out of Five
Running time: 93
Pixar returns to form after the disappointment of Cars 2 with Brave, the story of young Princess Merida who must rely on her bravery and skill to break an evil curse. Pixar’s first female protagonist embodies the tradition of strong Disney princesses but there is something a little too formulaic in the plot.
What's it all about?
Princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald) is the first born child to Scottish King Fergus of Clan DunBroch (Billy Connolly). A free-spirited and adventurous teenager, Merida is a skilled archerist and longs to be free from her traditional responsibilities as Princess. When her mother tells her she is to be betrothed to one of the allied clans Merida flees to the woods where she encounters a witch who gives Merida a spell in the form of the cake.
When Merida returns to the castle she gives her mother the cake which transforms her into a bear. When King Fergus discovers a bear in his castle he is reminded of a past encounter when a bear ripped off his leg and stops at nothing to try to destroy the bear. With her father hunting her mother in bear form and the clans at war over her refusal to marry Merida must correct her mistakes or risk losing everything she holds close.
It’s a big task, creating a Pixar film, and to follow in the footsteps of such beloved movies as the Toy Story
series, Finding Nemo
is no easy feat. Brave
promises to break the Pixar mould by putting a female character front and centre for the first time and focusing on the mother-daughter relationship. Fortunately for Pixar, Brave
is a vast improvement on the disappointment of last year’s Cars 2
. Kids will love the richly animated world, the entertaining cast and magic elements, however there are some truly scary scenes and younger children might need a big person with them. The voice cast is enjoyable, and the animation as magical as any Pixar film before it.
Interestingly a lot of the stuff that kids will like about the story, parents will hate. Pixar usually does so well in terms of providing a layer of entertainment in their films for adults to enjoy. Not so in Brave, the magic elements are just plain confusing, and there seems to be a specific lack of charm. Much of the truly innovative and entertaining elements of past Pixar films are missing here. The story simply seems to recede to cliches towards the end and it all seems a little too convenient, too easy.
Despite the fact that many adults may not find Brave
up to the standard expected of Pixar, kids will absolutely love the film, which nicely balances the darker, scarier parts of the story with a light-hearted, richly-detailed world which is truly beautiful to watch.