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