The film begins with a scene where young Merida follows the Will-o-the-wisps, tiny blue light beings, that lead her into the forest. When she comes back, she and her mother find a bear. This is essentially a foreshadowing of the plot that is to come. Princess Merida, exceptionally voiced by Kelly Macdonald, is skilled at archery. She was gifted a bow when she was a child. Ever since, she likes adventure and hunting. Her mother wants her to be a lady, act like a princess. Before you know it, she is to be married off to a prince. This movie could appeal to many young girls in India who are fed up with the arranged marriage system. (If you're not then you should be). Merida has to choose between the three suitors from Macintosh, McGuffin or Dingwall. The rest of the film is an enchanting fable. A tale of bravery and courage that Merida herself loves. The stories that inspire and are passed on to generations. The moral tales that dont stuff orthodoxy down your throats but break tradition. There is magic here but it is dark magic. The lessons we learn are those of anger, hate and pride, about the consequences of doing something wrong. I have made the film sound too heavy, I must inform that there are also three cute triplets. There are enough laughs for the children.
Brave wont be smothered by critics since it doesnt happen to be a sequel to Cars. Also because its reach is in tandem with its grasp, it doesnt pretend to be more than what it is. But then again it won't be fully appreciated due to it being a Pixar film. You dont have to be Einstein to know it isnt as stupendously original as Wall-E (2008), Toy Story 3 (2010), Finding Nemo (2003) or Ratatouille (2007). But it probably has something that most Disney films don't, which explains why Pixar is attached to this project: The Female Protagonist.
This year the Hollywood screens have been flooded with female protagonists. The Hunger Games, Prometheus, Mirror Mirror, Snow White and the Huntsman and Haywire. Brave is another strong entry in this cannon. I wonder if Bollywood will ever take women seriously.
Braves female protagonist is a tomboy, a rebel. She is not a bit like Cinderella or Aurora. Most Disney movies with a Princess have a Prince charming. Brave chooses to sidestep that inane sub-plot. THIS is why I loved the movie. It could have had a Prince who is match for our Princess Merida. But Brave decides not to and that is its biggest strength. Yes it does feel like there is one sub-plot less. But Id rather have one sub-plot less than a big fat clich which bores more than it compels. Brave takes the mother and daughter angle from Tangled (2010) mixes it with the terrain and color palette of How To Train Your Dragon (2010) and a dash of Brother Bear (2003).
The ending of the film is surprisingly filled with emotion. A mother at my screening pointed out how so many little girls cried at the end of the movie. To be honest, there is a little girl in all of us. Watch it for her.view less