“If you had a chance to change your fate, would you?” Princess Merida, the strong female lead in Disney/Pixar’s latest project Brave surely would. In fact, she would go so far as to seek help from a
mysterious witch to do so. When the king and queen of their
kingdom put her on the spot to choose a man for her betrothal, she refuses to sit and watch. The fiery redhead steps in and takes control herself. Little does she know that her next few steps would bring about a series of events she would have never expected.
I had wanted to see this film since I saw the first preview on television. My family’s heritage is Scottish, so I was interested in that aspect, since the film is set in Scotland. There was also something about Merida that really drew me in. On the surface, it was probably her flowing, thick locks of red hair. But beyond that, it was her boldness, her lack of reservations, her confidence…her bravery (hence, the title of the film itself). Too many times, females are depicted as subservient and weak, and I’m really glad to see movies changing some roles around…but that’s another post for another time. Nevertheless, Merida is a standout figure in so many ways.
The Disney movies I remember from my childhood don’t have very many frightening or scary scenes. Mufasa’s death scene in The Lion King was super sad, but I don’t think I would go straight to frightening. I think Brave’s PG rating is fair. While there are no downright scary scenes, I do think some younger members of the audience might find a few of the fight scenes a little intimidating. I know that when I was that age, two giant bears fighting and clawing at each other would make me jump. The film is in no way dark, though, so no worries about nightmares or anything like that.
Even amidst the more serious tones of the film, there were moments of comic relief. Merida’s three younger brothers–identical redhead triplets–were always in the middle of some mischief, especially if it involved dessert. Dining room brawl scenes are always entertaining, as well. Nothing short of the Disney standard; the humor appealed to the intended audience very well. I heard oodles of giggles after several scenes.
Beyond the plot and story, the artwork, cinematography, and design were nothing less than Pixar perfect. All of the characters looked realistic (except I thought for a moment that the king could have been at least part giant), and they were voiced fantastically. I left the theatre feeling like I had to speak in a Scottish brogue for the rest of the day.
Overall, I think Brave lived up to all of my expectations. Disney/Pixar never fail to deliver exceptional performances, and I’m excited about their upcoming projects: Wreck-It Ralph, which is due out this November, and Finding Nemo 3D, which will be released for a limited time September 14.
P.S. I love that Disney is re-releasing its classics in 3D. Please do Aladdin and/or The Little Mermaid?