Pixar's Brave is quite enjoyable though with a rather basic story
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It's the curse of the successful. For the longest time, the general consensus was that Pixar hadn't made a single misstep with their movies. Great things are expected from each release.
That can be a heavy burden, though.
Brave is a good movie. A very enjoyable time. Would that all family movies were at least this good. It's not WALL-E. It's not Toy Story 3. But it's a good, solid film.
But first, the story:
Merida (Kelly Macdonald) is a princess in the highlands of Scotland. Her father, Fergus (Billy Connolly) raised her to be a warrior and to run free. But her mother, Elinor (Emma Thompson) has much more refined hopes for her daughter.
As Merida gets older, the decision is made to try uniting the clans by giving the hand of the princess to the first born of one of the leaders of the three other clans in the kingdom. But Merida will have none of it.
I won't tell you more than that for fear of spoiling any of the surprises. It suffices to say that there is magic, there is action, there are three little mischievous hellions running about causing all sorts of trouble.
The characters are well defined and entertaining. I really loved Billy Connolly's king Fergus. He's quite irrepressible himself and very funny. I have no idea where his arms find the right place to connect to his shoulders, but it apparently works for him. (His clavicles seriously must just merge into one broom handle across his entire body.)
The effects and general look of the movie are quite stunning. Pixar always knows exactly how to pull out all the stops and give a real visual treat. Not all of their movies fully utilize that ability, but in Brave there are some really nice shots. And Princess Merida's hair is completely lifelike. Just like the hair you find on a ten year old doll that hasn't had it's hair brushed in the past five. I mean, not that I'm admitting to playing with dolls. I just ... uh .... Oh look, over there! A distraction!
And there's some very enjoyable humor. The three boys are very fun and there's this one bit they do while eating pastries under the table that seriously made me laugh.
There are also some interesting moments among the three clan leaders (voiced by Robbie Coltrane, Kevin McKidd and Craig Ferguson).
Oh, and some of you might want to look away after the men climb down from the tower on a makeshift rope. I'm just saying.
The story, however, is a little contrived and fairly predictable. It's not to the point of ruining the movie. The journey is still very enjoyable. It's just, I kept guessing at a few of the plot developments and was usually right. It didn't ruin anything for me. And there's nothing necessarily wrong with a straight-forward plot. Just something to point out.
So, in the end, Brave is a good, solid, entertaining movie. It just doesn't excel in comparison to some of Pixar's other movies. But when your siblings are all thirteen feet tall, there's no shame in standing a mere eleven.
But what do you think?
For me, Brave gets a solid 7 / 10. (Almost an 8.)
Brave is rated PG for a few scenes with some scary action, and a bit of rude humor.