Disney’s “Brave” Film Review

brave

Brave

Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson

Disney Pixar’s new movie, Brave, opens up with the illustrious Pixar short, “La Luna”. It’s quite magical and adorable.

Once the story begins, the authentic Scottish music sets the mood of a far away land full of lush greens. Here we meet Princess Merida, a skilled archer with bountiful red curls of hair. With this destiny-themed exposition, Merida tries to defy her mother’s wishes of marrying a suitor from one of the three clans. The clans, DunBroch, Dingwall, Macintosh, and MacGuffin, used to be enemies, but have found peace. With their past, some tension still arises when they all meet for the Highland Games, full of dancing and athletics such as the Caber toss and archery. The clans start to fight and it sets a humorous tone with bagpipes playing in the background and the silliness of how the men fight with biting and nipple twisting.

After a huge argument with the Queen, Merida rips her mother’s tapestry of their family and rides away into the forest on her horse, Ingis. She ends up in a circle of supernatural stones. Blue entities, called wisps, appear and Merida follows them to a secluded woodcarving cottage. The magic really emerges when Merida meets a witch who gives her a magical cake that will change her mother. Merida’s mother changes into the one thing her father despises. The triplets, with matching red hair, try to help Merida hide her mother from the clans. Merida regrets changing her mother and misses her.

Brave has more of a mother-daughter theme than the assumed feministic freedom that Merida craves in the beginning. This film is full of legends and magic. Although, there is a moral to Brave, it might not be suitable for all ages. It is quite violent and can appear a bit scary to young children. Brave returns to the aforementioned theme that you cannot run away from your fate, ending with the happy note of “mending the bond”. B+

2012 (c) Jennifer Gioia

“Ice Age 4: Continental Drift” Film Review

ice age 4

Ice Age 4: Continental Drift

Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary

Scrat the prehistoric squirrel is back with his nutty antics. While trying to store his acorn, he causes a continental cataclysm, which disrupts mammoth Manny (Ray Romano), Ellie (Queen Latifah), Peaches (Keke Palmer), sloth Sid (John Leguizamo) and saber-tooth tiger Diego’s (Denis Leary) community. After a massive earthquake, Manny, Sid, Diego, and Sid’s granny (Wanda Sykes) are set adrift on a piece of ice across the sea, while Ellie and Peaches lead the rest of the community to a landing that is supposed to be safe. The main theme is for the odd herd to find their way back home. Along the way, they run into an ice pirate ship captained by the cruel ape, Gutt. Gutt’s second-hand crewmate is a saber-tooth tiger by the name of Shira (Jennifer Lopez) who seduces Diego. The underlining theme is about Peaches trying to fit in with the other teenage mammoths that think she is weird from being half possum. Peaches’ crush, the popular mammoth Ethan, threatens herself to change who she is. This wacky adventure of Manny, Sid, and Diego involves sirens, Sid’s granny’s pet Precious, and little native rodents. Dreamworks does it again in the franchise’s fourth film with the hilarious, relatable dialogue. The ending credits include a wonderfully catchy song of all the characters about the love of family. A-

2012 (c) Jennifer Gioia

“Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” Film Review

Over the summer, I was interning at Hudson Valley Parent Magazine. My job was to review summer family films. This is the first of the three films I reviewed. It is directed more towards parents. The other two films I reviewed (that will be posted later this week) are “Ice Age 4: Continental Drift” and Disney’s new princess, “Brave”. Enjoy! :) Continue reading “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” Film Review