Disney Pixar's Brave- Now on DVD/BluRay

Directed by: Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
Rated: PG
Running Time: 100 minutes

I took my 6 year old son to see Brave in the theater a few months ago and loved it. The animation is magnificent, and the storyline takes the fairy tale princess into some uncharted areas. Merida (voiced by Kelly MacDonald) is a ginger-haired princess in medieval Scotland. Her father, King Fergus (voiced by Billy Connolly), is a brute of a man who loses a leg in a fight with a bear called Mor'du. He has a soft heart for his daughter who is also his first-born. From the time she is a tiny girl, he insists on giving her bows and arrows for gifts instead of the usual "girly" gifts, much to the chagrin of her mother, Queen Elinor (voiced by Emma Thompson). The mother/daughter relationship plays a central role in the plot of this film. Queen Elinor is a complex character. She is at once strong, gentle, graceful, assertive, and very much a lady. She knows her place in this world and wants the same for her daughter. All of her parenting decisions are based on preparing Merida for her future as a princess.

At first, it seems like it might be like all the other princess movies: the princess comes of age, the parents want to marry her off to an eligible suitor from a noble family, and she rebels against the tradition. At which point, trouble ensues. But in Brave, the story takes some unexpected turns. After she has trounced her suitors in an archery competition, she takes off on her own in search of her fate. There are some beautiful images in the middle section of the film, complete with airy, phosphorescent Will o' The Wisps and a cunning witch. Never was it more true that one should be careful what you wish for, as you might just get it and all of the unintended consequences that come with it. I want to be careful not to spoil the film for anyone who has not seen it, so if the next bit of the review feels vague, it is intentionally so. 

Merida wants so badly for her fate to be different than it is, some major changes occur for her and her mother. Being a daughter myself, I can attest to the complex nature of the relationship between a daughter and her mother. Invariably, the wishes of the mother clash with the wishes of the daughter and in a show of independence, a rift sometimes occurs. And sometimes it takes a crisis for both parties to grow and to come to know each other as equals. This must surely occur before a mother and a daughter can have a functional relationship. All of this is brought to life on the screen in Brave. 

But don't worry. There is plenty of action for the boys in your life. There are kilts and the usual kilt jokes that go along with them. The other clan members are quite funny as voiced by such talented Scots as Kevin McKidd and Craig Ferguson. As I mentioned before, there are bears in the film, and these scenes are quite frightening. They are short, but you might need to warn your little one that it is a Disney film and most things turn out ok. Be prepared for them to beg to leave the theater, though. But it is well worth staying to the end. Use  caution with kids under 5 or 6.

You can get it in my Amazon store listed on the right of this page or through this iTunes linkBrave

For those of you who have played Temple Run, you can now play Temple Run: Brave. It's loads of fun and complete with bows and arrows.

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