Brave (2012)

brave poster 2012 movie disney pixar
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Good main character, good voice actors, different setting

Dark scenes, poor story

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Brave

Studio:  Pixar

Genre(s):  Animated/Family

Release Date(s):  June 10, 2012 (Seattle International Film Festival)/June 22, 2012 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG


I just try to arrange a nice marriage and you go and screw it all up.

Merida and her mother Queen Elinor do not get along.  As a princess, Elinor feels that Merida should not be following in her father King Fergus’ footsteps and learning the ways of a warrior.  Merida wants to be her own woman and choose her own destiny.  When a tournament occurs to see whom Merida will be betrothed to, Merida and Queen Elinor have a falling out.  Merida encounters a witch that accidentally transforms Elinor into the kingdom’s mortal enemy…a bear.  Now Merida and Elinor must find a way to break the curse before Elinor is transformed into a bear forever.

Directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, Brave is a Pixar/Disney feature and received mostly positive reviews for the film.  Following Cars 2, Brave won the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film and was also the winner of the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.


Back off Mom!!! Or I’ll show you where I’ll put my bow!!!

I am not a huge Pixar fan, and I had a very difficult time getting into Brave.  The visuals as expected from a Pixar film are exceptional.  Though I found the general Scottish setting and dim castles too dark to fully enjoy the look of the film, I did like that Disney and Pixar continue to experiment with film locations for different stories.

The movie’s story just seems undercooked.  The movie has Merida arguing with her mother for the first part of the story then a random encounter with a witch leads to the bear transformation.  The bear part of the film doesn’t ever seem to flow, and the other “cursed” bear Mor’du doesn’t serve much of a purpose.  The sneaking around to restore Elinor is very cliché, and it is pretty obvious where the story is going.  The final battle with Mor’du and the resolution seem too quick and not much of a payoff.


So…Mom…Dad’s not going to like it if you shed.

Pixar does do a good job making likable characters.  Merida is a fun tomboy, though kind of on the generic side.  The whole competition for her hand just feels like a repeat of Walt Disney’s adaptation of Robin Hood, but Merida’s pluck and spirit do help move the movie (it is the first Pixar film to have a female protagonist).  The film of course cast some great actors as the voices including Kelly MacDonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly, Julie Waters, Robbie Coltrane, Craig Ferguson, and a “cameo” by Pixar regular John Ratzenberger.

Brave will entertain kids, but I found it kind of tedious.  The story is basic and predictable…daughter and mom are at odd…daughter and mom are challenged…daughter and mom find middle ground.  It seemed beneath a fun character and an interesting setting.  You can enjoy Brave, but you can probably find better animation films to check out.  Pixar followed Brave with Monsters University in 2013.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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