highbrowse.ie
  Twitter Facebook
  Now Showing Coming Soon All Films
Brave

Brave

Released 3 August 2012
Director

Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
Starring



Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Kevin McKidd, Robbie Coltrane, Craig Ferguson, Julie Walters
Writer(s) Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell, Brenda Chapman, Irene Mecchi
Producer(s) Katherine Sarafian
Origin United States
Running Time 100 minutes
Genre Animation, adventure, action
Rating PG
84

Hits the mark.

Pixar has become somewhat of a demi-god when it comes to CGI animation, so much so that it has led some circles to garner unrealistic expectations as to how every single film they produce ought adhere to. I suppose this is natural enough when their only real failure has been the expensive sequel to Cars. The other ten films have all been considered groundbreaking by their own right and, while it doesn't quite reach the dizzying heights of that pedestal, Brave conjures up a suitably fantastical spectacle that will entertain all audiences, both young and old.

Set in the highlands of Scotland during the Middle Ages, the time has come for young Princess Merida to marry one of the neighbouring three major clans' eldest sons. But Merida isn't your average princess, preferring the exuberance of archery and adventure to the royal luxury of plays and fine-dining, much to the frustration of her mother, the Queen. So when Merida stumbles upon a witch, she takes the opportunity to cast a spell that will alter the outcome of her fate, little realising that the implications could have a more resounding impact on the complexities of her dysfunctional family.

There are many great things about this film. By all accounts, the story is quite formulaic but what does that matter as long as it is done well? Funny, charming and well-paced, anyone who doesn't have a smile on their face come the rolling credits needs to reassess how they approach their cinematic viewing. The best aspect, though, is the fact that, like a lot of Pixar flicks, it is not afraid to mix the rough with the smooth and there are plenty of frightening moments to add to the rollercoaster of a child's emotions. Fantasy or not, the animations that substitute depth for fluff are the ones that inevitably earn the most recognition.

In all honesty, it's difficult to immediately find a fault and I'm certainly not going to go looking for one. Even the 3D offered a little more than most other helpings I've had of the money-spinner in the past, which isn't saying a lot but it's something. Pixar may not have been all that courageous in this one but Brave is a safe bet to be another success for the company.

- David Caulfield