*If you haven’t yet seen Brave and want to avoid any spoilers at all, avoid this post. If you don’t mind minor spoilers for plot points (but not outcome) continue reading*
Brave is available as a fast, free, secure web browser for your mobile devices. Complete with a built-in ad blocker that prevents tracking and provides security protection with. Jul 11, 2013 The original Pixar Theory: As of this writing in 2013, Brave is the first and last movie in the timeline. Obviously, this movie about a Scottish kingdom during the Dark Ages is the earliest time period covered by the Pixar films, but it’s also the only Pixar movie that actually explains why animals in the Pixar universe behave like humans sometimes. Merida was added to the Disney Princess line-up as the 11th princess, on May 11, 2013, becoming the first Disney Princess to be created by Pixar. Merida is also the main character of the games Brave and Temple Run: Brave. Merida also is a playable character in the Disney Infinity series, first appearing in Disney Infinity 2.0.
I avoided any reviews or spoilers before seeing the new Pixar movie Brave yesterday. I wanted to go into the movie about a young heroine archer Merida unbiased by group think.
While I enjoyed the film, I was underwhelmed. Perhaps, I was in need of a plot, centered around this medieval Scottish princess with firey red curls, that packed more of an emotional punch. After I got home I went to read my favorite culture blogger Alyssa Rosenberg over at ThinkProgress who highlighted one of the more problematic themes in the reviews of Brave.
Alyssa cites EW.com’s review which includes this nugget about Merida’s propensity for outdoorsy activities like horseback riding and archery:
But could Merida be gay? Absolutely. She bristles at the traditional gender roles that she’s expected to play: the demure daughter, the obedient fiancée. Her love of unprincess-like hobbies, including archery and rock-climbing, is sure to strike a chord with gay viewers who felt similarly “not like the other kids” growing up. And she hates the prospect of marriage — at least, to any of the three oafish clansmen that compete for her hand — enough to run away from home and put her own mother’s life at risk. She’s certainly not a swooning, boy-crazy Disney princess like The Little Mermaid’s Ariel or Snow White. In fact, Merida may be the first in that group to be completely romantically disinclined (even cross-dressing Mulan had a soft spot for Li Shang).
I agree with Alyssa that, “The movie takes a strong stand against the idea that the best way for girls to be good daughters, or to perform girlhood correctly, is to become sexually available when they’re expected to. The prize to be won isn’t a prince. It’s autonomy and self-knowledge.”
It’s particularly problematic that Merida can only be viewed through a sexual lens even when the entire theme of the movie in many ways is her rejecting this frame and instead opting for more independence and free will. Her desire to postpone an arranged marriage until later was not because she has a preference for women versus men, it’s that she simply was not ready for either in a romantic context. The idea that because Merida enjoyed outdoor activities she must be gay lacks creativity and is downright offensive.
In addition, it was extremely disappointing for Pixar to have so much hype surrounding Brave and it’s expert arrow shooting heroine in a year when The Hunger Games smashed records. And to have an overbearing mother as the central plot point and subtext of Merida’s struggles. Sure having a controlling mother might be relateable to the masses, but it’s also a particularly stale and uninspiring challenge for a breakthrough character to overcome.
Apparently, EW.com isn’t the only place creatively challenged.
The wild-haired, Scottish princess Merida stormed the box office in 2012's Brave to become a modest success by Pixar standards (it brought in $237 million domestically, per The Numbers). More importantly, the fiery Merida became Disney's first princess whose story didn't revolve around falling in love, as she actively campaigned not to be married off by her parents. As a result, the character stood out for fans, many of whom are eager to see how things are going in the princess' kingdom nearly a decade later. Sadly, it's looking increasingly less likely that Brave 2 will happen — at least for the foreseeable future.
Right now, the biggest roadblock is that Pixar's upcoming slate of films prioritizes fresh ideas over sequels. In an era when Hollywood is increasingly relying on established IP for hits, Pixar's commitment to bringing original ideas to the big screen is admirable, but it's also frustrating for anyone hoping to see a followup to Brave, Inside Out, or Up in the near future. In a 2016 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Pixar president Jim Morris revealed that Toy Story 4 was the last sequel Pixar had on its docket for the time being, and that's largely due to the studio's stable of filmmakers exploring new projects.
Do the Brave directors have an idea for a sequel?
Pixar hasn't made a state secret of its disposition toward sequels in general.
'Most studios jump on doing a sequel as soon as they have a successful film, but our business model is a filmmaker model, and we don't make a sequel unless the director of the original film has an idea that they like and are willing to go forward on,' Morris explained to EW. In the case of Brave, that makes the chance of a sequel happening even more complicated, because technically the movie had two directors.
For six years, Brenda Chapman worked on Brave at Pixar before she was fired over 'creative differences' and replaced by Mark Andrews, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. Since then, Andrews has also left Pixar, and is currently working on The Bad Guys for DreamWorks Animation. With neither director still at the studio, Merida's story would have to be handed over to someone else entirely, or Pixar would need to woo either Chapman or Andrews back. Either option would take time, and given the amount of work that goes into animated features, it would still be years before Brave 2 actually hit screens.
At the moment, both Chapman and Andrews appear to be focusing on other projects, but in 2013, Chapman did tellThe Scotsman he would be game for a Brave sequel if the right idea comes along. 'If we got the right story it would be fun — to get the gang back together again, add a few more new characters and find out what other Scottish talents are out there that might want to do a animated fun,' he said. 'I don't know if there will be another one. We never make a film at Pixar to have a sequel.'
Brave Pixar Soundtrack
Even though Brave 2 is unlikely, Merida fans still have a new Pixar movie to look forward to
Brave Pixar Or Disney
While there's no new Brave movie in the works at Pixar, fans of Merida still have something to look forward to: the 2021 film Raya and the Last Dragon. Like Brave, the upcoming animated feature focuses on a heroine who isn't in search of love. Instead, Raya, who will be voiced by Star Wars' Kelly Marie Tran, is on a quest to find the last dragon. The intrepid warrior is set to cross five kingdoms during her search, and she'll no doubt have plenty of opportunities to wow viewers along the way.
Brave Pixar Song
Raya and the Last Dragon may not be a Brave sequel, but it does sound like it will honor Merida's adventurous spirit. And unless Pixar is keeping a pretty big secret, it's likely to be as close as fans will get to a Brave followup in the next five years, at the very least.