The story in the newest Pixar movie, “Brave,” is, in some ways, like those in the old Disney fairy tale movies. In one major way, though, “Brave” is very different from the Disney of days gone by: the movie’s central character is a girl. And she’s not some helpless princess. She’s a girl who knows what she wants.
What she wants is to go against the traditions of her kingdom which dictate who she’ll marry. This girl, Merida, a Scottish redhead, has spunk. She is a character whose actions will be embraced by young girls (and maybe even some boys) around the world.
But does this movie break new ground? Most of the Pixar movies have given us imaginative characters like talking cars, talking toys, talking dogs, lovable monsters, etc. “Brave” has characters that could’ve starred in a Disney animated movie 50 years ago. No, it does not break new ground—with the exception of Merida’s feistiness.
Most of the characters have strong Scottish accents but, happily, they all can be clearly understood—with one notable comical exception. The voice cast includes Kelly Macdonald (as Merida), Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane and, of course, John Ratzenberger.
If you go to see “Brave,” you’ll want to stay until the house lights come up. First, to see the list of babies born to crew members during the film’s production—well over 60 for this one—which is traditionally included in the end credits of each Pixar movie. And second, for the brief but funny scene that ties up one of the movie’s loose ends.
Until last year’s overstuffed and tedious “Cars 2,” each Pixar release was a “must see.” Sadly, while “Brave” captures the magic of a bygone Disney era, it is not a step forward for Pixar. It’s a good animated movie but not a “must see.”