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Brave (Pixar) - Review


Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

PIXAR’S latest marks a return to somewhere near their very best form after the relative disappointment of Cars 2. It’s also a film that pays charming homage to the style of classic Walt Disney as well as its own rich history.

Brave follows the fortunes of feisty, red-headed Scottish princess Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald) as she attempts to side-step an arranged marriage by turning to magic.

But the spell in question has dark repercussions for her mother (Emma Thompson), prompting Merida to set off on an unlikely adventure to try and reverse it before it becomes permanent.

Co-directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, Brave is notable for several reasons and not just because it’s the first Pixar film to feature a female heroine.

The look of the film is typically impressive while the mix of comedy and drama is up there with the company’s finest. And while by no means as risk-taking as, say, Wall-E or Up, it’s still got a playful sense of mischief and invention that puts a lot of other more bog-standard animated fare in the shade.

What’s more, it plays better to viewers who don’t know what’s coming, especially in terms of what the spell has in store… which starts out hilarious and ends up genuinely moving (as only Pixar know how).

In terms of character, the film scores highly too with Macdonald helping to create a memorable Merida and the likes of Thompson, Billy Connolly, Robbie Coltrane and Kevin McKidd all doing their bit to ensure their performances are larger than life.

Hence, while Brave doesn’t really aspire to the lofty ambitions of some of Pixar’s work in terms of hidden meaning and ability to work on both an adult and child’s level, it’s a more simple pleasure in the way that it entertains, perhaps deliberately evoking the fairytale spirit of Snow White-era Disney.

It can still be enjoyed by all ages but perhaps invites older viewers to tap into their inner child a little more too.

For these reasons and more, Brave is another entry into the Pixar canon of works that delights and enchants in equal measure, while looking certain to stand the test of time.

Running time: 100mins
UK Release Date: August 13, 2012