When faced with betrothal, Princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald) defies the wishes of her mother Elinor (Emma Thompson), and competes for her own hand in marriage. While her father, Fergus (Billy Connolly), is amused, Elinor yells at Merida and throws her beloved bow in a fire. In an effort to get revenge, and to change her fate, Merida enlists the help of a witch (Julie Walters). However, the spell backfires, changing her mother into a bear. Now, Merida must find a way to undo the spell, while trying to diffuse a tense situation between the four clans that could threaten the kingdom with war.
Brave is another heartfelt, touching story from Disney Pixar, with the regular hallmarks that define the studios output. The story is interesting and involving, with plenty of surprises along the way. It’s also very funny – especially Billy Connolly’s “alpha male” Fergus, who regularly brings the laughs. Craig Ferguson’s distinct tones can also be heard, but he’s underused. Brave isn’t just a funny film; it’s also genuinely interesting. By the end, you’ll find yourself rooting for Merida and Elinor. There’s emotion and action enough for all of the family, and it feels like the perfect length. On top of this, some of the animation is spectacular – particularly Merida’s trademark red locks, which look incredibly real.
As is to be expected from a Disney production, there is a message; and, as usual, the message is repeated so often and with such force, it becomes a bit annoying. However, the rest of the film is so funny and well told, that this becomes just a minor problem.
Brave is a good film – of that there should be no doubt. It’s light-hearted and fun; filled with humour and entertainment, but with a strong central message. Unfortunately, it doesn’t reach the heights of “Toy Story 3” or “Up”. Nevertheless, Brave is a great holiday film; one that will entertain both kids and parents. Just don’t be too surprised when your kids are asking for archery gear for their birthdays!
By Jacob Richardson