When Pixar’s Up was released in 2009, NPR blogger Linda Holmes wrote a piece that in part argued that young Ellie – a pivotal character who nonetheless gets maybe five minutes screen-time – was just the type of girl she’d like to see as a central character. Young Ellie is a refreshing change from the sort of girl we’re used to seeing in animated children’s films, the damsel-in-distress, overtly feminine princessy sort, that is. But she’s only a glimpse. Flash forward three years and along comes Pixar’s Brave to (kind of) answer the call. Brave’s Merida is still a princess (Dear Pixar: Linda Holmes specifically requested a non-princess lead character like Ellie), though one with some big differences. Here we have a young woman challenging gender norms and the status quo whose relationship issues are with her alive-and-well mother instead of anyone resembling a true love. It’s just the sort of film I figured might earn the endorsement of A Mighty Girl, a new website devoted to compiling lists of books and films that offer empowering representations of female characters for young readers and viewers. I spoke with Carolyn Danckaert, the site’s co-founder, about A Mighty Girl, literary and cinematic representations of girlhood (empowering and otherwise), and the sea change that Brave just might be a part of.