In one of the most enjoyable movies of the year, Brave captures the heart and imagination and intrigues. It’s not your typical princess movie so be prepared to be pleasantly surprised.
Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald), the aforementioned princess, is adamantly opposed to her Scottish customs of being married to the Lord that wins her hand in the tourney.
She doesn’t want to be a princess, which is refreshing. I have watched this movie many times with my daughter, who is three, and she loves it.
It’s not so much anti-princess (which my daughter is not opposed to) as it is spirited. Merida is just the kind of girl that is spirited enough to make her mother Elinor (voiced by Emma Thompson) go into lady-like spasms. She is fun and energetic and very likeable as a character.
At its heart, Brave is a story of a mother and daughter relationship and the trials they go through to find respect and renew love for each other.
Mothers and daughter will always have conflict: why can’t you be more like me? I don’t want to be like you, Mother…the daughter’s fear that she will turn into her mother is very based in reality, and works well in mythical times as well as modern.
Being the spirited person that she is, Merida manages to find a witch to change some aspects about her mother. The spell goes array when she turns her mom into a big black bear.
Her mother retains her human heart and thoughts but looks like a bear. However, she will become more bear if they do not find a way to reverse the spell within two sunsets.
Added to the conflict is Merida’s father, Lord Fergus (voiced by Billy Connolly) who has hunted bears all his life and lost his leg to one. If he sees Elinor as a bear, he will surely want to kill her, not knowing that it is his wife.
Within the confines of this plot, Merida’s spirit shines through. She does not want to get married, and that is want has caused the whole mess. She and her mother (the bear) go back to the castle to find the tapestry that will change her back to human, and having to sneak her in, Merida speaks eloquently and persuasively to the Lords and her father gathered in the hall.
Told with beautiful animation, the forests and moors of Scotland come alive. This is one of those gems of a movie that is made for the 1080p experience.
Merida’s hair begs to be brushed (I wanted to take a brush to it the whole movie), the red locks separate and unruly as she shoots her bow and arrow or runs across a stream.
I thoroughly enjoyed Brave, and high recommend it. It is a spirited adventure of a princess that doesn’t want to be one, and I thought this so refreshing I fell in love with every aspect of the movie. For young and middle aged and old, this is a movie that will endure for generations to come.
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