What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Brave is pretty scary for a "princess movie," especially for kids under 7 and/or those who are very sensitive to peril. Several intense sequences involve a large angry bear that attacks the main characters -- which are even more so when seen in 3-D -- and (possible spoiler alert) a possibly disturbing but mostly comical transformation of a mother into a bear. A moment when the mom-turned-bear temporarily forgets she's human and growls at her daughter could upset younger kids. There's also a lot of brawling among the Scotsmen, who use both weapons (arrows, swords, etc.) and their bodies (fists, teeth) on each other. The first Pixar movie to revolve around a female main character, Brave does have a strong message about family relationships and open communication between parents and kids (particularly mothers and daughters). There's no romance for Princess Merida, but you can expect a few jokes about men being naked under their kilts; a couple of scenes even include quick glimpses of naked cartoon bums belonging to men and three young boys. Although there are no product placements in the movie, there's a ton of Brave merchandise available, particularly aimed at girls.
  • Families can talk about what kind of princess Merida is. How does she compare to the other Disney princesses? How is her story similar to and different from theirs?
  • Kids: Did you find the movie scary? How does it compare to other princess/animated movies you've seen?
  • This could be the first princess movie in which there's no romance. What do you think of the shift in focus from love story to mother-and-daughter tale? Do you think that makes Brave more appealing to more people?
  • Brave has strong female role models, but what about the men/boys? Which male characters do you think are portrayed as role models?
  • Kids: What made you want to see this movie -- the story, or all the product tie-ins? Do kids want a product because Merida is pictured on it?
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