Princess Merida – Brave
By Allyson Johnson
People like to call Frozen the feminist film to come out of Disney, but those people clearly never saw Brave. (Of course, it shouldn’t be a competition, but I wish Brave would have received half of the media narrative that Frozen did.) Merida is tough and independent, and the biggest treat isn’t just that the film makes the mother-daughter relationship at the heart’s core, but it also refuses to force the character into a contrived romantic pairing. Merida, like her gorgeously animated vibrant red hair, is a wonderfully constructed character, one who is wild and spirited but whose emotional core keeps her grounded. She is a character for all children to look up to and to emulate, because even when she’s acting impulsively or immaturely, she manages to make up for it with her abundance of heart. She’s a fighter, but that isn’t her defining characteristic–it’s her spirit. I will be the lone Brave supporter in the corner here who will enthusiastically argue that Brave is just as good, if not better, than many of the Pixar “greats,” and Merida is a key reason why.