Review: Brave


  • Starring:  the vocal talents of Kelly Macdonald (No Country for Old Men), Billy Connolly (The Last Samurai), and Emma Thompson (Sense and Sensibility).
  • Directed by: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, and Steve Purcell
  • Synopsis: “A grand adventure full of heart, memorable characters and signature Pixar humor, “Brave” uncovers a new tale in the mysterious Highlands of Scotland where the impetuous Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald) defies an age-old custom and inadvertently unleashes chaos, forcing her to discover the meaning of true bravery before it’s too late.” (Collider)
  • Rated: PG for some rude humor and scary action
  • Trailer:

In great narrative style, Disney Pixar presents Brave, the story of a red-headed self-reliant Scottish princess named Merida who is determined to create her own fate and destiny as opposed to living out the one laid out for her by an overbearing parent. While on her “quest” for freedom, Merida unintentionally unleashes a beastly curse and is then forced to rely upon her bravery and strength in hopes of undoing the curse (And, no, this is not a review for The Little Mermaid, although I can understand the confusion). With fun characters and a slightly different direction than most of Pixar’s previous films, Brave is an adventurous, yet lacking, mystical tale of family and strength.

Pixar’s first heroine-focused full-length feature takes a slightly different direction than expected. But, while loaded full of familiar plot lines as it presents similarities to films such as Brother Bear, How to Train Your Dragon, and Tangled, the movie remains quite enjoyable. With themes of parenting, empowerment, and family, Brave focuses more on a mother-daughter relationship than anything else, yet still has something for all. Yes, it does focus on the princess who is not satisfied with the status quo and looks to find other means to fulfill some internal desire for a greater destiny, but Ariel…er, Merida’s story does go deeper through familiar yet variant means.

Brave is definitely different, yet, not necessarily in a bad way. With a blend of comic relief (Merida’s father and brothers), mysterious mythology, fun accents, archery, mischief, and magic, Brave takes a while to get going. The appeal in the first half is the spirit of the determined princess and the gorgeous animation placed in the Scottish backdrop. Once the plot takes off, the adventure takes over, yet the film still remains slightly mediocre as the main focus blurs amidst the background of a compelling set of themes. Brave: A family film that is good for all ages, but a little off the mark in terms of Pixar greats.

Full of wonder, the beautiful world that Pixar presents in Brave is a fun adventure to watch. From hearing the large grand tales of her father and others to creating her own, Merida finds the courage and inner strength she needs to be brave in search of the cure for the curse that threatens her family, her kingdom, and her freedom! Watch and enjoy Brave.

On the Pixar scale, it is much better than Cars 2, but far from Toy Story.

Score:  3.5 out of 5 stars for Brave

As Pixar tradition would have it, there is also a wonderful Pixar short that precedes the film (click HERE for a 30 sec sneak peek), along with a trailer for a new University-themed 😉 Pixar film that is coming soon! Get ready to enjoy!

Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!

T, The Focused Filmographer

up next: Review for ROCK OF AGES


  1. Skimmed over the review to the conclusion and rating, until I’ve seen the film.

    A bit saddened by it not getting a 5/5! Or at least a 4.5. Was hoping for the next bit Pixar film. Still, really looking forward to it. It’s still months away here!


  2. Great review, T. I’ve been reading some talks that this is a departure from Pixar’s usual stuff, but that’s a bummer that it’s not a *GREAT* film. I mean, I had been hoping since it’s Pixar’s first foray into female heroine that it’d be right up there w/ Toy Story. Ah well, glad to hear it’s still a good and enjoyable film.


  3. Hi T, I tried not to read too much about this one, i skipped down to the rating 😉 Like Ruth, I was hoping it would be totally awesome, i.e., a 4 or more. We may get to it yet this weekend or perhaps when I’m on vacation this week.


  4. Im glad u enjoyed it, although I definitely enjoyed it more than you. I also wouldn’t rate it above Toy Story or Toy Story 3 for that matter, but it was still a pretty enjoyable and fun family film.

    The mother and daughter relationship was my favorite part. I loved the scene towards the end when the strength a mother possesses to protect her child was revealed, and vice versa.

    I also enjoyed Merida’s hair. It was an character on its own…lol. Visually this movie was fun for me and I left smiling. I got what I expected from this movie, so it was A-ok with me 🙂


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