Why I Should Have Bravely Missed Brave

by Alex on July 11, 2012

Some say fate is beyond our command, but I know better.
Our destiny is within us. You just have to be brave enough to see it. – Merida

A worldview is more caught then taught. – Unknown/Various

So I haven’t got this far in my life to not think that someone is going to disagree with me.  Honestly, its usually doesn’t take me that long to find someone that does.  With that, here’s a few thoughts on the latest princess film, Brave.

I won’t actually take the time to build up the normal background on the movie.  I assume if you’re reading this you probably have already seen a trailer or two and have a decent idea on the story line – well, at least the story line shared by those trying to sell you on why you should see the movie.  What I will share is that you’ve probably seen this movie a hundred times before.  But I’ll get to that.

First, I’ll share that myself and my family went to the drive-in to see this film.  For some reason I thought my children would enjoy it, especially with their Scottish heritage.  Maybe they did, but I wish now that we hadn’t.

Don’t let me deceive you, our children have seen a number of Disney films, and princess films especially.  We’ve never been the biggest fans of them in general, but especially over the last few years as we’ve analyzed them a bit more we have become a bit more hesitant each time we choose to watch them.  They usually follow the same plot in some shape or fashion of which Brave was no exception:

Princess is slavishly subject to her tyrannical parents.  She wants the freedom to choose her own way (usually breaking with tradition).  She rebels.  Her parents are furious.  She gets her way.  Her parents repent to her later and agree they were foolish and that she was wise.

And when this plot is depicted in a multi-sensory experience, especially for a young mind this can be life-forming.

You have probably heard it a thousand times and I’m not even sure where or who I heard it from first: “Worldviews are caught more than taught”.  And each time we subject our children to that same story we are reinforcing that message of rebellion as the path to freedom.  We reinforce those thoughts that those old-fashioned values are outdated and that we, their parents, will actually thank them later for helping us relinquish our prudish ways.  We allow those worldviews to overtake and supplant what we’ve tried to teach our children the rest of the day.  And not only have we allowed it, but given our stamp of approval because mom and dad let them watch it.

Yes, I’m gaining this conviction even more each word I type.  And I plan to sit down with my older children and work through each of the harming lessons that were “caught in this movie” – at least caught by me.  For you see, I’m pretty sure I may have missed a few myself.

Please don’t get me wrong.  The Bible does not condone absolute tyranny – even parenting is subject to the limits the Word of God places on it.  And we must be careful to lovingly apply the Word and not harshly and without relationship overly burden our children with rules.  But there are more Biblical ways of dealing with these types of sin without rebellion.  We must show instead an example of dealing with this while “honoring our father and mothers in the Lord” – and Disney has not and probably never will give that example.

Here’s a couple of other things to watch out for if you decide to watch the movie:

  • Merida (the young princess) continuously makes reference to fate, that God-less, impersonal force that controls the universe.
  • There’s a few crude Scottish references visible on the screen (men in kilts mooning one another, etc)
  • The men are emasculated and women are the wise sages that save the day.  One way Merida displays her gained wisdom at the end of the movie is by becoming that wise sage and stopping those men from their foolish battles.

One redeeming part of the movie for myself was when Merida carelessly requests from the witch a potion to “change her mother”.  As she didn’t specify exactly which change she desired, her mother was changed into a bear.  I only refer to that as a redeeming message to myself as I know I need to communicate better and make my actual desires and thoughts a bit more clearly known.

Whether you watch Brave or just skip it, I pray this helps you remember the worldview battle we are continuously engaged in.  And if we don’t engage it directly, we just might find our own children taking that worldview and later be part of the 88 percent of children walking away from the faith after their freshman year of college (referencing a statistic gathered from the Southern Baptist Convention).  Do I blame Brave?  Not directly, but rather allowing ourselves to continue catching a worldview foreign to our own and not taking the time to address it and specifically replace it with a Biblical worldview.

So did I just say that my children shouldn’t have seen the movie?  At the very least I’m saying that I’ll be talking with them very specifically about the movie and trying to provide them a Biblical analysis of the movie and response.  And we’re probably done with Disney for a while, especially in these young formative years where they lack the ability to analyze what our children are being taught.

Have you seen the movie?  Do you disagree?  I would love to hear your thoughts below!

Photo Credit: Movie Quotes Online

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