Directors: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman & Steve Purcell
Writers: Brenda Chapman (story/screenplay), Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell & Irene Mecchi (screenplay), Michael Arndt (additional screenplay material)
Running time: 100 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): PG
UK Release date: 13th August 2012
Watched on Sky+ Saturday 30th March 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I freely admit I’m a fan of the animated feature and in particular the works of the Pixar Studio. But since they’ve been part of the Disney family I can see a definite shift in their style and content. If course they’ll never admit it, but Disney have had an effect on the quality of Pixar’s output in recent years, and it’s not been entirely for the better (IMO). I’ll still watch them though in the hope they’re going to find something of their pre-Disney magic again. And so we come to Brave; it won this years Oscar for best animated feature so it can’t be all that bad I suppose. Here’s a very brief summary before I give you my thoughts.
Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald) is a princess, she lives in a castle with her mother, Elinor (Emma Thompson), father Fergus (Billy Connolly) and her three little brothers. Merida and her mother don’t always see eye to eye; Elinor wants her to behave more like a princess and Merida would rather go out riding and shooting her bow. It all comes to a head when it revealed that Merida is to be betrothed to the eldest son of one of the three neighbouring tribes. They all come to the castle and Merida is not best pleased when her mother tries to make her choose. She storms out of the castle and into the forest where she finds a mysterious stone circle and some Willo the Wisp that lead her to a cottage where a witch (Julie Walters) lives. Here Merida buys a spell to change her mother; but it doesn’t turn out quite how she expected.
I first have to praise the animators at Pixar, the film really does look quite stunning, as we’ve come to expect. I will put aside the many historical inaccuracies or I could be here all day; needless to say, a lot of poetic license has been used. There were some really comic moments which I found quite refreshing, but the general narrative was skewed towards a female audience (I felt). Not that that’s a bad thing; I still found myself wrapped up in the story as much as I would have been if it had been a more male orientated work. Over all, it’s very enjoyable with some great comic moments. Definitely one for mothers and daughters rather than fathers and sons, but still worth a look if you have the inclination.
SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED
My score: 7.3/10.
IMDb Score: 7.2/10 (based on 111,200 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: 69/100: (Based on 37 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 79/100 (based on 160,330 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Young Merida: I saw a Willo the Wisp!
[runs up to Elinor]
Young Merida: [Elinor picks her up and holds her]
Queen Elinor: A Willo the Wisp? You know, some say that Willo the Wisps can lead you to your fate.
Princess Merida: If you had a chance to change your fate, would you?
King Fergus: [in flashback] I saw something that day, something I'll not forget. It stands 12 feet tall, with razor sharp claws. Its hide littered with the weapons of fallen warriors. Its face scared with one dead eye. I drew my sword and...
[cut to the present]
Princess Merida: CHOMP! Dad's leg was clean off!
King Fergus: Awwwwww... That's my favourite part!
Queen Elinor: Merida, a princess does not set her weapons on the table.
Princess Merida: Mom, it's just my bow!
Queen Elinor: A princess should not have weapons in my opinion.
King Fergus: Princess or not. Learning to fight is essential!
Princess Merida: A Cake?
[witch picks up the cake from the boiling cauldron]
The Witch: Do you not want it?
Princess Merida: No! I want it, but... Are you sure if I give this to my mom, it will change my fate?
The Witch: Trust me, deary. It will do the trick.
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
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Official Site: http://www.disney.co.uk/brave/