Merida is the daughter of King Fergus and expected to follow as Queen of the Scottish Highlands but she only wants to explore while showing off her archery skills until she changes her fate by using a witch’s spell.
Film making 4/5
Bonus Features 5/5
Total 4.5/5 Stars
Merida is played by Kelly Macdonald in Brave with Emma Thompson as Queen Elinor and Billy Connolly as King Fergus who are the rulers of the Scottish Highlands. Merida is expected to become Queen and must learn the rules of being a lady as well as the delicate arts of court to help rule after her father’s passing.
When a bear attacks the village while Merida is young her mother Elinor grabs her to leave the fight while King Fergus is left to defend the village but loses his leg in the battle. Years later we find Merida grown but still wanting the carefree life of riding in the woods and shooting her bow but Queen Elinor is trying to teach her to be a lady.
When the inevitable clans arrive to find a suitor for Merida from the three Clan leaders sons she refuses and runs away into the woods only to find will-o-wisps lead her to a witch. Merida agrees to give a spell to her mother trying to change her own fate by not having to marry one of the clan leaders sons as the clans expect.
Her mother turns into a bear which Merida did not expect and they both return to try and stop the spell but the witch has left an answering service spell and is out of the country. Merida and her mother need to mend their relationship in two days before she stays a bear forever which is just how an old legend got started and the bear attacked King Fergus.
Merida tries to figure out what to do with her now large mother in the form of a bear and the rest of the castle looking to defend the kingdom from a bear that has suddenly appeared in their midst. Merida and her mother eventually figure out what it is they are supposed to do and save the kingdom along with their family from certain ruin.
Brave is a great animated film but it is not a top movie like Pixar has released in the past with a plot that at times slows to an almost crawl. The film is full of laughs for the most part and very funny with Merida and her bear mother trying to hide amongst the castle and people living their but a few times some of the jokes fall a bit flat.
I had an enjoyable time watching the movie and will add it to my main collection of animated movies for me to watch and enjoy over and over again so it is worth a purchase. The Blu-ray edition I received has the Blu-ray 3D edition which I cannot watch, the Blu-ray edition, a DVD copy and the digital copy for plenty of ways to enjoy the film.
The Blu-ray film has excellent video and audio that Pixar is well known for and has glorious animation with attention to the smallest details and almost perfect audio. Pixar has once again hit a home run with both video and audio quality and even the smaller things stand out for both like hair and those slight will-o-wisps whispering to Merida.
Video has vibrant color that really emphasizes things like the old Scottish clothes on the brightly red haired Scotts while the 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio also delights. Sounds are fantastic and the 7.1 audio is great if you have enough speakers to really enjoy but even down to 5.1 the audio sounds fantastic and really enhances the films quality.
Bonus features include audio commentary, two short films, plenty of making of features and an alternate opening for a great deal of extras. The bonus content really fleshes out the film and makes this an almost perfect movie that will entertain for much longer than the actual movie plays.
Brave is one of those films that is a no brainer, buy it and keep it for your collection because every so often you’re going to pop it in and catch some silly thing you missed the previous viewing. Brave is sure to be a top Academy Award nominee if not the winner and is well worth a purchase for any house with or without kids.
Brave @ Pixar