Monday, June 25, 2012

How Pixar's Brave Represents What I Love in Books

Our family watched Pixar's Brave yesterday. It was really good and I recommend it to anyone and everyone. This is not a movie review, though. This is merely a blog post about how Brave represents what I love in books. My mom gave me the idea to write this post and it sounded really fun so I thought I'd do it.

1. No unnecessary romance. This is a big one. For some idiotic reason, everyone thinks that all twelve-year-old girls want to read about romance. I mean why?! I'm just not interested in that stuff. At least not now. I want to be a kid and not worry about that stuff. Sometimes I'll be reading a book and it'll be adventurous, funny, magical, etc. and then the author suddenly throws in "and then the girl looks at the boy and it was love at first sight and they lived happily ever after the end!" That's when I roll my eyes and think, Was that necessary? Did the girl/boy really have to fall in love with the girl/boy to make the story work? Sometimes the answer is yes, that was absolutely necessary. There needed to be romance to make the plot work. And other times it's no, that was not necessary. There was no need for the romance. This movie had no unnecessary romance. Which I LOVED.

2. Merida was my kind of heroine. She was spunky; stubborn; strong; and she had an attitude of I-can-do-it-myself, I-hate-girly-stuff, and I-don't-want-to-be-a-princess/lady/fair maiden. She didn't need anybody to save her, she didn't wait stranded in a tower for her prince charming to ride up on his white horse, she did everything herself. Merida is the kind of heroine I like. Just like Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, Alanna from The Song of the Lioness, Maximum Ride from Maximum Ride, Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, and a bunch of others.

3. Even though Disney collaborated with Pixar on this one, Disney didn't turn Brave into another princess movie like Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty. Although I love Disney's princess movies, I was glad to see a different kind of princess. One who shot arrows through the air and fought with a sword. One who took charge of everything herself.

4. Brave had the perfect mix of magic, humor, and adventure. There wasn't too much of one or the other. It's the kind of movie that's good for boys and girls and kids and adults.

5. It had funny characters. Every book needs a unique/quirky/funny/clueless character to make the story good. If all the characters are normal or quiet or shy, the story becomes boring. Brave had clueless characters, funny characters, troublemakers, and more. That made the movie funny. Some characters like that are Ron Weasley from Harry Potter, Grover from Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and Seth Sorenson from Fablehaven. Pretty much every main character from Maximum Ride is funny or talkative and they are all sarcastic, and Effie and Haymitch from The Hunger Games made the story more interesting.

Seeing Brave was such a treat and got me thinking about all of the books I love and why I love them. It was funny and adventurous and the princess didn't need a dang prince to save her! Thank you for taking the time to take a peek into my confusing mind.


Boquinha said...

I love this about you. Ever since you shared with me the kinds of heroines you like, I notice it even more in books and movies. As we were watching "Brave," I thought to myself, "THIS is Kate's kind of princess" (and secretly hoped Disney wouldn't spoil it -- and they didn't!).

Merida is great, if a little headstrong. But she learns. The fact that she can be stubborn and spunky, but open to taking it down a notch when necessary is very compelling and endearing. I really enjoyed "Brave" and it's fun to hear your thoughts on it. Thanks for sharing!

Vivian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vivian said...

Great post. I liked the idea of using a movie to exemplify what you like in books.
I was intriqued by the movie Brave as soon as I saw a poster. I love archery. I own my own arm guard and fingertip protectors. I get really good at it once a year at camp and then I lose it all until the next year. But, Yippy! someone built an indoor archery range in Benicia. I hope to go once a month and at least keep, if not improve, my skills.
Anyway, really nice post. I haven't read all of the books you referred to, but enough to totally get your point.

The Magic Violinist said...

Yes, Merida is DEFINITELY my kind of princess. And I think it would be fun to try archery sometime. :D

Julia M. said...

Awesome post! I haven't seen "Brave" but I 've heard that it's really good. I hope I can see it soon! :D

Dr. Mark said...

I am not surprised by anything you've written here. And I'm not surprised that you liked Merida so much. Strong protagonists that think for themselves are way more interesting than the brainless types whose self-esteem seems to be dependent upon someone rescuing them. Great post!

The Magic Violinist said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone! :D

JazznJenna said...

Dear Magic, I enjoyed learning what kinds of heroines you like.

I am from the opposite end of the spectrum regarding romance...I'm a hopeless romantic, and I have been that way since long before I was twelve ; ). So my question is:

Can you name for us some of the movies where you thought the romance was superfluous? For me, I feel like almost all stories are better when I can experience the romance too (because I can never get enough!), but I understand that it may not always be essential to every story. What about Tangled? How about all/most of the romance in Harry Potter? How about Pride and Prejudice--is that a story that interests you at all? Just wondering ; ). It's always fun to discuss differing viewpoints!

The Magic Violinist said...

To JazznJenna:

I can think of two books/movies besides Harry Potter where the romance was absolutely necessary. (Although I have to say, Harry Potter had little to none when it came to romance, besides Harry and Cho, Harry and Ginny, and Ron and Hermione). In The Hunger Games, it was necessary and in the Matched series it's pretty much the whole point. If you like romance and the whole post apocalyptic Hunger Games sort of thing, you'd like the Matched series.
Tangled, yes. Tangled needs to romance. And I've never read Pride and Prejudice, but I want to! :D

Zelia said...

Great post. I love yoir style of writing. I am looking forward to buy all the books that you will publish.
I enjoyed your story of the visit to grandmas house that you emailed me.
I have a problem with anything that does not help the development of a story. I understand what you mean about romance. To me if it does not belong in a book then it is filler.
Keep up the great posts.

The Magic Violinist said...

Whoops. Just realized that superfluous means not necessary. XD Sorry, Jenna. I can't think of titles right now, but I know I've read a few books in the past and recently where the romance was just extra filler to read that had nothing to do with the story. I've read a couple of Tamora Pierce's books where that happened, but her stories are so good and she hardly did it that it didn't matter.
And thanks, Vavo! :D

Emily Foley said...

I love this post! I loved Brave so much. I saw it on a night when my kids were being particularly ungrateful, and I saw it by myself, and by the end I thought, "My kids are kids, and they are mine, but also they are their own people." It was a good wake-up call for me. Everybody should be able to make his or her own choices. My kids are young and still need direction, but watching that movie was a good reminder to me that my kids don't always have to do exactly what I want them to do.

Jimmy said...

Well, I just might have to see this one now, although I have to admit I really don't get into animated movies all that much. The last one I watched that I truly enjoyed was Despicable Me.

The Magic Violinist said...

I really liked Despicable Me, too. :D They are making a second one sometime next year. :D