A reluctant Scottish princess uses a witch's magic to change her fate,
but accidentally turns her mother into a bear and must undo it.
Directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
Written by Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell,
Brenda Chapman, Irene Mecchi
Starring Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly,
Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson
Oscar Wins - Best Animated Film
I'm not sure what happened here, but Brave is one of Pixar's rare stumbles. It's boring, generic, predictable, and awfully sexist to top it all off. The character of Princess Merida is a bit of a brat who never learns her lesson, and the witch who gives her the spell never gets any sort of comeuppance. It's like the filmmakers were just killing time until Monsters University could get off the cutting room floor. Pixar has continually exceeded audience expectations for decades, so this was a real disappointment.
In an unnamed kingdom (that's obviously Scotland), a young princess named Merida (Macdonald) would much rather be a warrior. Her mother, Queen Elinor (Thompson), has been preparing Merida for the throne her entire life, and Merida resents it. When she learns she's supposed to marry a random goof from a rival clan, she runs away and encounters a witch (Walters). The witch gives her a spell to change her fate, but the spell turns Elinor into a bear. Now, Merida has two days to reverse the spell or her mother will be a bear forever. There's not much else to the movie. The Scottish stereotypes are plentiful, the villain is just a slightly bigger bear, and in the end it feels like nothing is learned.
Brave scores points for the vocal talent and the gorgeous animation, which Pixar always excels in. But this feels more like a run of the mill Disney princess movie like Frozen, not something deep and original from Pixar. I highly doubt I'd watch this again.