Pixar continues to hit ‘em out of the park with their latest endeavor Brave. Brave is the story of Merida, a young princess trying to reclaim her life from her obsessive mother who rules over every aspect of her life, including who she marries. Merida decides to take control and sees a witch to help by providing her with a spell that will change her fate by changing her mother. Her mother changes, but not in the way expected and the 2 are forced to work out how to get past the tests they both end up facing as a result of their choices.
Sounds deep, right? It kind of is really, surprisingly so actually. That’s one of the things I love about Pixar’s work, is the rich layering. Not just visually, but storyline, character development, everything, they’re just so damn good at everything. Brave is no exception as the story is one we’ve heard before but told in a fun, compelling and even philosophical way when you get to think about in retrospect.
Visually, Pixar just keeps raising the bar in terms of tech achievements with this environment being so natural and realistic looking it’s hard not to think these things are digital, not organic. The details and richness of the environment and animation is stunningly well done. One of the things they’re particularly good at is the subtle things. Like the way people’s faces move to convey emotion, it’s especially pronounced in here with the way the characters react and gesture with their faces. So good you don’t notice it as being this artificial, animated image, and that’s the point.
The voice over talent is great and includes: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, Kevin McKidd, and Craig Ferguson. The directing and storytelling style are up to Pixar’s usual standard and don’t disappoint.
This is a good one for adults and older kids (it is PG by the way, not G), worth seeing it in the theater if you can catch it.
reviewed by Sean McKnight