Pixar just celebrated the release of its newest film, Brave, starring its first-ever female lead. With female empowerment at an all-time high in recent decades, gutsy role models have been appearing onscreen, in books, and in real life. It’s a bit surprising that Pixar didn’t have a female star sooner. Although Princess Merida does seem pretty hardcore, there have been plenty of women in fiction and throughout history who rival her when it comes to being brave. To prove it, here are the 25 bravest leading ladies and real-life heroines in recent memory.