Thursday, July 5, 2012


Starring the voice talents of Kelly MacDonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly, Craig Ferguson, and John Ratzenburger

Directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman

Release Date: June 22nd, 2012

Princess Merida: Expert Marksman, adventurous, running free in the wild...betrothed to whom?! The young princess of Clan DunBroch wants to defy a local custom where the first born of each clan ( Macintosh, Dingwall, and MacGuffin) compete to win her hand in marriage. Merida's parents, King Fergus and Queen Elinor, only want what is best for their daughter but Elinor and Merida continue to butt heads over everything. Soon, Merida runs off into the forest, meeting a strange old woman who claims she can change Merida's fate. Will this encounter be for the best?

Pixar's thirteen feature film is the first to feature a female protagonist and the first period piece for the power house animation studio. Personally, I love Pixar and they do amazing work (for the record, I haven't seen Cars 2 and I probably won't after how dull Cars was) that delight children and adults like parent company Walt Disney Studios have done for years. So, I was really looking forward to Brave once I saw the trailers, heard about the premise, etc. How is the film?

On a technical/visual note, Brave is absolutely stunning. The environments of the story are breath taking and I really took note of how intricate the detail was in the castle interiors; top notch work from the animators. Also, I have to note how great the clothing and hair styles look. Just take note of how seamless (no pun intended) the clothing look, or how life-like Merida's hair gets, from how it blows in the wind to how wild and uncontrollable it can get. For kids, they'll just see the pretty colors and notice how good the film looks. As an adult, I am marveled at how stunning the CGI can become and I am floored at what Pixar can do.

The characters are a lot of fun, particularly Merida's family. Billy Connolly gets a lot of funny lines as King Fergus and I really understood how confused he can be when his wife and daughter are having a problem and he's just dumbstruck. Connolly also does a great job of making Fergus into a goofy man who'd rather sing, drink, and hunt rather than act like a proper king. Then there's Merida's triplet brothers, who are unvoiced. The triplets are really funny; they act like little troublemakers, but they obviously love their sister and parents, and they act like real kids. Finally, there's the relationship between Merida and Elinore, her mother. This was really stunning, as the characters are forced to work together and better understand each other due to a misunderstanding. Yes, I know it's formulaic, two mismatched people work together for a common goal, but the characters work really well together and it pays off very well in the finale.

Rating: 4 out 5 

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