I need help understanding some of the plot elements, because otherwise, this has really been the worst pixar movie I've seen to date...
A lot of the more serious info was glossed over or rushed in the movie, so I may not have this all correct. So there were four princes who were given equal power by the king, but one of the princes wanted it all, and this caused the kingdom to crumble. Elinor was using this legend to make Merida become a proper princess and get married. I really fail to see the connection between the story and her current situation. I also didn't really catch what the wayward prince did to be cursed into a mindless bear by the witch. And the witch is suppose to be good? She basically killed the prince and was willing to kill Elinor (turn and leave her as a bear) just to teach Merida a lesson? What lesson is this? The mother-daughter family bond? Because it really doesn't tie into the wayward prince legend at all. The tapestry with the queen being cut off, and the prince and his stone tablet being broken off, are you telling me Elinor is power hungry? No it doesn't make sense to me at all.
It was suppose to be about changing your destiny and doing so bravely, but what destiny? No one is really keeping Merida from having fun riding a horse, shooting arrows, and exploring the woods. It doesn't push the whole caged princess theme very strongly. She seems perfectly free to do whatever she wants, and eat whatever she wants. The king and his subjects and allies are all fighting brutes and heavy drinkers, jolly without a care in the world. The only one who even tries to keep order is Elinor. She is perfectly fine and loving as a mother from all the flashbacks, but wants to keep some order and good relations among the various clans. This whole propriety thing isn't really even supported in the backdrop. I didn't even know they were suppose to be royalty in the beginning of the movie. I thought he got kinged for defeating the bear, in the beginning anyway, because they sure weren't living the life of luxury in the beginning. And Elinor was suppose to be married off? And have ladylike qualities and upbringing? Maybe more responsible than the others. And the primitive land and people. All doesn't really support the caged princess thing.
Elinor never needed to be changed, nor her destiny. Merida needed to stop acting like a stubborn brat, and her destiny was far from set in stone. She bravely changed it...how? Who is being brave here? And then they throw in a "you should do whatever you want to and be true to yourself" speech out of nowhere. They never did elaborate on why Merida had to be married in the first place, what purpose it would accomplish, and who actually cared, because it seemed no one, especially none of the clansman, really cared.
And the will-o-wisp was the soul of the transformed prince, trying to get Merida to kill him and free his soul? Or maybe he wanted someone else to turn into a bear to commiserate with him by leading her to the witch? The prince was selfish so that made some sense that the witch transformed him into a mindless bear, but unlike Beauty and the Beast, he will never be able to transform back and live his former life. The only peace he can get is to be killed off and his misery ended? Still don't know why Elinor was transformed into a bear and what major lessons it was suppose to instill in her, or merida, and how this was suppose to be a bonding experience, or a change destiny lesson, or anything effective as such or make any sense.
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