I took my 9 and 7 year old sons and 5 year old daughter to see this movie. I am sorry to read that so many reviewers report their kids found it too scary and that the parents hadn't had good information about just how scary it was. Our experience was that it was not too scary, even for the 5 year old (who is going on 14 in her mind) and that the scary parts were part of the enjoyment of the movie. The greatest tension for the 5 year old was whether (spoiler alert) King Fergus would kill Elinor as a bear. But she got through that part ok, sitting 2 seats away from me.
I was glad for a strong female role model for my kids to see. I thought it was somewhat demeaning to the men, though, who were either bumbling fools, or not quite grown up boys, like King Fergus, who was not comfortable with his fatherly duties and preferred to wrestle and fight, and so strong was his need to avenge the bear, it blinded him to the fact he was hunting his own wife. The scene where Elinor calms the chaos in the great hall simply by walking through in her queenly manner suggested that women are needed to bring civility and order to a society. While I secretly agree, I wish there would have been a wise male in the story to counter the caricatured juvenile behavior of the rest.
Also, I wondered why Merida didn't appear to have any friends, male or female.
But Merida's story of finding independence and changing her relationship with her mother was something parents and kids could relate to, and the visual richness of the film was delightful. We all enjoyed this movie.