Brave: Film Review

TWELVE FILMS LATER, Pixar finally has what its partner, Disney, has owned for years – a princess. That being said, Pixar is still Pixar and not Disney, so the princess doesn’t get a handsome prince on a white horse that slays monsters for her and becomes her true love. In fact, that’s the one thing Pixar’s princess Merida (voiced by the charming Scot Kelly Macdonald) is not ready for. As a result of her reluctance to marry, she fights with her mother who is intimidating like a bear. Literally.

In what becomes the movie’s central comedic element, said mother, Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), then transforms into a real bear and caused a whole fur of problems for the family. Although in some moments, Brave is terrifyingly dark – especially in 3D; it’s so dark behind the 3D lenses that the many of the animated details are lost – the entire story concocted by Brenda Chapman & Co. are actually hilariously absurd and fantastically entertaining that tears will run down your cheeks as you laugh endlessly for 90 or so minutes. Plus, the voice actors are great – when else can we get an entire movie spoken in Scottish accent?

Mind you, this is no Toy Story or Up, but the contemporary humor is fresh a la Ratatouille. If this makes Brave less ‘Pixar’ for some people, look for Finding Nemo elements in Merida and Mom’s fun and action-packed mother daughter adventure. The fantasy factor is also strong enough to match WALL-E’s level of science fiction goodness, although there’s no masked propaganda in this one.

Bonus eye candy is the charming short animated movie La Luna that precedes the movie. This is one attractive Pixar package that, like it or not, has redeemed them from the sin of Cars 2.

THE VERDICT
This is Finding Nemo princess-style – Pixar continues to wow with a female heroine, Scottish actors and crazy humor that makes up one complete entertainment package. 

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The Indonesian version of this review will appear in Total Film Indonesia Issue #33, out in July 2012.