
One of the little girls (the birthday girl to be exact) burst into tears after the bear mauling and to be honest, I could completely understand why. I gotta think that to a four-year-old, watching a computer animated bear rip a man’s leg off is comparable to an adult sitting through Reservoir Dogs. It’s a matter of taste. After the bear attack, things calm down briefly until a huge, extremely loud and violent fight scene happens which I couldn’t believe didn’t cause more tears if for no other reason than the sheer volume. My kids have been known to burst into tears when a balloon pops so I couldn’t believe that they weren’t in tears but it could be that the tub of popcorn and M & M’s were distracting them. But before we had a chance to recover from the massive fight scene, we are back to bears because the mom is turned into a giant grizzly (always a cheery concept for toddlers). At this point, it all became too much for my twins and they both let me know in no uncertain terms that they were done.
I whispered to another party mom that I had to leave and she suggested we wait outside because we’d been there for an hour so the movie had to be almost over. But it turned out there was still an hour to go so we missed cake.
I checked out a couple of reviews when we got home and a few of them said that it gets darker and more intense in the second half. Seriously? What could’ve happened? A plane crash? Puppy decapitation? Human hunting? I guess I dodged a bullet. I will say that it may be a fantastic movie for older kids, just not for my four-year-olds. So we went home, watched Tangled and and enjoyed a quiet bear free afternoon.