Last weekend, the newest Disney/Pixar heroine graced the big screen as a rebellious Scottish princess with a bow and arrow and a distaste for tradition. But what does "Brave" have to say about bravery? Rozann Carter reviews the film here. *SPOILER ALERT*
"I am Merida, and I’ll be shooting for my own hand."
A wild mop of fiery red hair, the icon of an unconventional Scottish princess, makes its way from one archery target to the next as the leading lady of Disney/Pixar’s newest animated film uses her birthright and skill in an attempt to earn her freedom from the stifling control of tradition in order “to change her fate.”
Reviews of the popular animation studio’s newest visual masterpiece have been all over the web this week, and frequent mention is made of Pixar’s bold move to present a female lead for the first time in their animation history. Princess Merida, the daughter of Lord Fergus and Lady Elinor of DunBrough, Scotland, takes over the big screen with an outdoorsy propensity for adventure and an implied aversion to the girly, swooning, glass-slipper-wearing, romance-obsessed princess of Disney old. “She doesn’t need a Prince Charming,” says her vocal talent, Kelly MacDonald. On this note, the central plotline for Brave revolves around Merida’s mission to escape the impending fate of her betrothal to said Prince Charming who will travel from one of the 3 neighboring clans to compete for Merida’s hand.
Morals and lessons weave their way throughout the storyline, but the primary interplay of the plot occurs between Merida and her mother.
Today, the Word on Fire Blog features a short commentary, written by Ron Belgau, friend of the ministry, on the fusion of two entities that often appear to be at odds: contemporary culture and the tradition of the past.
Contemporary culture is suspicious of the past. "Tradition" is almost always a negative word, associated with those who are out of date and set in their ways. Against this negative image of our ancestors, modern culture congratulates itself on the amazing progress of applied science: life-saving new medications, interplanetary space probes, and the astonishing breakthroughs in computing and telecommunications.
Faced with this modern disdain for the past, it is easy for me to make the opposite mistake, and uphold Catholic tradition by heaping suspicion on all things modern.
Recently, however, I was reminded of the danger of this approach while reading John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism
Today's clip of Father Barron and Dr. Scott Hahn contains their reflection on the tradition and theology of the Church in relation to one of the Church's earliest fathers, Saint Irenaeus of Lyons.