DIR: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman • WRI: Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell, Brenda Chapman, Irene Mecchi • PRO: Katherine Sarafian • ED: Nicholas C. Smith • CAST: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters
Once the epitome of originality and peerless brilliance, Pixar seems to be suffering from a lack of new ideas of late; their two previous releases were Toy Story 3 and Cars 2, and on their upcoming slate they have the 3D re-releases of Monsters Inc and Finding Nemo, with the former then getting a prequel and the latter rumoured to be getting a sequel. And now we have Brave, which from the trailers has it look like a princess-in-peril movie that would be more at home as a B-List entry from mid-80’s Disney, rather than from the people who gave us the immaculate Wall-E.
But as we know, trailers can be deceiving, with 90 amazing seconds causing us to part with our cash, only to end up watching 120 craptacular minutes. But with Brave the opposite is the case, since the trailers are dull and almost devoid of plot details, but the movie itself is full of emotion, action and visual wonder. And since Pixar decided not to reveal the major plot points of their movie, this review shall follow suit, but let’s just say that there is a lot more to this movie than initially meets the eye.
Merida (perfectly voiced by Kelly McDonald) is the daughter of King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), who are in the midst of organising her arranged marriage. But Merida has other ideas, so she runs away from home and into a witch (Julie Walters), who grants her one wish to help her change her fate. But this wish comes with disastrous repercussions, and its then up to Merida to right the wrongs she herself has caused.
As per usual, the visuals Pixar provide are astonishing, from the lush vistas of Scotland to the lush scarlet vibrancy of Merida’s hair, the film is never less than beautiful. At times the film is genuinely hilarious, properly scary and truly relatable, and while the story might a seem a tad basic next to the outlandishness of Up or The Incredibles, it has the feel of a company finding its footing again after the misstep of the Cars series. Here’s hoping that their next original outing puts them right back on top.
Rated PG (see IFCO website for details)
Brave is released on 3rd August 2012