Brave’s portrayal of motherhood is wonderfully nuanced
Adults watching Brave will probably find Elinor a much more sympathetic character than Merida. The queen, after all, is doing what she can to give her daughter a good life — something easier said than done in an era when women had far more limited rights than they do in modern times. The patriarchy is in full swing in the world of Brave, and Elinor is raising her daughter the best way she can.
It’s clear that Elinor is struggling because she truly wants her daughter to be happy. She’s striving to be a good mother while still raising Merida to fulfill her duty as a princess, and we have to give her props for this. This nuanced portrayal of motherhood is a beautiful thing to see, especially in a Disney/Pixar film aimed at a young audience. Brave also shows us that womanhood is, and always has been, complex. There are so many expectations placed upon women, even princesses and queens.