I wonder, though, whether any of the foregoing critics who’ve tolerantly yawned at Pixar’s latest effort could name a Disney princess besides Mulan whose mother is alive, let alone named.
It’s almost as if the critics have missed the constitutive element of the Princess Story in its capacity as cultural and commercial myth. As if the omnipresent witch/evil stepmother doesn’t capitalize on precisely that fictional hole—the vacuum left by an absent mother. e.g. Bambi, Star Wars, Star Trek, Hugo, you name it.
And yet, in Brave, there is a live mother, named and all. And then a remarkably boring thing happens: this interloping mother who has no place in this ordinary, predictable princess story suddenly becomes central to it.
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