Brave, Dir. Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman and Steve Purcell, US, 2012

Viewed as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2012

Set in Scottish Highlands, free-spirited Princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald), daughter of King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), has little interest in her future royal responsibilities. She hopes one day she will be able to change her own fate. By not following traditions, she risks bringing her own kingdom into chaos.

Brave is Pixar’s first attempt at an historical tale with a strong female protagonist. Audiences familiar with the work of Studio Ghibli (a Pixar influence) will recognise a strong female lead, but this is unusual for Pixar. Hopefully strong-headed Merida won’t be the last of her kind.

The story’s premise is very simple and once plot is set, it doesn’t wander too far from its expected story arc. Having a proper Scottish voice cast is brilliant, and it’s impossible imagine how they could have pulled it off without them.┬áThe quality of animation is what is expected from a Pixar movie. Textures of tartans, animal furs, worn off edges of furnitures, ancient castle, it is all wonderful to look at. Compared to previous movies, the choice of colours are more subdued and limited. This allows Merida’s wonderfully crafted ginger locks pop.

Brave is a coming of age story, believing in yourself to take charge of your own fate, draw your own part, all you need is just to be brave. Perhaps nothing groundbreaking, however this epic and magical tale is very enjoyable and the movie packed with humour, whit, action and some teary moments. You can skip the 3D, though, as it adds little, and watch in 2D instead.

Brave will be on general release in the UK in August.


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