While Disney can boast strong female characters in most of its fairy-tale adapted animated movies, there is something different about the movie Brave. Merida is not your typical Disney Princess; she lacks obedience, is far from lady-like and she absolutely does not define herself as Prince Charming’s future wife. Merida fights her mother for her right to choose – when to marry, who to marry and even whether or not to marry.
Furthermore, we finally see a positive female parental role. The movie sets us up to disagree with Elinor, Merida’s mother, but we sympathize with her. Unlike other Disney mothers, she is not evil and she is not killed or captured (like in Bambi, Dumbo, The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, etc.), in fact, she lives throughout the movie and plays a significant role. My favorite part about her is that she learns from her daughter and is willing to admit to her faults.
What a revolutionary idea, no wonder it won an Oscar!
To read more about the roles of mothers in Disney movies, read Wikipedia’s article.