Boys will enjoy Brave, but this story is mainly for the girls, with a focus on strong female characters. Merida’s dad, King Fergus, (Billy Connolly) is a loving father and a valiant warrior who will do anything to save his family, but it’s the women who wield the real power in this kingdom. Still, Merida’s family is a complete, loving family unit—something not often seen in films these days—who all have to work together to set things right. And that’s a pretty good moral for any story.

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol: Drinking at dinner, invitation to visit the cellar for alcohol, characters shown more punchy than drunk (not clear if that’s from imbibing or concussion).
  • Language/Profanity: Name calling but it’s all Scots slang and doesn’t feel mean-spirited.
  • Sex/Nudity: Comic nudity (cartoon male backsides shown, some bare male chests), a woman with ample cleavage (and a gag that involves it), discussion of nakedness (not sexual and appropriate in context), husband gooses wife, husband and wife kiss, boy kisses girl’s hand.
  • Violence:  Battle sequences, character loses leg to animal (though the actual chomping is not shown), violent animal attacks, chase scenes, cornered character-transformed-into-an-animal
  • Spiritual Themes: Rebellion and pride are big issues for our heroine; she’s disrespectful and spends much of the film avoiding responsibility. Only after she realizes there is nothing she can do to fix the situation and truly repents of her actions do things improve. Another character is actually destroyed by pride and a quest for power. Offering and receiving grace and accepting people for who they are is a theme as well. This being a fairy tale, magic is involved: there’s an ancient stone circle a la Stonehenge, “will-o-the-wisps” that light the way through the forest, and a witch who casts a spell.