Brave (PG)

Director: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman

Cast (voices): Kelly MacDonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson
Determined to carve out her own identity, highland princess Merida defies her mother's expectations of clan marriage, causing all sorts of chaos as she resorts to magic to sort things out. While the story feels like it would be right at home on the long list of Disney Princess films, there is much to admire in this story of a young girl discovering her destiny. Scotland's mountainous wilderness is stunningly realised, making this one of Pixar's most visually appealing films to date; there are typical madcap touches (manic triplet toddlers being a particular highlight); and it still packs an emotional gut punch of a finale, with Pixar's understanding of family dynamics remaining unparalleled.
What is missing though, is that unique concept that Pixar are so famous for (a rat that cooks, toys coming to life, a man using balloons to move house). Brave's story and characters feel a litle too familiar, and the story ultimately skirts perilously close to forgettable.
Review by Ali Bianchi

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