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an animated film directed by Brenda Chapman and Mark Andrews

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B for Brave

  • Jun 17, 2012


Directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman

Written by Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell, Brenda Chapman and Irene Mecchi

Voices by Kelly McDonald, Emma Thompson and Billy Connolly


Princess Merida: If you had a chance to change your fate, would you?


Not surprisingly in the least, Pixar’s 13th animated feature, BRAVE, is breathtaking from the very beginning. The sprawling Scottish highlands are already beautiful in their natural state but when Pixar uses their imagination and technical ability to recreate something, that place is reborn anew on screen. Ordinarily, they have the same ability to reinvigorate even the oldest of stories and this time around, they take aim at the very familiar princess archetype and while they do make BRAVE into an altogether compelling and rousing coming of age tale, I’m not sure I would call it an altogether brave effort.


Princess Merida (voiced by Kelly McDonald, who replaced Reese Witherspoon when she couldn’t do it, thank God) has always been more interested in playing with swords instead of playing with boys. Her father, King Fergus (Billy Connolly), encourages her while her mother, Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), strives every day to make her into a proper princess. In order to maintain the order of the land, Merida must marry one of the first born princes from the neighboring kingdoms, but Merida is adamant about not wanting to be any part of this. In fact, this is what Merida is best at, knowing what she doesn’t want as opposed to knowing what she does. This is why, when she pays a mysterious (and hilarious) witch to change her fate, she isn’t the least bit specific about how exactly she would like it to be changed. And so it is altered, but the question becomes, is this new path any better than the old one she was on or is it actually worse? And worse still, can Merida even make it back to her true path now that she’s embarked on this one?


BRAVE is efficiently told without a trace of fat to be found. And while there are no unnecessary distractions as a result, the whole thing feels a tad rushed and bit slight considering the pedigree putting it out there. That said, Pixar’s best efforts (especially for a film that changed directing hands, and subsequently changed direction drastically, half way through) do elevate BRAVE far past its minor shortcomings to be extremely enjoyable and exciting. Merida should stand strong and proud in the long line of great Pixar characters. She shows us and herself that our fates are living and breathing inside of us at all times; we need only be brave enough to see them and embrace them.

Thanks for reading.
LUNCH rating is out of 10.

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June 20, 2012
Great pictures!
June 19, 2012
when I saw the preview, somehow I was reminded of "How to Train your Dragon". I will eventually see this this coming weekend, but I think I'll see the other two major releases first. Thanks for this, I will feature this tomorrow.
More Brave (2012 film) reviews
review by . June 24, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Change Your Fate....Be Brave!
I have never been a huge fan of Pixar’s films. I liked them, but I’ve never exactly loved them; save for a select few such as “Ratatouille”, “The Incredibles”, “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 3”, most of their movies weren’t exactly for me. With their somewhat disappointing box-office take with “Cars 2”, I thought perhaps that Pixar may be slowing down. Well, sometimes, a little disappointment can make filmmakers go back to …
review by . July 12, 2012
By the end of this latest in an unbroken line of Pixar instant classics, you will have no doubt. From beginning to end, Brave displays the intelligence, honesty, and unflinching forthrightness that I think is the signature characteristic that makes Pixar movies both indelibly memorable and watchably funny and smart.      While Merida, the famously and fabulously red-headed coming-of-age princess, is the central character, I was drawn to her loving but overpowering queen mum as …
review by . July 17, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Generally speaking, Pixar movies are usually fantastic movies.  They're not movies that are just "good."  They're often great.  Really great and they often stand out because of their fantastic and heartwarming stories.  Brave marks a slight departure for Pixar as it goes against many of their typical formulas but that's okay.  It's what will eventually make Brave stand out more so than other Pixar movies.  That being said, Brave isn't quite …
review by . June 23, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         After taking a slight misstep last summer with the amusing but superficial Cars 2, the creative teams at Disney/Pixar have thoroughly redeemed themselves. Brave is an absolute joy – a seamless blend of spectacular animation, intelligent writing, and tremendous heart and imagination. Although its status as a 3D computer animated film modernizes it from a technical standpoint, its values are firmly rooted in the glory days of traditional cel …
Quick Tip by . September 08, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Y-A-W-N .......   Sorry, saw it in the afternoon and it didn't do much for me! Blame it on the lack of coffee!
review by . June 22, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
  Pixar has been one of the most brilliantly run studios in Hollywood for some time.  They churned out movie after movie which grossed them over 100 million dollars, sold more in toys, garnered critical acclaim, and won awards.   Their last endeavor Cars 2 was the only blemish on an otherwise perfect record.  It seemed that everyone who worked there was passionate about their projects and wanted to be there. The only complaint really being that it was considered …
About the reviewer
Joseph Belanger ()
Ranked #8
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … more
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About this movie



Genre: Adventure, Animation, Family
Release Date: June 22, 2012
MPAA Rating: G
Studio: pixar animation
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"B for Brave"
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