My rating: 4 out of 5
I walked out of this movie feeling warm and fuzzy. 🙂 I think many people expected there to be a distinguishable bad guy in this story, but there wasn’t. That’s what I liked most about the story. As with most of Pixar’s films, the graphics were amazing and you really did feel like you were in Scotland while watching the movie (my husband and I saw it in 3D, which I think was TOTALLY worth it – I don’t always think it’s worth the extra money to see movies in 3D).
The story is primarily a true mother/daughter story, not an evil witch and neglected step-daughter story. It was kind of like watching a Parent Trap or Freaky Friday rather than Snow White or Cinderella. Merida is the princess who wants to do as she pleases and “be free” and Elinor is the queen who wants her daughter to grow up to be a lady and find a good match that will help unite the Scottish kingdoms. There is obviously two separate goals here. Merida and Elinor miscommunicate all the time and their situation becomes more like a bully and bullied more than anything else. Add some mishap magic into the brew and Merida finds herself in a wish gone wrong. Merida and Elinor are forced to look at their relationship and their duties in entirely different lights and they work together to break the spell before it becomes irreversible. Sometimes your villains and allies are not black and white, but various shades of grey, especially when they are part of your family. Both characters feel love and betrayal within the story and grow to understand each other and what the other is trying to accomplish with their goals.
All the jokes in the story were slap stick and many where stereotypically cultural that fit at all the right times. I just found it rather strange that most of the jokes were delivered by the male characters in one way or another, while the drama was delivered by the two main female characters. It seemed to fit, but I found it odd.
But as I said, over all I walked out of Brave with good feelings and satisfied with all the drama and the jokes.