Movie Review: Brave

Families are very important, though sometimes traditions can drive a family apart.  A lot of different movies have shown this, people pushing traditions on kids and instead of grasping onto this family lifestyle the kids see something else that they want in life.  Friction happens between family members and we get different types of movies where one family member is trying to get someone else in their family to see things their way.  Sometimes this lesson is learned by putting family members into each other shoes, though other movies take a totally different step.  The movie Brave by Disney and Pixar is one of those movies with a “Brother Bear” type twist.

Brave is about a Princess who wants to choose her own path in life.  Though her mother has done nothing but try to give her daughter a good life by going with the traditions.  The daughter is hurt and angry at her mother for the choices being made.  After a big fight with her mom, she takes off and finds a power that will change her mother.  The two of them are to work things out if they wish for the mother to be normal again.

Princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald) is a strong willed girl, she doesn’t seem to fear much and likes to try dangerous things.  She doesn’t want the role of a Queen so much as living free of those responsibilities and going forward with something new.  Merida is closer to her dad than her mom, though she is a bit selfish, which leads her trying to change her mother.

Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson) is a proper Queen.  She has adjusted to this life and wants the best for her family.  She is the leader of the family, keeping things in order, even with her husband.  It’s clear when she talks she’s the boss, even having to step up in front of others who come to their castle.  Though her thoughts and worry go towards their daughter, as she fears that Merida will not find the right path.  The biggest problem with the Queen is that she does not want to change from the path of tradition.

The cast in this film did a great job with their voices.  With Macdonald pulling us through most of the movie as we follow her adventure.  I like her character personality and design.  A few of my favorite characters in the film were voiced by Julie Walters and Steve Purcell.  Waters was a woodcarver who has all sorts of cool things she’s made.  Purcell played a character who knows the woodcarver.  The two of them bring some good humor to the film for the scenes they’re in.  A lot of great humor really does come from King Fergus who is voiced by Billy Connolly, he’s much like his daughter and truly finds the joy in living.

One of the things I find cool about this is the person behind the story for Brave.  She’s been with Disney for a long time, working on movies like Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, and Cars.  She was the first American woman to direct an animated feature for a major studio, The Prince of Egypt.  Her name is Brenda Chapman, and not only did she create the story for Brave, but she also was one of the people who directed it.  The other two directors were Mark Andrews and Steve Purcell.   All three of them also worked on screenplay, with the help of Irene Mecchi.

The animation is great, with a lot of use of the 3D for dept.  They went over Scotland, giving us so many wonderful views.  The details are breathtaking.  The castles are so well designed you want to run through them yourself.  The human design is great. I personally like the curly hair that Merida has in the film.  I do not think you would see someone with such hair back in the early day of CGI or even normal animation because of how much work it would be to animate.  This film has a true art style to it, that any artist could enjoy along with the movie.

Here’s a note for anyone who goes to see this film, stay for the end of the credits for an extra scene.  It’s short, but fun to see.

With a good mixture of adventure, comedy, and life lessons Brave is a fun movie for the family.  I recommend this movie to people enjoy family adventure films.  This is a film for people who like the feel of movies like Finding Nemo, Brother Bear, and Lion King II.  While none of these movies catch the full mood or spirit of this film, these are good movies that each have something in common with Brave.

Have you seen Brave?  If so please share a review below!   All Comments and Questions are welcomed!

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