not all who wander are lost- especially if you wander spinning poetry and musing about the deep and nerdy things of this world...
…and I went in a bit hesitant, hearing the so-so reviews, but was pleasantly surprised about how much I enjoyed it! It isn’t the best Pixar film I’ve seen (my favorite is a tie between Finding Nemo and Ratatouille), but it was still good.
More thoughts after the break..
I felt like it was a little rushed at times and I’m not a fan of too much slapsticky humor, but what really got me was how they presented the bond between Merida and Queen Elinor.
Let me just say that I’ve seen a lot of animated movies covering buddy relationships (usually guys), father/son dynamics, father/daughter dynamics, heck sibling relationships, but what I don’t see often are animated movies about the relationship between mother and daughter in a way that is realistic and yet positive. And I LOVED watching Merida and Elinor interact because all they said, their little expressions of frustration or amusement or the classic eye roll-it felt so real to me and reminded me of my own relationship with my mom. My favorite scene was the dual one where Merida and her mom were both rehearsing what they would say to one another- you could just feel their frustration at not being able to communicate what they really mean. And when the big fight happened and Elinor just cracked and realized how messed up everything had gotten between them, I really felt for her.
Goodness I teared up quite a few times watching this movie, and all of them were scenes with Merida and her mother-especially that flashback scene where Elinor is singing in Gaelic to her daughter, that scene is so hauntingly beautiful that I was moved.
Can I also say that I love Elinor? I love how she’s the backbone of the kingdom, the one her husband and other male figures respect and listen to-she has authority and holds herself with such grace and dignity that I can’t help but admire how she can take hold of situations and lead where others can’t. She’s trying to uphold the kingdom and wants Merida to understand the cost of that, but also deeply care for her daughter and desires her happiness. YES a mother in an animated movie who is complex and strong and flawed-you’re doing it right Pixar.
Also, props to Pixar for also making movie about a princess without romance being a big plot element-that was refreshing.
The other thing that deserves mentioning is how absolutely GORGEOUS the animation was. I can’t even put into words how stunning the landscapes were, the details, and just..everything! And Merida’s HAIR. I COULD NOT STOP LOOKING AT IT. I think I have a crush on her hair if that’s even possible.
All in all, the movie touched me and left me rather emotional but happy by the end. Definitely worth a watch, and I commend Pixar for tackling a subject that I think deserves more attention, because relationships between mother and daughter are complicated, and just as worth exploring the nuances of them like anything else.