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Princess Merida. Princess Merida is being groomed to become the leader of her land after her parents die but she decides she does not want that life. She makes some choices to explore and experience the world on her own and that results in chaos and challenges to her kingdom. Merida is a defiant young girl and she ends up going against a long-standing custom. That results in a witch putting a curse on her entire family. Merida then must set on a quest to set things right. She is naïve when it comes to the ways of the world but she does have her trusty bow and arrow to help her along the way. Merida is known for her famous archery skills.

As a princess, Merida is considered a catch by many of the young men in her village and there is a rival clan with several sons that want to marry Merida. Merida, being a smart and independent, woman does not want an arranged marriage but her mother tells her she has no choice. The boys arrive and put on a series of competitive games to see which one was the best and would win Merida's heart. Merida says she is going to compete in the games which makes her mother very angry. Merida and her mother fight and then Merida runs away. Merida goes back to the witch who put the curse on her family and the witch tells her of a way to rid her family of the curse. Merida learns how to repair her family which she sets out to do immediately. She realizes that she needs to heal the bond that has been broken in her family which she feels she will be able to do if she fixes a broken tapestry that the family has. As she soon learns, it is forgiveness in her heart that makes the difference and will allow her family to grow. Merida and her family then live happily ever after.

Brave is a computer animated film. It is directed towards children but also contains enough humor and creativity that adult viewers will be interested. The story of Merida focuses a lot on lessons of independence and self-worth. Throughout the film, Merida learns the importance of family and forgiveness. She uses her skills to strength her family and her clan. It was released in 2012 and it is 93 minutes long.

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PG
| | 1 hr 33 min | Action, Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Fantasy, Kids & Family
Stars
Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly, Julie Walters, Kevin Mckidd
Director
Brenda Chapman, Mark Andrews
Language
English
Brave
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It was a tale of two box offices this weekend, as one of the three major openers found success while the other two languished. The big winner was "Brave," which opened to a healthy $66.7 million, beating the opening of "Madagascar 3" a couple of weeks ago. That gives "Brave" the #1 spot for the weekend, making it the 13th straight #1 opener for Pixar. The success of "Brave" is heartening, considering it's a movie with a female protagonist that doesn't use a love triangle (looking at you, "Hunger Games" and "Twilight") or any romantic involvement at all, really, to push the story forward.

OPINION: Why 'Brave' Is Good for Girls, and Why You Shouldn't Assume Merida Is Gay

There's a problem in Hollywood (and the rest of the world for that matter, but let's keep it small and manageable), and it is a lack of truly strong, independent female protagonists. It's not all the fault of the studios, either: in a world where "Twilight" makes billions, one has to assume that a character like Bella resonates with young females. And sadly, she does. The problem isn't entirely that the female protagonists are poorly written or always stuck into a particular gender role.

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