Directors: Brenda Chapman & Mark Andrews
Brave abandons Pixar’s usual bromance formula for the mystical realm of teenage angst. Set in ye olde Scotland, the story follows Princess Merida, voiced by Kelly Macdonald, and her glorious ginger hair*, as she attempts to break free from her royal destiny. The proverbial free spirit, Merida refuses to be chained by matrimony, which causes all sorts of animated upheaval. A bit of wholesome family fun for the flat, if you’re into that.
The film is ridiculously good looking, but disappointingly 3D doesn’t actually make the scenery real. The limited cast supports the mother-daughter vibe of the film. The voice work of Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, and Emma Thompson was joyful. Can I purchase an accent at The Scottish Shop please? Worthy of mention was the lack of a traditional Prince Charming [insert Feminist Fist Pump here]. It is seriously refreshing to see a strong, independent red-haired princess who don’t need no man.
The plot of Brave has the potential to frustrate. An unexpected twist cements it as a “family film”, limiting its appeal. Instead of a traditional villain, Merida must fight the internal sins of pride and selfishness. This is inspiring. And boring.
Brave almost hits its target. Although an average story can be overlooked when the characters and animation is Pixar pretty, the film won’t make your brain explode. Brave is better than most kids’ entertainment, but it’s not Toy Story. Watch with as much pseudo-Scottish pride as you can muster from the streets of Dunedin.
*Please note I did not use the word ‘feisty’ to describe a red headed character. Please send journalistic awards to the Critic office.