The date June 22nd has held an odd importance in my home. It isn’t a birthday, an anniversary or day of some atonement of one sort or another (as if I was an atoning sort). No, Friday June 22nd is the day that Brave comes out. In full disclosure my six-year-old daughter saw the much anticipated Scottish saga on June 17th, cos her mom writes about movies and all. Oh, and she gets bonus points for getting to see the film at a private screening room at Disney’s animation studios in Burbank. But still, June 22nd didn’t loss it’s luster, especially since that is the day and the start of the week when all her summer vacationing friends will be able to see it.
For the kids there are some things they need to know. There is a cool princess named Merida. She’s rad. It gets a little scary. Hold on to mommy or daddy’s hand. And no, you can’t get a real archery set…yet.
But you parents? There are other things you should know about before going to the movie. Here are five things to know about Brave before you head to the theater:
The Twist 1 of 5If someone tries to tell you about the mid-story twist, the big plot point that is the catalyst for the narrative, stop them. Cover your ears, stop reading, or just drown it out with a loud round of "don't tell me, don't tell me, don't tell me!" The surprise of what happens is one of the charms of the movie, if you go into it already knowing the big event, then it takes away some of the power of the story. Of course, if you do know what happens, it won't ruin your movie going experience, but try to be surprised if you can.
What Age Should the Kids Be to See Brave 2 of 5As with anything involving children, it's up to the parents to judge what is age appropriate for their offspring. One six-year-old may be totally engrossed in the film while another six-year-old may run screaming from the theater. The film is rated PG, and for a reason. There are some intense fight scenes, a parade of bare bottoms and scenes of parents in peril (something that always gets my kid). While violence and mom and/or dad being in danger are nothing new to the animated family feature, this redition may be too intense for kids who are affected by such things (the same kids who insist on skipping the first 15 minutes of Finding Nemo , refuse to see Bambi and had nightmares after seeing Nightmare Before Christmas).
You Will Want to Go to Scotland 3 of 5You may have gotten a taste of Scottish culture in such popular movies such as Braveheart but that was released seventeen years ago. We haven't had a Scottish-centric film hit our theaters in years and years (unless you count Trainspotting or Highlander). The lush land, colorful kilts, Scottish brogue, and lore will make you want to check your frequent flyer miles and see if a trip aboard is in order. A fact that the Vacations By Disney is counting on with their Brave centric family vacation celebrating Scottish history, scenery and their newest release. But from my own personal experience avoid the haggis.
The New Member of the Princess Family 4 of 5In the film you will get to know the newest member of the Disney Princess clan, Merida. Your daughters will yearn for long red curly locks, will want to take up archery and will beg you for a horse. Merida is the first princess that has come from Pixar and the first non-Disney animation studios royal to join the court. If your little girl falls in love with Merida, she'll be in luck since the marketing for Merida is the same as classic characters like Cinderella, Snow White or Belle. There are costumes, wigs, age 3+ archery sets, bears, and pretty much any other branded item you can think of. Yes, Disney knows how to honor their princesses.
Its Not Like Other Pixar Films: 5 of 5There are some who come to expect a certain kind of film from Pixar. Although their topics have run the gamut from talking toys to balloon voyagers to monsters, this historically set film about humans is a departure for the Emeryville based studio. Some may see Brave as a marriage between Disney and Pixar, they have lived together for quite a while but Pixar's films have in the past - have a distinct feel versus the titles that come from the Burbank based Disney Animation Studios. Brave feels more like Tangled than Toy Story.