When Merida, the headstrong Scottish princess from Disney•Pixar’s “Brave,” began meeting guests at Magic Kingdom’s “Fairytale Garden” in 2012, she made herself feel a home by bringing some touches of her homeland with her. Everything from archery equipment to banners representing her kingdom’s various clans scatter throughout the area makes it feel like guests have been transported to Castle DunBroch. However, there is one piece of artwork that takes on a greater importance to those familiar with Merida’s story. On the garden’s back wall, not far from where the Pixar princess poses for photos, is a tapestry woven by her mother, Queen Elinor, depicting the entire royal family.
During a pivotal scene in the film, Merida sliced a gash into the tapestry between her image and her mother’s in a fit of anger, symbolizing the rift that has formed between them. Later, after Queen Elinor has been transformed into a bear, the Witch warns the mother and daughter to “mend the bond torn by pride” in order reverse the spell, but Merida takes this cryptic advice literally instead of metaphorically. Although she attempts to sew the tapestry back together before the transformation becomes permanent, it is only when she and the queen repair their broken relationship that the spell is undone. The version of this royal portrait at Magic Kingdom shows no sign of having been damaged, but it does serve as a reminder of the mended the bond between Merida and her mother.