by Candace Salima, US Daily Review Contributor
Director: Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell, Brenda Chapman, and Irene Mecchi
Starring: Kelly MacDonald, Billy Connolly, and Emma Thompson
Running Time: 93 Minutes
Movie Website: Brave
Disney Pixar’s latest offering in animation is the story of a young Scottish princess, Merida. Raised to fight by her father, and to be a lady by her mother, the two side of this princess are at war with one another.
As was common in Scotland, when a young woman reached a certain age, her parents secured a marriage for her, and Merida’s circumstance is no different. Her mother, the queen, sends notice out to the highland clans to come and compete for Merida’s hand. And that’s where the trouble begins.
Merida rebels and flees the competition. She happens upon a witch, and well, you can guess that things don’t go very well from there.
This story is centered around the relationship between Merida and her mother. It is a difficult one as Merida has been embued with modern thought processes, but her mother remains steeped in the traditions of old. With certain difficulties born of Merida’s rebellion, the relationship between the two goes through phases of extreme difficulty, until the bond between mother and daughter is mended.
Cinematically breathtaking, for the highlands are a beautiful place, the story unfolds around a place similar to Stonehenge and steeped in Celtic legend and magic. It is a delightful movie for movie, but not, I believe, for all ages. I must give one warning. Beware the scene of the men descending from the tower by tying their kilts together. You can guess to scene that leads to–yes–lots of Scottish bare butts, in an animated movie.
An oddity, which has never been present before in a Disney movie, was the lack of a single good-looking, or even decent or normal looking man. It appears the animators went out of their way to make the men in the movie as ugly, weak and ineffectual as possible. Methinks the screenwriters, and directors, have serious man issues, for whatever reason, and I’m not even going to attempt to delve into it.
So for the brief animated nudity, and the obvious man issues, I am giving Brave, as fun as it as to watch, a mere 3 out of 5 stars. It is my strong belief that anything with a Disney or Pixar label that is animated should be appropriate for children. If they want to break out of that genre, then a warning to the public at large is necessary, because they have set the precedent for family friendly films.