There's More To 'Brave' Than Arrows & Fate

Just when you thought Once Upon A Time was out of Disney princesses to introduce, they up and started pulling from Pixar. That's right, Merida from Brave is joining the show now in Season 5. What happened in Brave? If all you remember from the movie is an archery contest worthy of Katniss Everdeen and a lot of talk about "fate" said in thick Scottish accents, let me remind you.

Besides being Pixar's first princess movie, and first film with a female lead and a female director, the movie is about a young Scottish girl who bends the rules and "shoots for her own hand" in order to avoid getting betrothed to a stranger. This attempt to defy a sexist tradition starts a major argument in the kingdom of DunBroch and threatens a war between clans. While this is happened, the princess' strained relationship with her mother Queen Elinor comes to a head. Merida then runs into some complications after a spell she buys to change her fate backfires, and has to mend some family ties in the process. There's also a demon bear prince, but we'll get to that. Here are some of the things that happened in Brave that you may have forgotten about.


While it was still far from your traditional fairy tale, there was actually a witch in Brave. This one loved baskets, had voicemail, and went to conventions. Sure.

Will O' The Wisps

These little blue fairies lead you to your fate or destiny... which is a weird thing for a person trying to change their destiny to follow, but don't think about it too much. Angus the horse may not be a fan, but they're cute!

Mommy Issues

Merida's strained relationship with her mother is not unlike the parental issues we've seen already on Once Upon A Time, so she should fit right in with Regina and the gang. Just like Frozen is a story about sisters before misters, this movie focuses on the mother and daughter relationship. However, Merida was a little younger in Brave, so it got a bit more dramatic and angsty than what we've seen on OUAT. The fiery princess didn't want to assume any royal duties and definitely isn't ready to be married. Her fights with her mother got very mean and real. What's more, their relationship is represented by a magical tapestry in the castle that cannot be repaired if they are at odds.


Not only were Merida's mother and three little brothers accidentally turned into bears by the witch's spell, but I bet you forgot about the demon bear prince in this movie named Mor'du. That prince also turned his back on family and responsibility and turned into a bear, but he lost all of his humanity and became a monster. Apparently, he's been stalking Merida since she was a child, presumably because they are kindred spirits and his destiny could have easily been hers. The final showdown between Merida and Mor'du takes place amidst standing stones called menhir (where she saw the wisps for the second time), which Elinor uses to kill him and set his spirit free. Bet you forgot how dark Brave was, right? It'll be interesting to see how much of this backstory gets twisted into Once Upon A Time.

Images: Jack Rowand/ABC