Brave follows the story of young Merida (Kelly MacDonald), a feisty, teenage, Scottish, redheaded, princess who loves archery and has never heard of a brush. Her father, the King (Billy Connolly), is a giant playful family man who loves to tell stories of the many bears he has killed and how he lost his leg. Her mother, the Queen (Emma Thompson), is always on Merida’s case telling her how to act and behave. Even with Merida’s protest, she is told by her mother that she must choose a suitor through a competition of her choice (archery). However, Merida uses her wits and decides to enter it herself to win her own hand since she doesn’t want to marry anyone. From this stunt, Merida and her mother have such a huge fight that it causes Merida to runaway, ultimately causing a change in her family that she never saw coming.
The last couple of Pixar films have disappointed me (Up, Toy Story 3, Wall-E) to the point that I look forward to Dreamworks animation more, but Brave was a nice change of pace. It is very colorful with Merida’s hair and eyes, and the whole wilderness setting always looks beautiful in films that portray the outdoors. The story is great, but gets a little ridiculous in the middle, but I can see the moral it is going to teach little ones. I would say that it might be a little too scary for really young ones (like younger than 5) so be prepared for crying kids if you do go (or take your own kids). The voice acting is wonderful and the movie is very charming and heart-felt. This has Disney written all over it! Thumbs up for me! Co-starring voices from Robbie Coltrane, Julie Walters, Kevin McKidd, and Craig Ferguson.
PS. La Luna, the short at the beginning, is probably the best I’ve seen since the old guy playing chess with himself.
8/10 Stars – It’s good for little girls to have a bad-ass heroine to root for!
I have to say, Brave was not at all what I expected. The animation was beautiful, the characters vivid but the story was well unexpected. Every preview didn’t even hint at what really happens in the movie and on some level that bothers me. I did however still enjoy the movie. It was funny, charming and sad (I cried like a baby….yes I admit it). It is a great movie for families to see, and kids will love it if not completely understand it. Although parts might be a bit too scary for the younger generation. My biggest issue was with the character development and the depth of the story. Somehow things felt superficial, like I needed more time to get to know these characters and understand why changing her fate was so important to Merida. I wanted to be sucked into this big beautiful Scottish world but something was missing in order for me to feel totally enthralled. Maybe I am getting to old to really appreciate these movies but I would like to think that is not true since I am still enthralled by tails like Beauty and the Beast, Lion King and Little Mermaid. Maybe another 30 minutes to make the movie 2 hours would have done the trick, I am not sure but as much as I wanted to love this Brave wonderful girl I just felt disconnected. And all the cute or touching moments seemed to go by too fast really. Oh and don’t get me started on the weird spirit creatures that look like a cross between octopus and aliens. Despite all that it’s still a Disney/Pixar movie, and I did laugh AND cry….so I would still recommend everyone, especially families with little stubborn girls go see it.
7/10 Stars – Beautiful animation and some great moments but not as impressive or grand as I was expecting.
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