“Brave,” the newest PIXAR/Disney animated movie, featuring the voices of Kelly Macdonald as Merida, Billy Connolly as Fergus, her father, and Emma Thompson as Elinor, her mother, remains true to PIXAR’s non-typical fairytale princess stories. It is about a girl who, unhappy with her requirement to marry, decides to change her fate and turns her mother into a bear.Despite the fact that PIXAR is now a subsidary of Disney, Merida is, thankfully, not a typical Disney princess. While I have no quarrel with the classic Disney princess, it was wonderful to have a different form of love in Merida’s life; familiar instead of romantic.
Overall, “Brave” was a humorous, solid story with amusing characters. The voice-acting was quite good, and the Scottish accents authentic, a definite plus. There are some minor plot issues; the animation was admirable in most parts, ( except for Merida’s horse, which did not move at all like one).
Story-wise, “Brave” had some bumps. It would have been better if the plot had focussed more on the mother-daughter struggle and less on the “villain” Mordu, who wanders in and out of the plot apparently when the director felt a bit of action was needed. His initial appearance, in the opening scene, is fine, it helps show the entire range of reactions between father, mother, and daughter. It’s hard to even call Mordu a villain, as he really just goes about attacking people.
My other quarrel was with the deus ex machina feel to the ending.The spell that is placed on Elinor appears rather finicky. In order for Elinor to turn back into a human, she and her daughter need to repair their relationship . Merida and Elinor, despite bonding early on, never seem to quite hit upon the exact requirement to break the spell. It is only when Merida begins to cry that Elinor returns to being human. It is meant to be touching, but it is more annoying than anything else.
This may not be the top film in the PIXAR roster, but it is certainly enjoyable, and does point out the importance of family; romance can wait until one is ready.