Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

June 29, 2012

‘Brave’ delivers classic fairytale KO

Movie Review

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — With the track record of Pixar now including a 13th swimming pool of cash in a row, maybe I should reconsider career options just to test my own run at ridiculous  wealth. It’s amazing that even at their worst with selections like “Cars 2” they still come out victorious (which was fine, but not as good as others), though this one feels like a return to the better quality.

This one has been dazzling since the early previews and before I even saw it all the way through decided it will be hard to beat when animation’s top awards are given out. Upon viewing, this flick delivers in just about every way and while it does not quite fit the best like “Up,” there are going to be a lot of satisfied little girls feeling motivated to fulfill dreams of their own. “Brave” is more than capable of carrying away one’s imagination through overcoming flawed human nature with heartfelt lessons and unshakable determination.

Set in Scotland, the movie follows the life of a rebellious young royal, Princess Merida (Kelley MacDonald), who pretty much defies her mother Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson) at every turn. This only gets worse when our young heroine finds out that the firstborn from three nearby clans will be competing for her hand in marriage.

Closer to personality with her stubborn father King Fergus (Billy Connolly), she sets out to change her fate at any cost, even if it threatens everything from relationships with her family to the stability of the kingdom. Other Disney projects which share similarities with is the “Princess and the Frog” and “Mulan” where lead ladies are unsatisfied with the traditional roles set aside for them, but find a way to heal wounds and forge stronger bonds than were there before. There is the expected happy ending as with all children’s movies, though it does not come cheaply and there’s just enough darkness to take the sugar sweet edge down a notch.

Though still softer than the animated tales of Don Bluth or Grimm’s fairy tales, there is still at least a serious effort to show that actions do have consequences and a little compromise is not the end of the world. Pixar also wins again with a sense of humor at worst charming and at best downright hilarious, be it father imitating daughter or the witch (Julie Walters) claiming she has an entirely different occupation.

I’d highly recommend this as a family summer flick, even for young boys who will find something to enjoy in the well paced action sequences. It’s also guaranteed I’ll watch it again and maybe even add to a collection already into a second case of shelves. This earns “Brave” four and a half out of five arrows.

Movie viewing experience courtesy of the Royal Twin Theater of Pauls Valley.