Directors: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman & Steve Purcell
Voice cast: Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly, Julia Walters
Plot: Merida is a young princess who yearns to be free from her obligations to her kingdom, much to the chagrin of her mother, Queen Elinor. In an attempt to change her fate, Merida gets a witch to cast a spell for her, but things don't go according to plan.
Review: Brave is a first for Pixar in a few ways, being a film that puts a female in the lead role, and also one that is much darker than their previous works.
That's not to say Brave isn't humorous, as it has its fair share of laughs. But the subject matter is presented in a mature way, and I wonder if the younger kids can totally accept the story here, or be bored over something they find hard to understand.
The story is basically a focus on the relationship between mother and daughter, and how they both must find a way to reconcile their differences before catastrophe strikes. Giving the story a Scottish setting is brilliant as it gives the film a mystical and historical quality. You might say that Brave is reminiscent of Dreamworks' How To Train Your Dragon, but much darker. The final action sequence is certainly proof of that.
As far as the animation goes, it is probably one of the best I've seen yet. Merida's long, red curly hair is absolutely striking, and almost a character on its own. The humans here are better depicted than Pixar's The Incredibles, looking very lifelike and yet maintaining its animated quality.
However, as good as Brave is, their sacrifice of a more entertaining plot for a more serious one means it ends up being less fun than Pixar's other works. There is comedy here, no doubt, but the quality of the comedy could use some fine tuning. As far as Brave is concerned overall, it isn't as good as say, Up or the Toy Story films.
But I have to hand it to Pixar for their brave attempt at coming up with something different. Despite its flaws, Brave is a great feature that deserves at least one watch or two. (3.5/5)