Why they are great: Excellent dual protagonists with a story absolutely rooted in character
Dual protagonists have their own unique set of opportunities and challenges. Dara Marks, story editing goddess for all things character and theme, talks about duals as having both a common goal and a common flaw.
Or to get all Jerry McGuire – they complete each other. So let’s look at Merida and Elinor. You might think from the trailer that Brave is about a well, brave girl who goes off and has an adventure. Actually its really about a mother and daughter who learn to see each other’s points of view. Trailers are tricky beasts.
Merida is a strong willed anti-princess who dreads embroidery and being lady-like. She wants nothing more than to fire arrows and be free in the outdoors. Very Princess Knight (great kids book). To Elinor, her mom, who is not only the queen but the most elegant, stately queen, this is unthinkable. And in the time honored tradition of moms and daughters everywhere, it causes a lot of friction.
Each one is rooted in their own extreme behaviour. And extreme is excellent because it means that in order to force change, there is going to be struggle and conflict. Which is exactly what we want for storytelling purposes. Kids want the right to choose their own lives (and parents are stupid) and parents believe they should choose their kids lives (kids don’t know what’s good for them yet). Each has a deeply entrenched belief system.
And through their adventures – the common goal of reversing a magic spell, these two are end up “completing” each other. Bringing the other into balance. Elinor realizes that kids should be able to choose. The Merida has grown up and at some point, she has to trust that this amazing girl that she raised is capable of making wise decisions about her life.
And Merida realizes that mom isn’t just old and out of touch. That her mother has wisdom that Merida would be wise to heed. And that mom hasn’t yet finished being a guide and mentor in her life – and maybe never will.
And in typical Pixar fashion, it’s done with fun and games and laughter and tears. But in the end, it’s a simple, beautiful, timeless tale about mothers, daughters and the complex nature of that relationship.
*Brave was written by: Brenda Chapman (story), Mark Andrews & Steve Purcell (screenplay) and Brenda Chapman & Irene Mecchi (screenplay)
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https://t.co/1UHQhm57rN Cautiously optimistic about the premise
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