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4.6 out of 5 stars1,216
4.6 out of 5 stars
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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.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 27 February 2013
Brave is about a teenage girl called Merida set in ancient Scotland. It is a very good film for children although it is PG rated for its scary scenes and depictions of violence. It's 93 minutes in length.

Disc 1 is a Blu-Ray 3D + Bonus Feature

Disc 2 is a Blu-Ray 2D + Bonus Feature

Disc 3 is a Blu-Ray Bonus Disc : 'Fergus & Mer'du Alternate Opening / Fallen Warriors / Dirty Hairy People / It's English...Sort Of / Angus / The Tapestry / Promotional Pieces / Art Gallery

Disney and Pixar team up yet again for another animated film that promises to entertain the young ones while offering up enough wit, humour and mature themes to keep the adults engaged. Brave isn't their best effort, but it deserves much more credit than it has been given, because it's a visually stimulating spectacle that offers up a traditional story mixed with a little new-age twist that reminds us why we trust Disney and Pixar to always deliver the goods, despite their Cars 2 fumble.

Brave is thoughtful and funny and it attacks its themes and morality without a hidden agenda or layered story. It's simple and to the point and not once does it try re-invent the formula that it's running with. It's your traditional princess coming-of-age story, wrapped with a modern twist that speaks to audiences now just as much as it spoke to audiences back when other Disney classics were released.

Kelly Macdonald provides her voice as the leading lady Merida and she creates a strong-willed and stubborn young girl on the cusp of childhood, leading into adulthood. She gives the character a much-needed strength that's still funny and easy going whenever she needs to be. I suspect this character will go down as one of the more memorable female leads in a Pixar film, because there haven't been many overall.

'Brave' shifts itself back and forth between being a harmless little children's tale while also rearing its serious head as the age-old tale of appreciating what or who you've got and learning to grow into your own free spirit with your family planted at your side. The film is given a few extra doses of that unneeded syrupy Disney charm that'll attempt to lay on the tears or get you choked up when things get better, but for the most part Brave plays itself out in the open, with enough room for any emotion without feeling too forced in.

I'm not defending Brave as the perfect Disney/Pixar masterpiece, but it's a good piece of animated fun that holds its own next to the likes of Wall:E or Finding Nemo, and in Blu-ray in particular makes for a stunningly good watch on the big screen at home.
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on 30 November 2012
Pixar's 13th feature is probably the best animated film I have ever seen. This is without doubt a stunning technical achievement on every level and one which I think they will have some difficulty in topping. The characters are every bit as colourful as the magnificently rendered Scottish backdrop(the facial expressions they manage to achieve are quite remarkable and convey the coflicting emotions of the varied characters sometimes far more realistically than actual human actors could) Add to this a wonderful central 'performance' from the heroine Merida (voiced by Kelly Mcdonald), a whole host of inspired set pieces and stirring music from Patrick Doyle and I think you have a near masterpiece. Definitely my Film of the Year.
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on 2 January 2013
Having recently moved into an historical area of Scotland it was interesting to see this "fairytale". The animation is second to none and and story of good overcoming evil. Watched it in 3D. Great entertainment.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 December 2012
This is a really enjoyable animated Pixar movie - set in Scotland in days of yore it is full of magic - a princess, her suitors, spells, family, a few scares, and lots of fun . I was very impressed with Emma Thompson's Scottish accent - seemed as real to me as Kelly MacDonald's and Billy Connolly's, who were great in their voice overs. I loved the Scottish banter and dialogue - some phrases i haven't heard in years made me smile.

The animation - particularly of the bears is amazing.

Our whole family enjoyed it- and we have a quite a range of ages and nationalities to please in our family.
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on 30 August 2013
Bought this for my niece. When we watched it I loved it so much that I bought one for myself. Would recommend
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There is enough adult humour in this film to make it worth watching as a treat for all ages. The adult humour is not smutty or offensive and will go over the heads of young children, there is a very good lesson that children should learn about adults and vice versa contained in the actions of the characters very well portrayed with gestures and facial expressions. The overall moral is about the relationship between a child and its parent that so many of us find it difficult to get right. It's mainly about acceptance and love and if we get that right the world will be a better place.
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on 26 October 2014
There are so many animated movies these days, you expect many of them to be rubbish. Some are, but it seems to me most of the things out of the Pixar stable keep on providing the goods.

I was thoroughly entertained by brave, the lovely cartoony animations all so fluidly done, mixed in with stunningly realized vistas, and my favourite part, the lighting. The amazing lighting just brings a life to the whole fantasy highland world here that makes it feel almost tangible, and sucks you right into it. That immersion really helps you empathize with the characters.

That's one of the things I really appreciated. Plenty of wooden performances from real actors in real movies that you don't care about, and here in an animated movie, you felt their pain as much as their happiness, you wanted things to be resolved, you cared what happened.

There are some laugh out loud moments too, and near the end, I even felt a little tear trickle out, so it did it's job. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll just say baby, cleavage, and high dive. After you've watched it, which I thoroughly recommend that you do, if that reference doesn't bring a smile to your face then you probably shouldn't be watching any movies at all, let alone animated ones.

Totally safe and fun viewing for all ages, and you don't have to put this on just to appease some younger viewers, this is totally worth your time even if you don't have kids to watch it with, or if you want to watch it without them if you do.

I watched this through the Prime streaming, which was flawless and excellent quality. Great movie, will watch again.
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on 27 November 2012
I loved this and so did my young children. An absolutely delightful film that looked great, had a fantastic story, perfect voice characterisations and incredible animation (particularly Merida's hair!). A fun film for all the family.
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on 11 December 2012
I have watched this film with my daughter (5,5 years) about 4 times in the cinema now and I feel the more I watch it the more I like it! Animation is great (Merida's hair!!), I likes all the characters and the soundtrack is fabulous.
My daughter now has a bow and arrow, Merida dress and wig and wants to have a horse....Just ordered the DVD for Christmas present and I think she will watch this many times over and 'Touch the Sky' will be the favourite song in the house for a while!
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