Film Review: "BRAVE"
Published: Thursday, June 21, 2012
Updated: Saturday, June 30, 2012 09:06
Having watched this scene in a preview trailer, it’s even more incredible on the big screen. Merida’s arrow actually tears through Wee Dingwall’s and hits its mark. But that’s not the only impressive bit of animation. The entire film, in all of its glorious 2D is a feast for the eyes. Like “THE INCREDIBLES” and “UP”, Pixar had to work with the three hardest elements in animated films: hair, water, and clothes. Seeing Merida’s voluminous ginger locks blow in the wind, or the tears falling down her cheeks as well as Elinor’s, the sun reflecting in the water, is a beauty to behold. Scotland is brought to life in gorgeous color.
All of the voice actors do a fantastic job of bringing their characters to life as well. MacDonald’s youthful inflections add charm to Merida’s heavy Scottish brogue, Emma Thompson is sublime as Elinor, and Billy Connelly is the perfect Fergus. It’s a Harry Potter reunion in fact, with Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, Emma Thompson, and Kelly MacDonald, who made a brief appearance in the final Potter film.
Directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, with a co-director credit for Steve Purcell, “BRAVE” gets a PG rating for “rude humor.” It’s not so much rude as it is revealing but not once does it veer into the toilet humor territory. Like “THE INCREDIBLES”, this Pixar film has a PG rating for the action which is terrifying, especially when Mor’du the demon bear is involved. But the film is perilous when it needs to be, hilarious when it needs to be, and tender when it needs to be. It packs a lot of emotion and heart in addition to the action, which should satisfy those who whined about last summer’s “CARS 2” not being emotionally perturbing. Dedicated to Steve Jobs, it is a valiant story that he would definitely approve of for its sincerity and warmth, and also because it’s sure to break the box office.
“BRAVE” will do what Pixar’s movies have been doing for years: it’ll make you laugh, make you cry, and make you want an adventure. And, it’ll make you give your mom a big bear hug.
Attached to “BRAVE” is Enrico Casarosa’s imaginative and lovely short, “La Luna.” Funny and touching, the short tells the story of Bambino, who is expected to join in his family’s very unique line of work. Bambino is caught between the two traditions of his father and grandfather. As Casarosa said: “Trust your inspiration. You can stand on the shoulders of tradition and still find your own way.” It’s a beautiful idea wrapped up in a sweet, charming short that proves to be one of Pixar’s most memorable.