27. Brave (PG) - Runtime: 93 minutes
Starring: Kelly Macdonald, Bill Connolly, Emma Thompson
Director: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Steve Purcell
Writer: Mark Andres, Brenda Chapman, Steve Purcell, Irene Mecchi
I'm going to keep this one short - this was another fantastic Pixar movie. I keep doubting them to deliver, but even their most reviled movie to date - Cars 2 - I actually really, really enjoyed! Brave is just as fun and entertaining as all of the rest of their films.
This movie kind of surprised me - I had it on my list because I love Pixar and I knew I would at least enjoy this movie. But I couldn't gather where the story was going to take me from the trailers. Needless to say, the movie took a surprising turn a third of the way in and I really liked it. I wouldn't say the tale or story is completely original, but it was a unique tale that didn't rely on talking animals or cheap laughs.
Kelly Macdonald voices Merida, a very stubborn and independent girl who only wants to choose for herself her destiny. Of course, her overbearing mother wants her to stick with tradition and marry one of the other clansman to help strengthen the kingdom. But Merida refuses this path and stumbles upon a witch who grants her a spell - to change her mother's mind. Of course, the old saying is very much true in this story - be careful what you wish for!
The visuals are really amazing - they took the English/Scottish countryside and brought a level of mystique and ethereal quality to the landscape. It's a very colorful film and just simply beautiful. I don't think I've ever been so impressed by the setting and style of a family animated film. And the voice acting is superb (as usual) - Kelly Macdonald (Trainspotting, Boardwalk Empire) is a perfect fit for Merida.
This was an easy movie to enjoy - it moves along briskly and is completely funny and touching all at the same time!
Rating: Own It!