8 Jul 2012


Three very important ladies in my life were very excited to see this movie. As two of them are of Scottish descent, a Pixar movie about a wild Scottish Princess caused a great deal of excitement. Their enthusiasm and enjoyment was so great, even the fact that the sweets and drinks cost almost as much as the tickets themselves didn't phase me. (But no I won't be doing that again)
Scottish supporters through and through

And here is the synopsis of Brave:

Princess Merida is the oldest daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor. All her life she has endured her mothers lessons in etiquette. What she really wants to do is explore the highlands, practise her archery and ride her horse Angus.With all the endless lessons in needle work, history, and manners and the fact that her naughty wee brothers are free to cause as much miscued and mayhem as they like, Merida doesn't doesn't really think that her life is very fair. But then her mother tells her some news which makes her realise that her life is about to get much worse.

Que Highland Hijinx

Pixar have a good pedigree of films behind them;  WALL-E, A Bugs Life, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo,  and of course  Toy Story  to name a few. The reason they make such good movies is that they write excellent characters that are credible and have a lot of heart. (A friend of mine once said she could not believe she was crying so much over a little robot like  WALL-E.)  But they also use cutting edge technology, good voice talent and have great stories.And Brave is an excellent addition to Pixar films.

Kelly MacDonald played Merida, with Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson playing her father and mother respectively.  Kevin McKidd, Robbie Coltrane and Julie Waters all give their voices to a grand cast of characters. And they all do an excellent job.  Kevin McKidd  played both the parts of Lord MacGuffin and also Lord MacGuffins son, the unintelligible young MacGuffan. Apparently he spoke an actual Scottish dialect known as  Doric, which is spoken in Kevin McKidds home town. A wee bit of trivia for you.

In regards to the story it would be easy to dismiss the story as the same old hackneyed theme of a young woman feeling constrained by societies role for her. A young independent woman who wants more to life than what fate has set out for her. But Merida's tale is not a tired rehash at all, this is her storey and she owns it. Unlike the many modern depictions of independant women in movies, you believe in Merida and you want her to pull through in the end. Also unlike many repetitive versions of this theme there is more substance to it. But I won't give any spoilers away.

This is the first Pixar film to be a period piece and also with a female lead. But Pixar is a company that is always trying new ideas, and as usual it has paid off. I found  Brave to be engaging, funny and at times rousing, and above all entertaining.

I give it 7 and a half Gaelic Munkeys!

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