Australian Council on Children and the Media

Brave

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Not recommended under 7, PG to 10 (Violence and scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Brave
  • a review of Brave completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 13 September 2012.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 7 Not recommended due to violence and scary scenes
Children aged 7-9 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and scary scenes
Children aged 10 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Brave
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Some scary scenes
Length 100 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Set in medieval Scotland, Brave tells the story of Merida (voice of Kelly MacDonald), daughter of Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson) and King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly). The young princess prefers to be outdoors horse-riding and shooting arrows than learning how to be a perfect princess. She is feisty and rebellious to the point of telling her mother that she’d rather die than be like her. 

Merida is horrified to learn that when she reaches a certain age, she is expected to choose a suitor from one of the other royal families in the kingdom. So adamant is she that she won’t go through with this arrangement that she rides off into the woods to escape her doom. There she finds an old witch who she implores to help make her mother change her mind. The solution that the witch devises is so awful that it takes all of Merida’s courage to undo the beastly curse.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Magic and witchcraft; family conflict

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • King Fergus shoots the grizzly bear with arrows.  The bear fights back and the King loses a leg although this is not shown.
  • A fight breaks out amongst the three suitors and this becomes an all-out brawl between all the rival clans.
  • Merida’s three young brothers join in the fight and hit a man on the foot with a club.
  • The King attacks Elinor (as a bear) and cuts Merida on the arms by mistake as she’s trying to protect her mother.
  • Elinor is caught and tied up with ropes and Merida has to fight her father off with a sword to prevent him from killing her mother.
  • Elinor and the large grizzly bear fight each other and the grizzly bear is killed by a falling stone.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • The grizzly bear is very large and roars loudly.
  • The woods are very dark and creepy.
  • The old witch is ugly and toothless and quite scary looking.
  • Merida’s mother is changed into a large brown bear.
  • Merida’s little brothers are all changed into bear cubs.
  • Merida finds herself alone in the dark woods and follows a path lit by willow wisps. Suddenly she is attacked by a large, vicious grizzly bear.
  • Merida is thrown off her horse when he gets spooked by some magical force.
  • The witch kills a crow with her broomstick but it comes alive again.
  • Knives and hammers and other tools all fly towards Merida but then they stop and turn towards the witch.
  • When Elinor is turned into a bear, she is timid at first but gradually becomes wilder, turning on Merida a few times and growling and snarling at her.
  • Merida and her mother, as a bear, spend a frightening night in the woods during a thunderstorm, trying to avoid getting caught.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group are also likely to be scared by the above-mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Younger children in this age group may also be scared by some of the above-mentioned scenes.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity in this movie, including:

  • The clansmen appear without their kilts, showing their bare bottoms.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • magic potions

Coarse language

None of concern

In a nutshell

Brave 3D is a mythical animated movie set in medieval times. The story of a warrior princess will appeal to older children but is too scary for younger children and is made more intense by the 3D effects.

The main messages from this movie are that fate lies within and that destiny can be changed with courage.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • a strong female lead character
  • courage and bravery
  • the ability to admit to your mistakes


This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • making rash decisions and having to deal with the consequences
  • rebelling against your parents and traditions

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