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BRAVE - A Review of the Movie

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“Some say our destiny is tied to the land, as much a part of us as we are of it. Others say fate is woven together like a cloth, so that one's destiny intertwines with many others. It's the one thing we search for, or fight to change. Some never find it. But there are some who are led.” ~ Merida

I initially saw a clip from BRAVE last year at the D23 Expo event in California. It intrigued me. Who is this princess full of attitude, adorned with long curly red hair and has the ability to shoot an arrow like no other? Ever since then, I have been looking forward to seeing the movie.

Simply put, it was everything I thought it would be, and more.

I could relate to Merida, her mother, and their struggle. The story of this Disney "princess" is not the typical damsel in distress but is a wee bit like Mulan - wanting to break tradition and be the woman she is inside. Such is a young and VERY head strong Merida.

The story is set in the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland where we meet feisty Merida (voice by Kelly Macdonald) who insists on changing her royal destiny. Her mother, Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson), is steeped in adhering to royal Scottish traditions. The conflict of mother and daughter are the focus of the movie.

King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly), who gave his daughter a bow and arrow at a very young age, enjoys his merriment and hanging out with the clansmen and lords. The triplet brothers are quite funny and could have had a more prominent roll in the movie.

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I was quickly caught up into the 3D version of the movie and soon forgot I was watching an animated feature - the characters, especially Merida, felt very real.

The movie has humor and is intense at times. I did not see coming the twist that put Merida and the Queen on such an perilous and dangerous journey. Without giving too much away the story does come full circle at the end.

BRAVE is rated PG for some scary action and rude humor.

Boys will enjoy the archery segments, suspense and the scenes in the castle with the lords bonding.

There were some intense scenes that may scare little ones. I did speak to one mother of 3 when the movie was over who said her 2 year old "loved it". She recommend reading the book to your young ones to prepare them for the movie.

I'm ready to see it again.

Let me know what you think of BRAVE by leaving a comment below! (Movie SPOILERS are included in some of the comments)

A new Pixar short “La Luna,” precedes the showing of BRAVE. Without real speaking La Luna tells a heartwarming story that has you smiling at the end.

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In the Parks:

Merida is making appearances at both Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom and Disneyland. In Epcot now thru July 8th, children can participate in the Highland Games Tournament.

Contest:

Disney.com Invites Guests to Enter the Brave: Adventure to Scotland Sweepstakes
a Chance to Win a Family Trip to Explore the World of Disney•Pixar's Epic Action Ad For venture “Brave”


Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures - Directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, and produced by Katherine Sarafian, “Brave” is a grand adventure full of heart, memorable characters and signature Pixar humor. Opened June 22, 2012, in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters.

The previous post in this blog was Disney California Adventure Reopens!.

The next post in this blog is Happy 15 Years Off Kilter!.

Comments (42)

Paula:

DH and I (60ish) took our niece and her 3 DC (11,10,8) to the non-3D. Our niece is blind and I never felt I did justice to the wonderful visual artistry of the film in describing it to her. Merida sounds JUST like some teenagers I know – spoiled and whining – thinks she can fix it all. I loved the humor in the witch’s character and the Eleanor characteristics shown by mother bear – great details. We liked not having the usual “they lived happily ever after” because life is not like that. We also loved the La Luna short – but more after it was complete than while we were trying to figure out what was happening – especially explaining to a non-vision person.

Amy:

We saw Brave on the Disney Fantasy last week. My 10 and 11 year old daughters were really looking forward to it. We were all disappointed! They thought that it was quite scary and my husband and I were bored. We left feeling quite frustrated. The Luna short was really good however.

Erika Loboda:

Just saw Brave onboard the Disney Magic! What an awesome experience. The movie was even introduced by Steve Purcell, one of the writers/directors of the film. All in our party really enjoyed the movie!

michael:

sorry, guess i am in the minority
did not like the movie much
visually spectacular, love the witch, wisps of the willow, and most of the tribes and characters
the problem? the princess
nothing but a spoiled brat who eventually got her way, yes, got her way by casting a spell on her mother, turning her into a bear, and almost destroying an entire nation

did she finally learn a lesson and give up her childish ways and accept the duty of a princess as she should have? no! no penalty or sacrifice made to atone for what she did

very poor lesson, misbehave all you want, cast a spell on your mum, nearly destroy a kingdom, and still get what you want???????:?

Sandi:

My daughters and I saw Brave this afternoon and enjoyed it so much!!! My 12 year old said she won't EVER wish for me to "change" (we'll see!) and my 9 year old LOVED the triplets, mostly when they were bears. I kept wondering how a Prince Charming was going to be found, and was pleased that for once, that was unnecessary. I love the strong female characters and their relationship. I, also, would have enjoyed more music and humor, but overall, this movie will be a nice collection to the library. (I had the thought at the very beginning when the lamp tamps down the Pixar I, how much I miss Steve Jobs. I cried, again, to see the movie was dedicated to him...)

Hayley Sims:

Great review! Can't wait to take my nieces this weekend to see it. Sounds like Merida will be a great role model for young girls!

Heather:

I took my girls to see Brave today and we enjoyed it. There were definitely some parts that scared them (ages 6 & 9) but they both said they really liked it. I was surprised by the story line and thought it was interesting. My girls liked that Merida was tough enough to take care of her own problems. Definitely a refreshing change to the traditional princess movie. We are heading to Disneyland soon and meeting Merida is high on our list.

Danielle Q:

Loved 'Brave'!! Pixar did an amazing job with the scenery. I found the story very heartwarming, it really emphasized the mother-daughter conflicts that occur in normal (and nonroyal) families. I thought that the music was just incredible in this movie as it used a great deal of Scottish/Celtic instruments. There is also a huge amount of Celtic knot work found throughout the film.

Janet:

Perhaps part of the reason I loved Brave is because I have a spunky, curyly red-headed daughter! I think I'd love it anyway though. Is it the greatest with the catchiest music you sing for hours later, no - but I found it very entertaining!!

Christie:

My two year old daughter loved it. She jumped at a few parts, typically coinciding with Mor'du. She told me about ten times "mama turned into bear!" during the movie. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie but it may have been because it was my little one's first theater experience and she did wonderfully!

M:

Brave was good. I do think toy Story 1,2,3 and Up were better buy still a great Pixar movie. Not just a girls princess movie for sure!

Virginia:

I loved it! The storyline was original and even though I expected a happy ending, it is a Pixar/Disney movie, I really didn't know how Merida was going to solve her problem. I especially liked the computer animation. Merida's curls and the horses mane moved as if it they were real. I fully intend to buy the sound track. Great movie all around.

Theresa Konno:

Took my 10 year old daughter last Sunday. She is in love with both the movie and Merida, but I must confess I left the movie theater a little bit frustrated.
First because I think the story is weak, not enough to hold my interest for the whole time. Second I took pity on the parents who had to leave halfway through with teary children.
I know the movie is PG 13 and that the warnings for the violent scenes are out there, but it's Disney and so many kids were expecting this movie.
The quality of the animation is superb, sometimes you even forget it's an animated feature, but it really didn't catch my fancy.

Nevertheless ,as mentioned before, I went there for my daughter and she loved it, so no regrets! =)

Christine:

Saw Brave today. I did enjoy it and thought it was a good movie but it wouldn't make the list as one of my favorites. Animation and scenery was great. Enjoyed the story but I would have liked a little bit more humor and music.

Rachel:

I, too, thought it was a beautiful movie visually. Having been to Scotland I thought it was neat how they incorporated some of the traditional Scottish things, like haggis and the Highland games. Agree that it wasn't the strongest story-wise and I would have loved to see more of the triplets! Perhaps an additional DVD short a la Tangled Ever After is in the works?

Greg Gosnell:

It was a Disney princess movie... But in a good way, Merida didn't accept her destiny and wait for the fate to save her from despair, she executed her life the way she felt like it should be. Despite the thoughts and mindsets of her primitive minded parents, she became, in a sense, her own suitor. The movie was fantastic and, if asked, I would give it a solid 8/10, not the best Disney movie, but in no sense of the word, be frowned upon by the Disney Company, I would definitely see it again.

Susan Kuster:

Hubby & I went to see it yesterday - we were the only people in the theatre, so I guess you could say we had a 'private viewing'! Loved the movie! Can't wait to buy it on DVD.

Eric :

Saw Brave on Sarurday. Much different approach by Pixar but thoroughly enjoyable! Especially for the little princess.

Barbara Sims:

Loved it!! Pixar definitely hit another one out of the park!

Heather:

At first, I wasn't in love with the 3D aspect of the movie. I tend to find it a little distracting. However, as I got more drawn into the story (and yeah - it took a while for that because it moves SLOW in the beginning), I found myself forgetting all about the 3D and just falling in love with the characters. The triplets were hysterical, and I loved the whole exploration of the mother daughter relationship. Nice to see a change from the focus on princess finding her prince type story.

Vicki:

I was definitely looking forward to Brave, because the Princess apparently wasn't going to rescued by a Prince, that she was strong and independent, and just to see the scenery only Pixar can create.

Like others, I felt the story was a little thin and quickly tired of Merida's whining. Independent and stubborn are not the same thing. I would have enjoyed seeing more of the Bear Brothers -- they certainly were featured frequently in commercials.

La Luna was a lovely short. The story, told without actual words, was inventive and enjoyable. I smiled throughout. Now, when I look at the moon I'll think of the men with beards that looked like their cleaning tools and a young boy's first cap.

Without fail, no matter the movie, I always sit through the entire credits. One, to show appreciation for everyone who worked on the film, and two, to see if there's a final scene.

Laura:

LOVED "Brave"! I too, saw the presentation of this movie at the D23 Expo. I have really been looking forward to this movie ever since. It was visually stunning. I kept looking and thinking is this real, in some parts. The characters were so fun, and Merida! I think she is right up there as one of my favorite princesses. Can't wait to go back. There are details to be seen! I have to find that planet pizza truck and A113! Also, "La Luna"! What a nice surprise. Had no idea! The new gem. Completely in love with that little short! =)

April Reynolds:

I was pleased to see a strong willed princess character, who like Tiana, was willing to work towards her goals on merit and ability, not just reliance on others. However, I was most excited to see a strong mother character. So many of the previous movies have focused on evil step mothers, the loss of a mother, or have left her completely missing. Elinor and Merida's story was unexpected but exactly what Pixar needed to add to their legacy of great story telling.

vanessa gordon:

I loved the fact a Prince did not have to "Come to the Rescue" ! I can't wait for my grand daughter to grow big enough for a Merida Dress, she has the crazy curls now, and is only 16 months old !

Michelle:

I agree that the animation was amazing but also felt the story wasn't as developed as most Pixar movies. Seemed like it was 'Brother Bear' meets 'Mulan'. I am excited to see Wreck It Ralph. Not sure how I feel about a Monsters prequel though.

Michelle B.:

I really enjoyed the movie, and the short was cute. No one has mentioned it yet, but if you stay past the end credits there is a little scene that is quite humorous.

Nancy:

I really loved it, especially the animation. I thought the characters were fun and engaging with just the right amount of annoying thrown in.

Trying to thoughtfully consider why some folks are not drawn to the story. When I look at the other films, some of the stories have basis in parent/child conflict (Nemo, Mermaid)and perhaps it is overdone a bit, but this is mother/daughter which has not been covered before. And as adults, we need to remember that these are children's movies after all and not all of them will have more complex stories and messages to consider like Wall-E and Up. Sometimes we need the ones that are more simply told but beautifully executed.

And what better reminder to all young girls to be careful about wishing your mother would change, and perhaps being more open to changing yourself.

I say well done Disney and Pixar!

Lisa:

While I do enjoy Pixar movies, this was not my favorite. I thought it was okay, just not great.
It had a lot of funny moments and some scary ones, too.
My favorite was La Luna, the Pixar short.
I can always count on Pixar to make me cry at least once at their movies.
Thank you Pixar for an amazing short!

Jane:

My daughter (10--with crazy brown hair like Merida's) and I loved Brave! It was such a refreshing change from the love story princess, and we both really enjoyed seeing the bond between Merida and Elinor. As a single mom, I did shed a tear or two though. I agree that the triplets could have had a larger art in the movie,as they were very funny!

Kevin:

My wife, my 11 year old son & I saw "Brave" at the drive-in. I want to see it again to appreciate some of the details and animation (not as clean on a drive-in screen). My son enjoyed the movie, but he especially enjoyed the triplets leading the clans on a wild-goose (wild-bear?) chase through the castle, with a fun ending to hunt (and creative use of kilts). We highly recommend it!

Randy:

I liked it, but not in love with the movie. I am a huge disney/pixar fan and was looking forward to this movie for a long time. the Scenery was so beautiful as was the action. I thought the characters were all very strong. I just thought the story was a little weak. I kept thinking it was going somwhere but never quite got there. Don't get me wrong, it was good, and glad i went. but i guess maybe i hold Disney to a higher standard than others and to me this movie did not have the story that UP, Wall-E and other disney movies had.
I did love the short before. So sweet and very well done. I also was very excited to see Monster Inc. trailer as well.
all in all i'd give a thumbs up, but just seemed something was missing.

jim:

Great movie. nice to see different Disney style other than Princess + Prince = happily ever after

Kate:

I saw it this past weekend (and dragged the boyfriend along) and thought it was...alright. To me, it just was missing something - it didn't have the special magic touch that Up or Wall-E had that made both of those (and many other Pixar films) so special. I think one of the reasons I felt this way was the repetetive dialogue - there were many, many exmamples of Merida saying "this is not fair! it's not what I want!" etc, etc. The dialogue basically didn't seem as funny, sweet, etc as previous films and the writing didn't seem as sharp.

Visually, the film was great! My (30 y/o) boyfriend couldn't get over Merida's hair :-p It really did look amazing. I just wasn't as impressed with the story as much as I had been in the past. Maybe I felt the Mulan/Little Mermaid/fighting to break the rules or one's fate story had been rehashed too many times

Ashley:

We loved it! My DH, DS10, DD6. I loved that there was never a love story for Merida! It was a great movie. My daughter was a little scared at times

Amanda :

My daughter and I LOVED! Brave! Great great movie! And the scenery was so beautiful! Made it easy to forget it was animated. She was dressed in head to toe Merida! And La Luna is the best short ever! Couldn't keep from smiling! We already have plans to go back for a second viewing this week!

Rachael :

I took my two daughters (10 and 6) to see this on opening day. My oldest and I loved it, but halfway through, my youngest was ready to go. Guess she didn't get the gist of the movie. Merida is now my 2nd favorite princess, (after Cinderella, of course) because she fights for what she truly believes in.

Victoria:

I'm 20, and I loved it (so did my 20-year-old boyfriend)! I was excited to see it because of the strong and determined Merida - but I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that the movie was about the bond between mother and daughter (they did a good job of hiding this in the previews). The imagery in this movie was beautiful, and the film never had a dull moment. Disney/Pixar has done it, again!

Kelly Adkins:

I totally loved the movie. I shot an email to the Disney Corporation, telling them how much I enjoyed the movie. This is a definite must see. There were lots of kids and kids at heart there. All the children were so mesmorised by the movie that they were quiet and cheered at the end. I will be seeing it again.

Jennifer:

FANTASTIC! I was so excited to see the trailer the first time it was advertised and couldnt wait to see it. It could be scary for smaller children with the bear scene. I would recommend preparing smaller children for it and maybe chosing the regular showing as oposed to the 3D version. I was so glad to see Disney touching my heritage in a movie. Now just hoping there is a Scotland in the future for World Showcase at Epcot!

Susan:

My DS16 and I both really enjoyed it. As a teenage boy, he appreciated all of the action sequences. We both thought the animation was beautiful. Personally, I hope girls will appreciate Merida's independent spirit.

Lesley:

Love, love, LOVED it! Of course, I have always been about the princesses that don't wait around to be rescued. They just take charge and rescue everyone else. The is definitely Merida. She is now officially my favorite princess. She's an amazingly fiesty and spunky girl who loves her mom, even though it takes something drastic to make her realize just how much. My DD12 really enjoyed it as well.

Kaz:

My 8 year old daughter thought it was a little scary. We only made it through half-way. I don't think it was just the bear scene, I think she was a little spooked by the imagery early on.

The half I saw was good, however :)

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 22, 2012 9:20 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Disney California Adventure Reopens!.

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