Directors: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Steve Purcell
Writers: Irene Mecchi, Michael Arndt, Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Steve Purcell
Voice Cast: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, Sally Kinghorn, Eilidh Fraser, Peigi Barker, Steven Cree, Steve Purcell, Callum O'Neill, Patrick Doyle, John Ratzenberger
Synopsis: Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse.
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some scary action and rude humor
If you had the chance to change your fate? Then would you?
Some people say that destiny can't be changed, and that if you were to change your fate, then it would throw the world into chaos. Meanwhile, there are those that dare to challenge destiny, and firmly believe that life is whatever you make of it; hence the story of "Brave." Although Pixar is owned by Disney, it seems very unusual they'd choose to create a fantasy story around a princess. After all, that's something that most audiences would expect out of the regular Disney animation studio. Not Pixar. However, for whatever reasons, Pixar is trying it's hand at telling an epic fairy tale story of it's own.
Does it work? Or is it a dud? Well, I guess we're about to find out. The story is centered around a young teenage princess named Merida, who grows up as a bit of a tomboy idolizing the warrior ways of her father. She even becomes an expert archer over the years as well. However, as a princess, she's is required to marry one of the sons of the tribal leaders in her village, in order to keep the peace; which is something she's not ready for yet. She tries to plea with her mom about the situation, but her cries go unanswered, as both parties are very stubborn in their stance on this. Merida believes that it should be her choice when, and whom she should marry; while her mom feels it's better to keep with the ways of tradition. Needless to say, this doesn't bode well for dear old dad, who just wants everyone to be happy.
Indeed, it's like the famous comedian, Bill Mahr, said once in a stand up act. It seems all mothers in family films/TV shows are portrayed as the strong minded authority figures; while the husbands are just the dumb a**es lucky enough to be with them. Don't you just love how Hollywood portrays families these days?
All kidding aside though, Merida eventually meets up with an old witch, and pleas with her for a potion that would change her mom. Of course, Merida thinks the potion will merely change her mind about the arranged marriage ordeal, but she soon discovers that the potion may be more than what she bargained for. Now with time running out, Merida must find a way to break the spell before it's too late; unless she wants to lose her mom forever...
I will admit that "Brave" is a beautifully told fairy tale, and it does preach a strong message to kids about having the courage to choose your own fate in life; while also teaching them that there are consequences for their actions, and how we must take responsibility for whatever choices we make in life.
It's a very well told story. Although my only gripes about the film is that not only is it insanely predictable, but the characters aren't particularly that interesting. Now, I can forgive the predictable story, as that's kind of expected with most animated movies anyway. However, I can't forgive a film for not having more interesting characters, as each character, in this movie, is something of a rip off of what movie audiences have seen before in thousands of other films in the past.
You have a rebellious young girl that wants to make her own choices in life, and you have an overbearing mother that's too strict for her own good, yet loves her daughter. You have a dumb a** schmuck for a father, and you have three obnoxious little brothers that's only concern is food and causing mischief. Of course, lets not forget about the tribe leaders and their sons either.
All of the tribe leaders are portrayed as the stereotypical macho idiots, who's joys in life consist of fighting, drinking and women. Ah...my three favorite things too... For those that can't tell, I'm being fairly sarcastic with that last remark. As for their sons, all of them lack any kind of definitive personality. Sure, they have their moments, and I will admit it's funny watching the tribe leaders bicker with one another over who's son will marry the princess. However, it's not enough to where you could easily say any of these character are interestingly unique. Although the witch was kind of interesting, but she's only in the film for less than ten minutes sadly.
Don't get me wrong, none of these flaws ruin the film, nor would I ever call "Brave" a bad movie by any means. However, I guess the phrase to describe "Brave" would be that "it's good, but it's not great."
As for the animation, it's very well done for what you'd expect from a Pixar movie, but it's not groundbreaking, to where it'll push the envelope for visuals in an animated feature like "The Incredibles", "Wall-E" and others have done in the past. Not saying this is a bad thing, but I wouldn't call this one of Pixar's best films in terms of story telling, or even visually speaking.
However, I will say that this features arguably some of the best voice acting that I've seen in an animated movie, since "Kung Fu Panda 2", as you can definitely tell that each actor puts a lot of effort and heart into each of their characters.
If this film was still in theaters, then I would recommend readers to wait for the DVD/Blue Ray release, as "Brave" isn't worth seeing in theaters. Overall, I'd have to give "Brave" a two and a half out of four. It's not a bad film, as it's definitely worth watching, but I just wouldn't expect anything great out of it.
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