Good day to ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another film review and this review will be on the latest animated film from Pixar, Brave.
Now as I said in some of my previous blog posts Brave is a film I have been interested in watching for quite some time, I think it was purely because it was very different-looking Pixar film when compared to their other films like the Toy Story films, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles or Up. Also with a lack of prior knowledge about this film it got me excited and curious to what the end result would be. So is Brave good? Heck yes, however it is not the next great Pixar I was hoping for.
As for the story of Brave it goes a little something like this:
“In the film, set in the Highlands of 10th-century Scotland, a skilled archer named Merida defies an age-old custom, causing chaos in her kingdom. After consulting a witch for help, her family becomes cursed and Merida is forced to undo the spell herself before it is too late.”
As Pixar’s first fairy tale it was pretty good. However I feel like Brave had a great concept that just wasn’t fully executed properly and what I mean by that is in the trailers we see that Merida is strong individual who just wants to live her life her own way and when she breaks tradition eventually she’ll have to do something that will test her as hero and undo the mistakes she makes. And the set-up for that in the film is great, everything in the first half of the film is incredibly well-done with genuine drama, emotion and humour. It ticks all of the right boxes and looks set to be another Pixar classic, however when you find out what happens in the second half of the film and the plot continues from there, the film’s awesome factor just drops significantly. It’s like the filmmakers had this great idea and if they followed through in a more adult fashion could it would have been brilliant, however the way the plot developed after the set-up just didn’t do it for me. Though Brave’s story still gets its main themes across in a great way talking about courage, communication, doing what’s right and the bond between a mother and daughter.
When it comes to characters everyone is wonderful, so let’s start with the main heroin, Merida voiced by actress Kelly Macdonald. She was awesome, Merida is a character that all young people can relate to, she’s adventurous, a free spirit and has a likeable personality, however she’s trapped by royal laws and tradition. So you can’t help but love her when defies tradition and stands up to her herself in front of her mother, she’s such a badass. Macdonald brings her A-game to this role and she was wonderful and I am so glad they got an actual Scottish lady to voice Merida too. Also Emma Thompson as Queen Elinor was utterly wonderful, though she did come across as a very cruel mother because of the rules and regulations that she kept in place for her daughter, you could see that she was a concerned mother who only wanted the best for Merida and Thomas done a great job and her accent was good too. And Billy Connolly as King Fergus was really awesome, he was the more relaxed parent of the two who let Merida live how she pleases and he had some very funny scenes in the film too from the way he is around his family to the way he acts around the other clan members. All the rest of the other cast members were great too.
Here you can see Pixar balanced the detailed yet caricature styled for their characters in Brave.
Now one best things about Brave is the visual presentation, it is simply flawless. Everything looks so beautiful, so detailed, so full of life and vivid in colour. Having the film set in a place like Scotland was a great choice, it allowed for some really detailed and realistic art and animation. The level of realism that Pixar achieve in this film is ridiculous to the point where it looks almost completely real especially with scenes in the forest. Also the art style is pretty darn impressive too. It is quite different from Pixar’s previous work, it seems like artist’s have found a way to blend realistic human features with the more cartoon-styled characters they are known for. I love the design of the characters they are still very animated and quirky, but are more grounded and realistic which I believe works well.
Another great thing about Brave was the soundtrack done by Patrick Doyle. I think he is becoming one of my new favourite film composers because his work of recent has been very good. Doyle compliments the beautiful visuals with an authentic-sounding soundtrack with beautiful instruments and with the contributions from Julie Fowlis, Mumford & Sons and Birdy, it makes a great soundtrack.
In conclusion Brave is a very different kind of Pixar film, with the use of a fairy tale-styled story and a real world location in the form of Scotland, Pixar have gone further than before and delivered a very beautiful-looking film, with a lovely soundtrack too. However the film as a whole just isn’t as strong as some of Pixar’s previous work, it had a great premise and the set-up was good, but the story overall just didn’t have the pay-off I had personally hoped for. That doesn’t mean this film is bad by any means, by all means go out and watch Brave, it’s a great film for the children.
Well that’s my review of Brave, hopefully you enjoyed reading and drop me a comment and let me know what you thought of the film. Until next time ladies and gentlemen, peace out. 🙂