I’m really tired, I think its the jet lag from our trip to Scotland. It was gorgeous, the rolling hills, craggy peaks and lush landscape. I loved the colorful kilts, the lyrical accents, the grand castles and the celtic music! Um, wait, so we didn’t get on a plane or need our passports, dang it we weren’t really in Scotland just in the theater watching Disney Pixar’s Brave! All jiggery pokery aside (nonsense), Pixar did such a phenomenal job with the animation, musical score and actors, I really felt like we were in the Scotland countryside.
Instead, we were inside a movie theater with our wee lass and wee lad, wearing 3D glasses and watching the greatest movie Pixar has ever made! EVER! I know, I know that’s a pretty bold statement and my apologies to anyone I may offend but when you see Disney Pixar’s Brave I think you’ll agree with me. Its more than just the groundbreaking animation which Pixar created new technology to achieve, more than the talented cast that breathes life into the characters, but rather a combination of those factors along with an amazing story.
Brave is the story of Merida (Kelly Macdonald), the fiercely independent Princess-to-be whose audacious spirit puts her at odds with her royal parents, King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and the sophisticated Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson). “I don’t want my life to be over. I want my freedom,” argues Merida.
When Merida challenges her fate and defies the customs of her land, she sets off a chaotic reaction that could tear her family and her kingdom apart. Looking for a way out of an arranged marriage she follows the blue will ‘o the wisps to a googly old hag, “witch” (Julie Walters), and is granted a spell that changes everything. Now, she must find her inner bravery and mend the bond that pride has torn apart before its too late.
The story has something everyone can relate to: mothers and daughters can relate to the relationship between Elinor and her teenage daughter Merida as she exerts her independence. I remember those days well, my Dad loves to remind me when I turned 13 I told my parents I was a teenager and I could do whatever I wanted! Young boys will relate to the triplets, the “wee devils”, and to the sibling relationship, if you need a favor what do you have to offer/trade for their help. Little girls like my 3.5 year old fall in love with Merida’s beautiful red curls and her horse, Angus. And fathers, like my husband, will appreciate the strong female role model Merida presents for their daughters and sons. Regardless of your age, you’ll enjoy the humor as well as the stunning animation.
I loved the lessons from the movie. My Mom passed away six years ago, before I met my husband and had children. We had the tense teenage mother daughter relationship Merida has with her mother, the queen, and while my Mom could never pull the “queen” card, she did exert her control. So many of the scenes between them brought back fond memories. Now that I’m a parent I can see that my Mom was always looking after my best interests and this film does a great job of showing that, especially in a way that parents and kids can relate.
Merida, “I’m not going to be like you!” (she shouts to her mother)
Elinor (her mother) “I am the queen! You will listen to me!” Sound familiar anyone?
I could talk for days about the AMAZING animation Pixar created! Everything is alive from Merida’s hair, the texture in the triplets curls, the hair on Angus the horse and the Scotland countryside. The attention to detail is spectacular. With everything I’d read about this film and the seven years it was in production I had very high expectations, so I’m happy to report the folks at Pixar threw down the gauntlet and raised the bar with the animation in Brave.
Oh, make sure you’re there on time or early to see Pixar’s short “La Luna”, its simply brilliant!
Brave opens in theaters everywhere this Friday, June 22.
Note: I don’t want to give any spoilers but I will say there are a few intense scenes that some younger children may find scary. My 3.5 year old curled up in my arms but watched every minute without any problems. You know your children and their limits so use your best judgment. This movie is rated PG-13.