Thank you Disney. It took 70 years and a push from Pixar, but you FINALLY gave us a mother/daughter adventure.
Bless you for not killing her/making her evil/pushing her off to the side.
I just want to take a moment to have some serious gushing about the symbolism in this movie, because this gifset is actually really good for it. I was watching the commentary the other day after buying this movie, and there’s a point where they mention how you can TELL Elinor used to be feisty and quite fiery in her youth, much like her very headstrong daughter, but everything about her now is that of a dignified lady who has had to rein herself in to be the diplomat for their kingdom.
Early in the film, you see her walk in a very closed fashion. She holds herself tightly, does not gesture broadly, rarely speaks up. Even her weighted, heavy dress and the way she wears her hair show her as being restrained by the duties she has put upon herself.
Then… the events of the movie occur, and in the end, you see her in a loose flowing dress that seems almost more like something Merida would wear. She’s excitable, going out and doing things with her daughter, and her long hair is no longer tied back, but instead neatly pinned and flowing. In essence, Elinor herself opened up. She let go and found herself becoming more accepting.
Merida wasn’t the only person who learned a lesson about family and responsibility in this movie. Elinor learned that she had to let go now and then in order to relate to, and to understand, her daughter better. It wasn’t just Merida growing up, it was Elinor finding that middle ground and standing firmly on it, supporting her daughter’s beliefs when she realized that Merida wasn’t the only one who hadn’t listened.
She hadn’t, either, and Merida was not the only one at fault. The result was not just a one sided lesson, but a beautiful, rounded story of a mother and a daughter finding out that their differences are what really make them so alike, and finding that place to stand together. Maybe they won’t always see eye to eye, but they’ve now learned that they must have open conversation and understanding to hold their family together, and both women grew up immensely in that moment of realization.
In short: it’s not just my own Scottish heritage that makes me love this movie. It’s that this film is so indicative of the relationships so many young women feel themselves in with their mothers, and I personally am no exception. Elinor and Merida speak to women and daughters everywhere, young and old, and the lesson they learn is one we can all adhere to, no matter how hard it sometimes feels to accept that.