Thursday, 22 November 2012

Brave (2012) - ★★★★

Director: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Steve Purcell
Writers: Brenda Chapman (story), Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell, Irene Mecchi (screenplay)
Stars: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters

Disney has once again created a visually astounding, nice film that stays true to the methods that make them work so well. If there's one thing that separates it from most Disney films, it would have to be the non-existant romance in the film. The film at its core is about family values, in particularly the relationship between a child and their mother. It is neither boring nor breathtaking, it's just a really good movie.

The main character is Merida (Kelly Macdonald), a beautiful red haired Scottish princess who excels at both archery and horse riding. She very much takes after her father King Fergus (Billy Connolly), as she is not just a pretty face, but more a tom-boy. All her life she has been told by her mother (Emma Thompson) to act more like a princess, and when the time comes for her marriage to be arranged, the two have a fight which breaks what little bond they had with each other. Upset, Merida turns to a witch (Julie Walters) who conjurs a spell that would change her mother forever. The change was not what Merida was hoping for, so she has to try to find a way to fix the horrible spell inflicted on her mother.

The moral of this film is to 'listen' to the feelings of others. The whole mess began because neither of them could say what they truly felt, which paved the way for a feel good (and typical) bonding journey between mother and daughter. I will admit that the "witches curse" story is a bit done to death. It didn't feel the same as the others though, which can be attributed to both the setting and the curse itself.

Brave is absolutely beautiful from start to finish. It's amazing how far animated technology has come today, especially in regards to the hair. Wow. I mean I know a lot of time and effort was spent on the hair, but it was most definitely worth it. The same goes for the scenery. Some of the scenes were so realistic that my mother said "that must be real." Pixar did an amazing job with the whole ancient Scottish world, which made the story feel different to the others.

I can definitely see Brave earning Oscar nominations for the songs that were played throughout. Each of them beautiful, as are all of the songs from Disney. I found parts  absolutely hilarious, especially the scenes with Billy Connolly. I don't think it would have been half as fun had he not provided the voice of the king. I also found the witch to be one of the highlights of Brave.

All in all, it's far from the best film from Disney, as it didn't really bring anything new to the table other than the setting and improved technology. However, I found it really entertaining, astoundingly beautiful and a great film overall. This formula, no matter how many times it's been done, is always done well by Disney.

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