Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
Pixar Bravely Aims for New Territory
on 2 June 2015
A couple years back, the calls began for Pixar to have a female lead in a movie, and I began to roll my eyes. As the calls got louder over the last couple of years, I rolled them more. But Pixar answered back with Brave, and movie that will appeal to both boys and girls.
Merida (voiced by Kelly MacDonald) has been trained all her life by her mother Elinor (Emma Thompson) to take her proper place. See, Merida is a princess in one of the clans in middle ages Scotland, and she must act properly and take a husband at the proper time.
That time is now, and her father Fergus (Billy Connolly) has called a gathering of the other clans. There is to be a contest, and the winner will become betrothed to Merida. But Merida enjoys her freedom and being outdoors. Can she find a way to change her fate?
Now if you are worried that the previews give away too much know that they do…from the first act. Everything I've seen in previews (and I think I've seen most of them) took place early on in the film, and when it really got going, it shot off in an unexpected direction.
That's not to say I couldn't figure out the big brushes of the project early on. But I was still caught up in the story, even as I was a step or two ahead of the where the plot actually was.
Merida and Elinor are really the main characters here, and their journey is compelling because they are so well fleshed out. I truly came to care for them. The rest of the cast are the supporting players, and they do a great job of it.
I enjoyed the Scottish accents of the supporting cast. I never had a hard time understanding them (well, except for one character, but that's the joke with him). And everyone does a great job bringing their characters to life.
It goes without saying, but the animation is gorgeous. While other studios make fun computer animated films, no one does it with the artistry that Pixar does. The scenery is just gorgeous.
The film is rated PG, and parents should pay attention to that. I'd definitely say it is for older kids and up. There are a few scenes of humor revolving around what men do and don't wear under their kilts, including one of brief rear end nudity. Frankly, I thought those scenes were pretty funny. More worrisome for parents are several scary scenes involving bears. I hear a couple little kids leaving the theater where I saw it talking about how scary it was. You know your child best, so judge accordingly.
While this movie does star a princess and have some elements of magic to it, it is certainly a story that will entertain both boys and girls. It has lots of action in the story, and Merida is quite the tomboy.
And definitely stay through the credits. There is a fun final scene at the very end you'll appreciate.
For me, this is in the second tier of Pixar films, and it took me a while to put my finger on why. I think it's the story. Yes, predictable stories aren't necessarily deal killers, but I think I usually expect more from Pixar. From any other studio, I would have loved this one, but Pixar has set the bar so high for themselves that this becomes a lesser entry.
But by all means go and see it. Brave is a bit of a more serious movie from Pixar, but it is still enjoyable. I think they have another hit on their hands.