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The first part of this post is a guest post by one of our readers, Brandy, who has made her own version of Merida from BRAVE and how she made her. The second part of the post is my review of the movie BRAVE after seeing the pre-screening last week.

The Making of Brandy’s American Girl Merida

This project was very near and dear to my heart. My oldest daughter Jayla as you all know is in LOVE with American Girl dolls, but has never really gone gaga over the Disney princesses. Now, if you ask my youngest daughter, Jemma, she could tell you anything and everything about the Disney princesses. When Jayla found out that the new Disney princess in the movie, Brave, was Scottish she flipped out with excitement! My husband’s family is Scottish. When the Brave advertisements showed that the new princess movie was based in Scotland, Jayla fell in love with the character. Jayla loves learning about her Boyd family history. So, I got creative….

Custom Merida doll made from an American Girl doll

I purchased a used doll off of EBay. This was my first doll purchase off of EBay so I was very nervous. I was searching for a blued eyed doll with freckles..to match the Merida character. I got lucky and found a perfect doll. She needed very little cleaning. All limbs were tight.eyes worked perfect.and strings were long. Her hair was very dry and frizzy, but that didn’t matter…she was going to get a new wig. The wig was found on EBay from BAVAS International. They sell doll repair kits, wigs, and accessories.

Custom Merida doll made from an American Girl doll

The beautifully well made dresses are from an Etsy shop called the Enchanted Designer. The gold boots are from American Girl. They go with the Cecile and Marie Grace line. The black cape is from an Ebay shop called Sewingirl269.

American Girl doll as Merida

Of course all dolls have to have accessories! I found a toy bow and arrow set on amazon.com. I then made a target out of card stock and laminated it.works out great because the suction cup arrows can actually stick. I then made an arrow carrier out of a cut down tin foil tube. I covered the tube in brown felt. Next, I added a string so the carrier can be tied around the doll’s waist. I added a few decorated metal tacks to the top.

Can’t wait to give this to her this weekend!

Char’s Review of the Movie BRAVE

Last week I had the opportunity to go see the movie BRAVE in 3D as part of a pre-screening. I took Natalie who is 10, my son who is almost 16 and his friend who is 15. Wearing the 3D glasses was fun and the 3D effects are not just in a scene or two – they are all throughout the movie. You literally feel like you are in the scenery.

BRAVE movie review

I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone who goes to see it so, here are my thoughts:

Things I liked:

  • Merida’s character! She is just the coolest princess Disney has come up with yet. She is smart, caring and not afraid to stand up for herself.
  • The animation was phenomenal – from the Scottish countryside scenes to the archery scenes and everything in between.
  • I loved the whole storyline and the way it evolved – I can’t tell you much about it because I will give the movie away, but let’s just say, it is a great lesson for parents and children – we can learn from each other.
  • My favorite scene is pretty early on when Merida leaves the house all upset and heads off on her horse Angus. She does a little archery practice at high speed, on horseback, through the woods and it is just WOW!
  • The humor in the movie is sprinkled throughout and some is just slapstick that kids of all ages but some of it goes right over the kids’ heads and only grown ups will get it.

Things I didn’t like:

  • This movie is scary in parts and there is no two ways about it. If you or your child get scared easily – you may want to wait for it to come out on DVD so you can fast forward through the scary stuff.
  • The bears. Yes, I know they were an essential part of the story, but I think they may have been a bit over done.

After the movie I asked everyone their opinion. Nick and his friend Abby LOVED the movie and gave it an A. They got all the humor, appreciated all the details in every scene, and were not bothered by the violent bear scenes. Natalie, on the other hand, went back and forth between laughing and being terrified the whole time. She gave it a C because she was scared so much. I really think the movie is best suited for kids ages 12 and up, however, some younger kids will love it and others will be bothered by the loud noises and bears. You have to know your child!

Would I go see the movie again? YES! I definitely would. Natalie will probably wait a few years to see it again on DVD.