Brave Movie Review (Awesome****)
Review by Variety
Walt Disney began his feature career with a princess story. Now Pixar gives princesses a go after making a dozen other toons, and though the studio brings its usual level of perfectionism and heart to the assignment, “Brave” seems a wee bit conventional by comparison with, say, how radically “The Incredibles” reinvented the superhero genre — not that Pixar’s eager international following will object. Adding a female director to its creative boys’ club, the studio has fashioned a resonant tribute to mother-daughter relationships that packs a level of poignancy on par with such beloved male-bonding classics as “Finding Nemo.”
Though going all girly has made parent company Disney skittish in the past (most recently retitling its Rapunzel adventure “Tangled” to play to crossover interest), this new Celtic princess comes off as enough of a tomboy to ensure near-universal appeal. As its title suggests, “Brave” offers a tougher, more self-reliant heroine for an era in which princes aren’t so charming, set in a sumptuously detailed Scottish environment where her spirit blazes bright as her fiery red hair.
Review by THR
The season’s latest feature destined to boost the demand for kids’ archery lessons, Brave might disappoint many ardent Pixar loyalists while simultaneously delighting old-time Disney fans. The 13th animated feature from the world’s most consistently successful film company is its first set in that version of the past forever favored by Disney, that of princesses, kings, queens, witches, evil spells and prankish secondary characters. For all its pictorial and vocal beauty, the film’s emotional line and dramatic contrivances are both more familiar and less inventive than what’s usually delivered by the studio. Younger kids won’t mind, but many viewers accustomed to relying upon Pixar for something special will feel a sense of letdown due to the lack of adventurousness. A muscular box office ride is virtually a given.
Review by Quick Flix
Disney Pixar’s Brave is the powerhouse studio’s first non-sequel since 2009, and a marked improvement over Cars 2 (their first legitimately bad endeavour). Though it features some of the most exquisite animation ever put to film, it falls short of the benchmark set by the peerless triptych of Ratatouille, WALL-E, and Up released at the end of the last decade. In fact, it may only place above the Cars instalments if we were to rank their movies from one to thirteen. But we are talking about Pixar here. A disappointment from them is a one that doesn’t propel you backwards to the halcyon days of your youth – a’la Anton Ego in Ratatouille – and leave you blubbering with tears of joy. On its own merits, Brave is perfectly pleasant.
The silky-voiced Scot Kelly Macdonald gives life to Princess Merida, raven-haired daughter of King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson). Around the turn of the 10th century, her parents promise to marry her off to one of the sons to the kingdom’s three lords (Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane). The suitors are, expectedly, not at all suitable for Merida’s hand.