If you have not seen the new Pixar movie “Brave,” please stop reading. I am going to spoil everything. Ye’ve been warned.
OK. Here is what I thought was happening, based on the fact that I knew the working title for the film was “The Bow and the Bear.” I thought there was only one bear: the queen.
I thought she was always the one and only bear—from the beginning. It would have taken a little rewriting of that first scene, but it could be done. So when the queen ate the potion-laden cake, I thought it was returning her to her natural bear state (sort of like Fiona in “Shrek”).
I haven’t yet worked out why it would be in the kingdom’s interest for Fergus to marry a bear in disguise, but I figure it had something to do with the four rival clans. The one part I did work out is that the tapestry and the queen’s gown were made with the same magical green thread (probably made by that same witch who had a thing for bears).
So in my version, the queen is in a constant battle for control over her natural bear state. Over the years she has come to adapt to human customs and to have some genuine care for her husband and rambunctious boys as well as great love for her daughter. And the queen is being so hard on her daughter for the good of the kingdom. Maybe the marriage will even mean that the queen can revert to being a bear and live happily ever after in the forest.
Of course, this ups the ante even more on the tension between the king and the queen/bear, but I thought that made it all rather complicated and interesting.
If any one else has written about a similar story line, I promise I didn’t steal. It is June 29 at 6:45 p.m. as I write this, and I just got home from the movie.
Any thoughts, fellow fairy tale nerds?