Comediva writer and producer Erika Cervantes, who brought us BAMF Girls Club, has put together this musical clip introducing Disney Princess Leia. Will she fit in with the other Disney princesses, or would she rather be off in a blaster fight?
Brave, Disney-Pixar’s newly released fantasy adventure film, features two female protagonists struggling within the strictures and dynamics of 10th century life in the Scottish highlands. Before seeing the film, I was told it was about a kick-ass princess.
After seeing the film, I read feminist and other reviews that essentially made similar claims: that the film succeeded at, failed at or partially succeeded at portraying a kick-ass princess. But Brave, while possessing its kick-ass princess moments, is not simply about a princess. It’s about relationships, the central one being a mother-daughter relationship. I did not take away a linear or single-character focus from this film; what I took away was a lesson on communication – an in depth exploration, with sociological and psychological underpinnings, of the ways we relate to ourselves and each other.
Bravery is not something over which feminists, warriors, feminist warriors or any other single group has ownership; bravery ethereally belongs to humanity as a sort of magical force that propels us toward action and progress. The film was complex, confusing and off-track at times because of it, but necessarily complex because that is the nature of relating. Since the film was not just about the journey of ONE character, but about the journey of relating, a spectral approach was essential.
One of the major feminist feats of this film was its (at times chaotic) inclusivity. One cannot, or at least it seems so to me, consider the state of one of the protagonists without also considering the state of the other.
Pixar’s mostly-man team did do something different with this film – they took the heteronormative institution of marriage and used it as the vehicle through which personhood and belonging could be explored. While marriage and tradition are the surface issue with which Queen Elinor and Princess Merida struggle, their struggles and their bond with one another are much deeper than that. Read more