Starring: Kelly McDonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly
Distributor: Walt Disney Studios / Pixar Studios
Runtime: 100 mins. Reviewed in Jun 2012
Brave is the Pixar Studio’s annual animated movie. In the last ten years, they have won many Oscars for Best Animated Film (Finding Nemo, Ratatouile, Up, Wall-E, Toy Story 3) and have delighted audiences all around the world. This one starts very well, plateaus out, but offers an entertaining story of family troubles and warrior activity.
And, the central character is female, Merida, the daughter of the King and Queen of the united kingdom of Scottish clans. She is a redhead and has a certain fiery and tomboyish disposition which manifests itself in rebelling against her genteel mother’s attempts to teach her manners and regal graciousness, as well as riding vigorously around the countryside and showing Olympic-standard skills in archery.
The film opens in taking us way back into old Scot history and burly and rugged Fergus assuming command of the kingdoms (even as a malevolent bear chomps off one of his legs). As Merida grows up, the question of suitors for her hand arises. She wants none of it, chooses archery for the contest and decides to enter (and conquer) so that she can win her own hand.
But, her rebellious nature wreaks havoc when she follows blue willow-the-wisps to a witch’s cottage and causes the casting of a spell which turns her mother, Elinor, into a bear. Action follows with Fergus eager to pursue any bear. Mother and daughter have to survive in the woods and mother learns more about her daughter and daughter realises that she has been too selfish.
So, lots of action and quite a deal of comedy – the suitors and their fathers are a comically odd-looking and sounding lot. And, despite Elinor’s control, Fergus is a touch barbarian at heart.
And, the voices… Kelly MacDonald is assertive as Merida. Emma Thompson is dignified but firm as Elinor and Billy Connolly has a vigorous old time as Fergus.
Enough for parents to enjoy as they watch Brave with their children – especially their daughters who might well latch on to Merida as a role model.
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