Monday, January 28, 2013

Family Movie Night: Brave

Title: Brave
Directors: Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
Original Release: 2012
Choice: My Wife's
My Overall Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Brave is Pixar's latest offering, an Atalanta-esque tale set in Medieval Scotland.  Mérida, a princess, defies her parents expectations that she marry.  When suitors are assembled for a contest of skill, she chooses archery and, predictably, defeats them all as a testament to her own right to choose.  But that's just the beginning of her adventures.

Having a daughter, we're always on the lookout for stories with strong female leads.  While Studio Ghibli is very reliable on that score, this is the first Pixar feature to deliver.  Mérida is certainly beautiful (and voiced by the ultra-sexy Kelly MacDonald).  However, she's a far cry from the Disney Princess ideal.  She's intelligent, resourceful, skilled and extremely independent. 

Pixar is very dependable for visual splendor and Brave is no exception.  The voice cast is wonderful, too.  In addition to MacDonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly, Craig Ferguson and Robbie Coltrane are all delightful contributors.  Brave has already won a Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature and is Oscar-nominated for the same.


My Wife and I were both pleased that by the end of the film, Mérida still hadn't chosen to marry.



  1. At Hallowe'en time, I saw a little girl crossing a parking lot dressed as Merida. She looked like a piece of candy with her springing red curls.

    1. I've been drawn to spirited redheads a lot recently: Merida, Anne Shirley, Karen Gillan (Doctor Who), Christina Hendricks(Mad Men), etc.

    2. Don't you hate it when you have a number of responses, none of which pass the 'appropriateness' test?

    3. Anyway, the kid dressed as Merida was a dolly. It was right after I'd purchased my flapper costume and was feeling light as a cloud. The sight of her made me even happier.

      And, just in case you're wondering, I never did finish this for 12 books in 12 months. I can't seem to find fiction that really grabs me and doesn't let go. I left at least fifteen novels unfinished since last Spring. I've read a ton of non-fiction, though. I'll have to look at your categories and see where I can fit the stuff I've read recently ...

    4. So, are you more a Who fan interested in Douglas Adams or the other way around?

    5. Douglas Adams fan. Completely unfamiliar with Dr. Who except through Bill's costume in an episode of 'Freaks and Geeks' (which is how Henekes ended up dressed that way.)

    6. Well, then... I highly recommended you give it a shot. We started with Christopher Eccleston (Ninth Doctor) and have watched all episodes since twice: once just the two of us, once with our daughter.

    7. We've been going through the first season of Joan of Arcadia, approximately an episode a night at dinner (not typical as my relationship with the TV typically includes the foam block.) At any rate, it's been good. I will look into DW after we finish seasons 1 and 2 of JoA (my husband just ordered 2 online.) I may have to do some convincing as the one time I mentioned it, my husband lifted an uninterested shoulder at the suggestion.

      I don't understand what the Ninth Doctor means. (eep)

    8. Geek Out Opportunity!

      Part of the genius of the Dr. Who franchise is the fact that they've managed to preserve the title character through numerous recasting. Every few seasons, the Doc must regenerate, taking on an entirely new physical appearance. The incumbent, Matt Smith, is the 11th actor to play the role so he is referred to as the Eleventh Doctor. Eccleston (#9) was the first in the 21st century reboot but the ninth overall. Make sense?

    9. What, Sir Squid, do you imagine I might be tempted to do?

    10. ?

      Tempted to geek out, you mean? Tempted to watch? Tempted to make sense? Either way, yes, good!

    11. I'm tempted to check out earlier iterations of the Doctor. No need to go all snarkmeister on me, Binkerton.

    12. I didn't really mean to snark, though I realize it reads that way. I was just confused - lost the thread of the conversation.

      I've had similar inclinations to go back to the beginning but my wife isn't interested. This is somewhat surprising since, if anything, she's a bigger fan than I.