Brave focuses on the plight of Merida, the feisty redheaded daughter of King Fergus, who is about to be wed in accordance to the age old customs. Merida however has other plans, and disrupts the process of choosing her husband with a display of archery that would put Katniss Everdeen to shame. Chastised by her mother and sent to her room, Merida escapes on her horse and accidentally stumbles upon the home of an eccentric old Witch, who claims she can change Merida’s destiny.
Of course things don’t go quite to plan, and soon Merida is desperately trying to undo all the trouble she has unleashed on her family and land.
As with most Pixar films, I’m always worried that they’ve bitten off more than they can chew, because some of the stories they’ve told, sounded just a little crazy, talking fish, talking cars, you get the picture. But without fail (and not counting the sequels) Pixar have never let me down.
Brave certainly has the look and feel of a Pixar film, with it’s lush visuals that draw you into the fantasy world that they have invented, but at it’s heart, the story is more of a Disney re-hash and lacks the creative storytelling that we’ve come to expect from Pixar.
Of course there is plenty to love about Brave, a strong heroine who has to learn her place in the world, plenty of humour and a few scary scenes (beware little children). But it’s the lack of originality that snuffs out the flickering light of delight that usually warms a Pixar film.
At least for me anyway.
Where past Pixar creations have been a joy for both myself and my children, it seems that Brave has entered the territory where the children will love it, but the parents may come away wondering what was missing.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read