I love PIXAR, those three words just say it all. Since their first big leap to the big screen with the beloved TOY STORY in 1996, I haven't doubted for a second that PIXAR produces quality, and only quality work of the highest callibre. Having highly anticipated BRAVE from the day it was announced, and being a genuine lover of all PIXAR films, I entered with extremely high expectations, I was anything but disappointed.
BRAVE centers around Princess Merida, a teenager determined to make her
own path in life, defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom.
Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery
skills to undo a beastly curse.
Yet another outstanding, excellent and absolutely beautiful release
from PIXAR, BRAVE exceeds in every aspect imaginable. Each character is
lovingly crafted with depth, vividness, heart and sheer fun, while it's
cast is unique, skilled and overly qualified in every way. Kelly
Macdonald does a superb job with Merida's voice work, capturing the
sense of teen youthfulness perfectly, while giving an exceptionally
heartbreaking performance near the end of the film. It's plot is highly
inspired and original, if a bit Disney-fied, made interesting with an
unexpected twist, that had me hooked from the film's opening.
Despite being early marketed as quite a dark film, BRAVE features hefty
amounts of stellar humor and memorable gags that literally had me, and
certainly my packed theater, in stitches. Much of this humor originates
from the triplets, Merida's three little brothers, who often get up to
mischief, and are the cutest animated humans I have ever seen in a
PIXAR film. With slapstick to appeal to both the young and old, verbal
humor that will keep the grown-ups on their toes, and on-screen gags
that leave you breathless in laughter, BRAVE will give you as many
laughs as any other comedy this year.
PIXAR doesn't fail to impress when it comes to visuals, and BRAVE is no
exception. Beautifully animated are the plains of Scotland, the CG
forests on the outskirts of the kingdom, the intensely vivid characters
and even Merida's beautifully textured hair. So it goes without saying
that BRAVE succeeds with it's almost magical visual style, contributing
to an equally stunning and immersive 3D experience.
But most impressive of all, was the emotional punch that BRAVE managed
to pack. We know that PIXAR has left us emotional wrecks, one time or
another after viewing one of their films, TOY STORY 3 has always been
one to reduce me to tears (BRAVE was no different), but BRAVE, above
all, does so in such a magical way. The films really is about Merida's
relationship with her mother, a relationship that is so easily
relatable to me as an audience member, and really how having a strong
relationship with your parent can change your fate/life. A lesson
reminiscent in FINDING NEMO, told beautifully in more depth here in
So, easily said with an overly talented cast, spectacular visuals and
beautiful animation, fully immersive 3D experience, comedy just as
golden in every sense, characters with heart, and a plot+moral with
soul, BRAVE is a purely magical animated treat by the wizards of PIXAR,
and definitely the best of the year so far.