“Brave”: Disney, Let’s have words.

*DISCLAIMER: This post includes spoilers for Disney/Pixar’s new movie Brave. Just letting you know.*

Dear Disney,

Firstly, let me commend you on successfully producing an animated film (possibly for the first time) that focuses on the Mother-Daughter relationship. Genuinely, props to you for that. It was hugely refreshing to not be subjected to the typical Daddy’s little girl storyline that centres on an angsty princess (The Little Mermaid, Mulan, Pocahontas, etc.), or the equally popular choice of a coming of age story that focuses on the becoming-a-man transition (The Lion King, Hercules, Finding Nemo, etc.). Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Disney/Pixar film, but that relationship was a new one, and greatly appreciated.

Equally enjoyed was the sheer monstrosity that was your heroine’s hair. Finally, a children’s film that advocates having masses of unruly curls. As a fully-paid member of the massive-haired clan, I’m all for providing a role-model with non-salon-styled hair.

The idea of a Scottish animation was such a brilliant one. Animation (not to mention the majority of other mainstream children’s films) rarely ventures outside of generic as far as accents are concerned. In ‘Pocahontas’ John Smith, the explorer from London, has an American accent. ‘Mulan’, a film set in China, features a whole series of American accents. ‘Ratatouille’, set in a Parisian restaurant, again American accents are the preferred choice. I could go on. I appreciate that American/English is, in many cases, the easiest accent to understand through film, particularly for young children, but this is where Brave appeared to be breaking free of animated-tradition. The Scottish accent. Admittedly, it was a slow Scottish accent. The mainstream audience did have to understand the film after all. But it was such a brilliant idea.

This, however, is where my praises end.

The exploration of a massive-red-haired, mother/daughter relationship told through the voice of a Scot had the potential for such greatness. So, I really have to ask, what the hell happened to the storyline? Who actually sat down and thought “You know what, a touching story following the Mother-Daughter bond might not get through to a modern audience. Here’s an idea, let’s turn half the cast into bears!” WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? Magic and witchcraft aside (we all know it’s not really a Disney film without that…), it seems an absolutely ludicrous idea for any story. Ever. Especially in this century where kids seem to adore (and want to be) The Saturdays and Justin Bieber and One Direction and Selena Gomez and other fresh-faced (read: TWELVE YEAR OLD) celebrities that take their clothes off and squeak about love. In other words, in this century where children can’t wait to be older than they are. Even the 6 year olds have boyfriends. How is a film about turning your mother into a bear because you don’t agree with her thoughts on marriage setting a good example? Sure, they resolve it in the end – through tears and a long hug and a lot of sewing – but really?! This is not going to prevent Mother-daughter problems.

Also. What happened to feminism? Come on Disney, it’s the 21st Century. Young girls SHOULD NOT GIVE IN AND ACCEPT TRADITION. They should say “Fuck it, I’m going to marry who I want to marry. In fact actually, I’m going to run off to the woods and get leaves in my hair and dance to crazy loud music because I’m still a child and do not need to be thinking about marriage yet!” Your protagonist almost managed. But instead, she went and got her mum turned into a bear. And then, in order to apologise for that fuck-up she goes and tries to give in to tradition and betrothal. Thank god for the mum/bear eh, who has a sudden change of heart and tells her to break tradition (through that well known bear language of hand-gesture).

Seriously Disney. What the fuck happened.


Let’s play catch-up..

Another week gone by, another bloggable few days in the life of yours truly. Okay fine, so it may have been more than a week. And yes, not every day during that time was full of blog worthy material. But spending a fair amount of time with fussy stage mothers, drama queens (of all varieties), potential boybands, ‘long-time-no-see’ friends, and so on and so forth.. And well, actually you find yourself thinking that on occasion your life would be so much better suited to a soap tv show, or the like..

So this past week, I have in fact been painting faces. All over again.. And I bloody loved it. Oxford Youth Music Theatre (aka. OYMT), with whom I performed in Fiddler on the Roof last April, put on an absolutely incredible production of Beauty and the Beast last week. I mean seriously, if it wasn’t for the slight technical glitches, and the fact that I personally know the majority of the cast, I could’ve been watching a professional production. Don’t think I’ve ever experienced emotions like that from a musical – tears, goosebumps, hysterical laughter.. The works! Plus it was all made a whole lot better by the fact that I was involved in the make-up scene backstage. You remember my West Side Story oompa-loompa skin colour tantrums?! Well, B and the B was a whole other kettle of fish. You’ve got grizzly, growly beasts; real-life inanimate objects; not to mention that Disney ‘glow’.. It was awesome. The worst part was the stage mothers! Only because they ‘fuss’. And sometimes, when you’re backstage on a show, you need less fuss and more productive action. I swear so many things could take half the time if people didn’t fuss! Arggh!! Ooh and don’t get me started on the fickleness of thespians. Gosh no, darling.. *rolls eyes exaggeratedly*

Anyway, despite the mothers, the show was definitely a success. Although any show that has professional West End hired costumes, and features the brother howling like a wolf in a pair of my leggings definitely gets two hugely enthusiastic thumbs up from my corner!

Prior to my hands becoming paint palettes, all over again, I spent a day in London with the father, as he returned to his music photography days, and I got lumbered with the ‘Bag Lady’ title. Gee, thanks.. Nah it was a pretty awesome day. The band, Inju5tice, comprised of five very sweet guys, who despite being unsigned seemed really enthusiastic about the whole music scene. Especially about bringing traditional boyband ‘pop’ back. (No complaints from me there..)

The friendlings dragged me  out last night, in my sorry-excuse-for-a-female attire – is it possible to forget how to dress for a night out due to lack of situation?! Anyway, yes, I currently own a hermit like social status (mainly as a result of my make-up coated hands, etc..) and so have not seen anyone in the entire time I’ve been home. Those whole two and a half weeks have just flown by! Aha.. But last night was an adventure, to say the least. Experienced parts of Oxford I can honestly say I’ve never even realised existed before. How is that possible y’know? When you live somewhere for a pretty decent percentage of your life, like oh, nearly all of it, but you still manage to find places you’ve never been before? Strange. It’s very strange..

But still.. That’s been my life. Well for the past two weeks anyway. Cause I’m a cool kid like that. The rest? Well, that’s history right? Plus I’ve heard that girls are meant to have secrets.. Apparently mystery is enticing?! Meh. So I’m gonna go, and be mysterious. Or something..