Brave - 2012

Brave - 2012
Movie Info

Rating: PG


Age-appropriateness: mysterious/dark magic is incorporated, slapstick comedy, some scary/suspenseful scenes


Overview: Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse. The heart of this story is a strained mother-daughter relationship that is reconciled and restored by way of each person humbling themselves and lowering their pride. Together, they figure out how to follow their own destinies.


Themes: bravery, independence, destiny/fate, freedom, pride, mother/daughter, magic, witchcraft, family, unity

The Quick 3

Ask these quick questions to hit the major themes of the film.

1. Bravery. When was a time that you were really brave? When were you able to do the right thing, even though you were afraid?

  • Princess Merida demonstrates a lot of bravery throughout the film. Bravery is having the courage to make good choices, even when you’re afraid. God once encouraged a man named Joshua to be brave. He said, "This is my command—be strong and courageous...for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)


2. Fate. What do you think your fate is? What might God be calling you to do with your life?

  • Merida says, “Our fate lives within us. You only have to be brave enough to see it.” God has a big plan for your life. Our fate is to follow Him, not our own path. It takes a lot of bravery to obey God and go wherever He might call you, doing what He calls you to do. God told Jeremiah the plans He had for his life: "For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11).

  • Check out this article on How to Talk to Your Kids Ab out Their Purpose/Calling.


3. Pride. How does pride get in the way of your life?

  • The witch urges Merida to “mend the bond” between her and her mother that has been “torn by pride”. Pride is feeling that you are the best and most important. Both Merida and Elinor let their pride get in the way, thinking mostly about their way of doing things and not considering the other person’s feelings enough.

After The Movie Discussion Guide

Follow this 5-10 minute discussion guide to drive an in-depth conversation.

1. Parent self-evaluation: At times, Elinor let the vision she had for her daughter come before her Merida’s own wishes and desires. Is there anything you, like Elinor, dream of your child to one day become that it overshadows their actual gifts/desires? How can you let go of your plans for your child and allow God’s plan for their life to come into fruition?


2. Princess Merida demonstrates a lot of bravery throughout the film. Bravery is having the courage to make good choices, even when you’re afraid. God once encouraged a man named Joshua to be brave. He said, "This is my command—be strong and courageous...for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9). When was a time that you were really brave? When were you able to do the right thing, even though you were afraid?


3. Merida really valued her independence and freedom. Her mother, Elinor, wanted to prepare her to be a respected queen. Merida didn't always like that, because she wanted to pursue her own interests and follow her unique passions. Why do you think your parents try to teach you certain things? Is there anything that your parents make you do that you really don't like? Is there anything that you wish you could do more?


4. There was mysterious and dark magic mentioned throughout the story. This included a huge "demon bear". There was also a witch. What parts of this story do you think really could have happened, and which parts do you think were just pretend?

Minute By Minute Guide

Use this break down of the entire movie in addition to the “After the Movie” discussion guide. Great for repeat viewings.

:06 As the princess, Merida is taught that she is a role model. Her mom, the queen, encourages her to live up to her responsibilities and expectations to appear perfect. Meanwhile, her brothers seem to get away with anything. Do you ever feel life you have to live up to a certain standard? Do you ever see yourself as a role model that other kids look up to?


:12 Merida and her mom argue about the plans that are made for the rest of Merida’s life. Elinor insists her daughter does things the way they’ve always been done. Merida wants to do things her own way and follow her own destiny. What do you think Merida should do? Should she respect the tradition of her people or should she follow her calling?


:15 Elinor tells Merida there is a price to be paid for freedom. This is very true. Jesus paid the price for our freedom on the cross. Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin. Because of Jesus, we are truly free - and it has nothing to do with what we did, but everything to do with what Jesus did for us. John 8:36 says, "So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free." In what ways does Jesus give us freedom? What was the cost that He paid for us to be free?


:20 The suitors are presented and Merida is to choose which person she'll start a family with. The suitors all want to be married to Merida, so they show off their skills and abilities. In 1 Samuel 16, Samuel chose a very unlikely person to be king: a young shepherd boy named David. All of David's brothers had better skills and abilities, yet David was chosen for his humility and his heart for God. 1 Samuel 16:7 says, "But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.'" What do you think Merida should look for in a suitor?


:27 Merida directly disobeyed her mother, who forbid her to shoot the arrow. In Exodus 20:12, God commands his people: "Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you." It’s really important to listen to and obey our parents, even when we disagree with them. Can you think of a time you disobeyed your parents recently? Thinking back to that time, what should you have done instead?


:41 Merida was so eager to get her own way that she didn’t think through all the possible ways it might affect other people. She had a tunnel-vision that only cared about getting what she wanted, not considering or caring about the damages it might’ve caused. As a result, the spell turned her mother into a bear. Have you ever been so determined to get your own way that it ended up hurting other people in the process without you meaning it to?


:50 The witch urges Merida to “mend the bond” between her and her mother that has been “torn by pride”. Pride is feeling that you are the best and most important. Both Merida and Elinor let their pride get in the way, thinking mostly about their way of doing things and not considering the other person’s feelings enough. How does pride get in the way of your life?


1:06 Merida unites the different clan together. She says that even though they are different in many ways, they’ve come together under a common cause. Jesus provides us with the same type if unity: He loves everyone and gave his life for everyone. In Revelation 7:9, we get a picture of heaven that includes different types of people worshipping Jesus: "After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands." Have you ever worshipped Jesus with people who are different than you? What was that experience like?


1:22 It wasn’t until Merida humbled herself and admitted her weaknesses that her relationship with her mom was able to be fully restored. 1 John 1:9 says, "But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness." Have you made any mistakes recently that you need to admit? How can you humble yourself and be honest about what you did wrong, and ask for forgiveness?


1:24 Merida says, “Our fate lives within us. You only have to be brave enough to see it.” God has a big plan for your life. Our fate is to follow Him, not our own path. It takes a lot of bravery to obey God and go wherever He might call you, doing what He calls you to do. God told Jeremiah the plans He had for his life: "For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11). What do you think your fate is? What might God be calling you to do with your life?