Quality of Character
Merida is a true standout among the princess ranks, largely thanks to Pixar injecting their trademark wit. She scores the highest in this category of any DH except those ranked higher overall. Merida is funny, spunky, spirited, and driven. She's also a bada** archer. The score isn't perfect, because she starts out the film making some pretty selfish/rash decisions involving a shoddy witch making a spell to change her fate. It's motivated, not saying it isn't, but to go to some self-admitted customer-displeasing witch and asking for a spell so vague as to "change my fate," which then involves YOUR MOTHER being the one to take the magic potion? Not so good, Mer. She makes up for it in the end, but that ends up docking her a few points.
Overall Film Quality
Pixar's Finding Nemo is one of the most poignant portrayals of the Father-son dynamic to ever grace the screen. Brave is Pixar's attempt to achieve the same with the Mother-Daughter dynamic. It's largely successful. The message at the core of this film is the importance of mothers and daughters both listening to one another (Freaky Friday, anyone?). It's one of the few films in this countdown that's sure to spark a meaningful dialogue between you and your daughter. With all that said, Brave is so far on the serious side that it ends up losing a bit of the Fun that Pixar has when working at peak levels. It's a very good film, but it feels a little long and less upbeat than the 4 films on this countdown that managed to pull higher scores in this category.
I was a little stumped on what to do here. Technically, Merida has a number of "suitors" who are pursuing her hand, but none of them are actually interested in her, none of them succeed, and there's no "love" between any of them and Merida. So I called this a "no love interest" category and awarded Merida the default score.
Not a very high score for Merida, there's not much to the rest of the cast. The mother is important, but she spends most of the movie as a bear who can't talk. The father is strange but fun. The triplet little brothers with the truly bizarre hair are fun, but they don't talk either. Then the "villain" is this giant bear... who's not really a villain since he isn't actively trying to keep Merida from her goals or anything, he's just a big angry bear. See? Not much to go by in this category.
None. Neutral score awarded.
Another double dip for Merida! You better believe Disney is taking advantage of it by selling both, too! Merida's "adventure" dress is a richer green with gorgeous celtic looking embroidery all over it. Then the teal dress, though restrictive, is no less pretty. The only thing to dock the ensemble for is the fact that it is NOT warm weather friendly for little princesses trekking around the theme parks. In fact it's the dress I see the least on girls at the parks. Other than that, both dresses are pretty darn neato.
**DISCLAIMER** I do not own any of the likenesses of these heroines. All characters/likenesses are the property of Disney, and are not being used here for financial gain ****