08 April 2016

Movie Review: "Brave"

Rated: PG for some scary action and rude humor
Starring: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, and Emma Thompson
Released: 2012
Synopsis: Merida is not your typical princess.  She can shoot arrows with the best of them, and she detests the custom that requires her to marry a prince.  She and her mother are constantly butting heads, and it drives Merida insane.  After the two get into an altercation, Merida finds a witch who gives her a spell to change her mother.  When it takes effect, Merida's mother is definitely changed...into a bear.  Desperate to undo the spell and bring her mother back, Merida seeks out the witch that sold her the spell...but she is nowhere to be found.  Will Merida be able to undo the spell, or will her mother remain a wild grizzly?

The Good: The animation in this movie is excellent; then again, this is a Pixar flick.  Merida is a likable, yet flawed, character, and definitely a strong heroine.  The film alternates between humor and touching scenes, but they're all well done.  I enjoyed the voice work, too.

The Bad: Though this was a fun movie, it isn't the kind of epic we've come to expect from Pixar.  It seems to borrow too much from previous Disney movies, ranging from their various princess flicks to the most recent version of Freaky Friday.  Now that great computer animation is rather commonplace--seriously, you can find it in television cartoons these days--you need more than that to sell a movie.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: A man moons other men; nothing is seen.  A boy grabs an item from inside a woman's cleavage. A woman is embarrassed to be wrapped in only a tapestry with guys around. 3/5
  • Nudity: Cleavage; shirtless guys; bare buttocks without any critical areas; a woman wrapped in a tapestry. 3/5
  • Language: Name-calling; nothing more. 4/5
  • Violence: A bit of comedic violence, alongside some that's more serious; two bears fighting is probably the worst of it. 3/5
  • Drugs: Implied drinking. 4/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: The bears fighting; emotional intensity. 3/5
  • Other: Fairy-tale-style magic is used; some crude humor, i.e., burping. 3/5
Conclusion: At one point in my life, I had seen every single movie Pixar had made...but, that was back in 2007, when Cars was their latest film; Brave is the first one I've seen since Toy Story 3.  I've been meaning to get around to seeing others, especially Monsters University, but I just haven't.  I had heard that this wasn't quite as epic as their other films...and, in this case, what I heard was right.  Still, fans of princess movies or Disney flicks in general likely won't be disappointed.

Score: 3.5/5

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