Review: Brave (2012)

Brave is the latest Pixar computer-animated movie, directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman and released under the Disney Pictures banner.

The story is set in Scotland and follows the adventures of Princess Merida who’s determined to defy her parents wishes that she marry the firstborn of one of the other clans. Her refusal to do so starts a feud between the clans, while in the meantime Merida asks the help of a witch with a spell that’s supposed to persuade her mother to leave her be, but turns out to be more of a curse. 

First and foremost, I will say this: the movie is visually stunning. From Merida’s gorgeous hair to the Scottish landscapes and the vivid colors, Brave was amazing to look at.

However, the story fell a bit short for me. Centered on the relationship between a mother – Elinor (Emma Thompson) – and a daughter – Merida (Kelly Macdonald) – with the added twist of a terrible curse, this is a veritable fairy tale. Which means that often times it’s predictable, both with the storyline and the jokes.

Even with the underlying life lessons – make mistakes and learn from them etc, Brave lacks real depth. It’s both too standard and, at times, cliché.

Although, none of that detracts from the movie being enjoyable and easy to watch. From Merida’s three younger brothers who cause mischief wherever they go, to her father’s obliviousness and the silly fights between the other three clans, Brave is genuinely funny at times.

No question about it, Brave is not the best movie Pixar made, but it’s still amusing, entertaining and a pleasure to watch.

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