Cast: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson
Director: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
The best Pixar films " Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Wall-E, Up, and the Toy Story trilogy " all have one thing in common: they appeal as much to adults as they do to kids. The studios latest film 'Brave', however, can be safely described as a childrens movie. After all, the animation is gorgeous but the humor is mostly slapstick, and the message is hammered into our heads repeatedly. Plus, the films premise " of a feisty princess who must undo a witchs dastardly spell in the face of danger " feels old-fashioned and familiar.
Whats refreshing though, is that Brave features Pixars first female protagonist in 17 years. Set in 10th century Scotland, the film narrates the tale of Merida (voiced by Kelly McDonald), a free-spirited princess whos more comfortable with a bow and arrow in her hand, than wearing tight corsets and learning how to curtsey. When her mother Queen Elinor (voiced by Emma Thompson) insists that Merida pick one of three knucklehead heirs to marry, the rebellious redhead obtains a spell from a witch to change her pushy mothers mind. Unfortunately that spell creates a bear of a problem, and now Merida must gather all her courage and race against time to save her mothers life.
Exploring such themes as tradition v/s modernity, the need for healthy communication in parent-child relationships, and the pressure of expectations, Brave is likely to strike a chord with pre-teens and young adults. The film has some stunning visuals of the Scottish highlands; theres humor to be found in the scenes between King Fergus (voiced by Billy Connelly) and the varied lords in his castle; and there are also a few teary-eyed moments between Merida and her beastly mum after the spell takes its toll.
But dont expect to lose your heart to these characters. They just dont have the depth of Carl Fredrickson and Ellie in 'Up', or Woody and Buzz in 'Toy Story 3'. Neither layered, nor blazingly original like many of Pixars previous films, 'Brave' offers relentless action and silly laughs insteadwhich isnt exactly a terrible recipe for a childrens film.
Im going with two-and-a-half out of five for Brave. Its got its moments, but you cant help feeling let down.
Rating: 2.5 / 5
Write your review and win prizes