Review: Disney Pixar’s Brave

Not long ago a friend of mine and I finally got around to watching Brave at a theatre close by. We both loved Disney Pixar films in general and we were both intrigued with this latest project. So after reworking through two very busy schedules we both finally found an opening and made a trip. Below is the trailer that has been going through the advertising circuits lately:

Essentially the story is about a young lady whose destiny as dictated by tradition is to marry someone and be a wife. But she is adverse to this fate and destiny and will do what she can to not only counter it but change it completely.

Merida, the lady in question, is a bit of a handful as it would appear: free spirited, a well established archer, and fiercely independent… not to mention a twinkle in her father’s eye. But when her mother essentially forced Merida to wait upon three “suitors”… well let’s just say that Merida and her father were less than pleased.

But then when you have suitors like these… most women would run for the high hills.

So how did Merida attempted to get through this little conundrum of hers? Well she suggests that the suitors win her hand in marriage via an archery contest.

Needless to say her mother was none too pleased with her daughter and in retaliation Merida runs away from her parents’ home and was led by a series of magical forest wisps:

Only to find herself face to face with a witch who conjures spells that could help her change her fate:

Meanwhile her mother attempts to tell Merida her side of the story with her husband pretending to be Merida:

So it would appear that you have the majority of the story right there, complete with a happy ending and etc. However, as much as you appear to know the story from all the clips and trailers that are sent throughout the internet and commercial spots… when you see the actual movie you find out that you really don’t know much at all.

First there is a story as to how Merida’s father, Fergus, lost his leg.

And even though it is just a story to help the audience understand what had happened… one will find that when watching the movie, there are a lot of storyline points that return to this ‘story’.

Eventually the story expands out so you find out more of the background and how it all happened and as an audience member you start to see how the past can be applied to the present. Or rather the present setting of the film.

The film itself clocks in at around an hour and a half and there is a lot of story and ground to cover in that time, but at no time did the pacing see rushed. In fact I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. The trailers and TV spots may give you an idea of what the movie is about, and it does a very good job in doing that, but one thing that my friend and I noticed was just how much you didn’t really know about the movie until you go to the theatre to watch it.

There was so much to see and understand and relish. Although the central theme is changing one’s fate and destiny, the secondary theme is the love and connection of family and how pride could break if not outright destroy that.

All in all, this is a movie I rather enjoyed. I wouldn’t consider this as one of the best, but this is a rather strong film in the grand scheme of things and one that I have no qualms of purchasing for myself down the road. And as always, no Pixar film is complete without John Ratzenberger, who also has a speaking role in this film. 🙂