SYNOPSIS: ďBraveĒ follows the heroic journey of Merida, a skilled archer and headstrong daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson). Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the unruly and uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane). Meridaís actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric Witch (voice of Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to harness all of her skills and resources Ė including her clever and mischievous triplet brothers Ė to undo a beastly curse before itís too late, discovering the meaning of true bravery.
Princess Merida: I want my freedom!
Queen Elinor: But are you willing to pay the price your freedom will cost?
Ah yes, a tale as old as time. Oops, sorry, thatís a lyric isnít it? Itís from some Disney movie, right? Well, anyhow, the typical rebellious child not wanting to conform to the parentsí wishes much less the established traditions of her people, is what we are dealing with here. But of course what takes this to a different level is the Pixar/Disney touch. Is it safe to say that anything Pixar touches turns to gold? Well, pretty darn close I would say, but not completely. Itís funny though because a comment I read regarding this movie was saying that it seemed as if people were forcing themselves to like this movie. I can really see that in this case. Itís the Midas touch that makes people default to liking anything Pixar makes even if it really isnít gold material. This movie was very enjoyable. Itís adventurous, beautiful, and cute to the point of almost having a constant smile on your face throughout. But when placed in the midst of the Pixar collection, this one is not exactly gold . . . silver perhaps. From a different angle however, the fact that it is a Pixar product is what keeps it at silver and not something worse. In simple terms, itís a good movie but not as good as other Pixar gems.
As you would expect, the animation in this film is top notch. Priscilla pointed out that there was incredible detail in the animation. She also mentioned how the wisps (youíll know what they are when you see the film) were very reminiscent of one of the ghosts in the Jim Carrey version of A Christmas Carol (which happens to also be a Disney product). I was blown away by Meridaís sharp orange red hair. I know it might sound weird but for me, her hair was the most beautiful aspect of the movie. I would go as far as to say that itís the best animated hair ever. Yeah, itís that good! Well, it does help that she is just adorable. I mentioned to Priscilla before the movie even started that I was worried about missing a lot of it due to not picking up the accent that I sometimes have trouble with. Not to worry, it was easy to follow as it should be for the sake of the younger movie goers. The story was easy to follow as well. It is a good solid simple story with a decent amount of mystery and intrigue. The real treat are the characters starting with Miss Gorgeous Orange Hair, I mean Merida (Kelly Macdonald). Her parents were also very entertaining played by Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson. Not bad, right? And then there are the three little brothers that just steal the screen whenever theyíre on. And yeah, same orange red hair for those little guys too. For an animated film, it does a good job capturing the early Scottish culture. It is also a good job by the directing team of Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, and Steve Purcell. Only Brenda has directed another major feature film, The Prince of Egypt, so not bad for this team. And yet another good job was done with the selection of the brief cartoon prelude to the film. It was pure magical goodness that will touch your imagination and your heart.
By Cine Marcos
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