Brave - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Brave Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ September 4, 2011
The animation is absolutely stunning and beautiful to look at, starting with a gorgeous leading character to the wonderful Scottish landscapes. In the story department things get a little weird after a bit and even though the film never tries to be anything else but a fairy tale, the developments feel a little odd. That doesn't take anything from the film's entertainment value and outstanding artistry involved, of course.
Super Reviewer
October 18, 2011
Obviously this is a mish mash of several different film concepts rolled up into one, but the end result was pretty great. "Brave" focuses on Princess Merida, who lives in the Scottish Highlands with her parents and three younger brothers. The first premise of the film is that Merida has to marry a suitor from one of the rival clans of the Highlands. The other premise surrounds her mother being transformed into a bear. It seems that these two concepts have trouble merging seamlessly, because we're aware as an audience that there's a shift. Her mother as a bear yields some pretty hilarious effects, and lends to the overall narrative of listening to one another and learning from your mistakes. I think the reason it still felt strange was that Merida's exploits didn't feel all her own. In fact, the story was centered more around the mother than her daughter: her mother is the one who has a spell cast upon her, her mother saves her daughter from being attacked, and her mother must get back to her original form. Merida causes more problems than she solves, and though she battles against the villain as well, she isn't the main focus at all times. That and the villain is kind of shoehorned in in the last section of the film. The film does employ magic in a way that moves the narrative forward and lends to some interesting visuals. It was also great having a female heroine who doesn't deal with marriage or romance in her plot, and is headstrong, which we could use in more films for children.
Super Reviewer
½ April 19, 2014
At the heart of this Pixar offering is a tale of first, a mother/daughter falling out and then, their eventual reunion. The vocal talents are exemplary (with Emma Thompson leading the way) and , true to form, Pixar's legendary animation knows no equal. The delving into the whole Scottish myth and fable was nice and interesting path to take, if reminiscent of How To Train Your Dragon, and so what then?
The story meanders into the woods a bit is all. Something about bears. There's a witch, too. The witch is cool.
Nonetheless, Pixar, eh? You can't go wrong there, can you?
Super Reviewer
June 13, 2012
An amusing, and message sending family fun.
Super Reviewer
September 16, 2011
This is Pixar's first film with a female lead, and, while it had a lot of potential and promise, it basically just ends up being a rehash of previous Disney princess films, only with a Celtic twist.

Merida is a strong willed teenage princess who wants to buck tradition and be a free spirit instead of fulfill the typical role of a girly princess. Her actions lead to chaos throughout the kingdom, and her dealings with a witch force her to undo a potentially devastating curse.

Like I said, this had a lot of potential. It ends up sticking to tradition and convention, but, even then, it's still decently well done. It's just a shame that they couldn't bring themselves to completely break away from tradition and forge new territory. There are at least a few tweaks to the formula that elevate the proceedings, so that's cool.

I liked how both of Merida's parents are alive or even present, as this is a rare thing in Disney/Pixarland. And it's nice too that the film focuses heavily on the mother/daughter relationship. It's just a bummer that the film keeps up the trend of having the heroine be a strong willed rebel who wants to defy convention. That, and the way this film characterizes medieval Scottish culture isn't exactly the most informed or balanced, or deep.

The film does at least look pretty though, even if Pixar has made far more visually striking and interesting pictures. And the film is quite watchable and decently paced, but it seems to cater primarily to younger kids over any other demographic.

All in all, this is a decent film, but somewhat of a letdown. It's not terrible, but it's far from unique. Still, it has just enough good going for it to keep me from rating it any lower.
Super Reviewer
November 28, 2011
I don't know, I just didn't quite get it. Am I getting too old for weird fairytale plot twists?? Or am I just so ignorant of Scottish mythology that the magic seemed random to me? The mother's scenes were pretty great though. (Not going to reveal any spoilers.)
Super Reviewer
½ July 9, 2013
Not what I was expecting at all, but I liked it!
Super Reviewer
March 19, 2013
It's a cute film. It's sweet with a good message. It leaves you with a good feeling which is nice. The visuals are beautiful. However, it is perhaps the weakest film to have come from Pixar (aside from Cars 2) as a result of bad pacing, a lack of solid humor, and actually quite boring and cliche characters. In fact, the film starts off rough and uneven, and I quickly became bored and disinterested in the plot. The twist, though, caught my attention, and the final act was done quite well. The last part of the film doesn't make up for the disaster that is the first act, but it does thrill. Overall, the movie does not really impress, but rather charms (at least in some moments). It feels, though, as if I've seen this movie before, what with overused Pixar tendencies, and a plot that is an awkward mix of Mulan, Brother Bear, Beowulf, Tangled, and The Little Mermaid. Despite the final act, there is nothing really big at stake. Though the characters look pretty, you don't really care too much about them.
Super Reviewer
½ September 9, 2011
Oh sooo wonderful! Beautifully done. Very sweet, and funny...
Super Reviewer
July 5, 2012
It's Pixar. What else can you say? :)
Super Reviewer
½ January 27, 2013
Disney's Brave is a wonderful adventure that has all the usual aspects that you'd expect from a Pixar film. The film has a very good story, but at times it could have been better. However the film does have enough charm and wit to appeal to diehard fans of Pixar films, and it manages to be a very entertaining film despite its flaws. The animation is wonderful, but at times the plot has its flaws, and you notice that it could have been better. Pixar have always made great films, but it also could have been done better too. I enjoyed the film, and like I said, it had plenty of good things going for it, but if you put up against other Pixar films, Brave is one of the weaker one. Despite this, the voice actors are good in their roles and the story itself is fun, but is nothing remarkable either. Brave is worth seeing, but it lacks that something special that makes Pixar film so memorable. There is a good plot at work here, but when you compare Brave to others in Pixar's catalogue, you realize that it is slightly inferior. The film does have its moments however and like every other Pixar film, looks wonderful. The animation is the high point of the film, and it overcomes the slightly ordinary story. Brave manages to overcome it flaws, but compared to the others in Pixar's catalogue, it's not as memorable and it could have been better and you see the potential that the film had. Worth seeing if you're a Pixar fan like me, just don't expect another Toy Story or Monsters Inc. for that matter.
Super Reviewer
½ June 22, 2012
im one of the few that defended pixar after "cars 2", but it only took them one more film to actually release the first true "below average" movie. the film was made well, but a bit boring, and completely recycled from earlier disney material. i am infatuated with scottish and irish history and culture, so i was very excited about this film, but it wasnt the story it should have been at all. for all of the scenes of merida with weapons the film had no action, and had nothing to do with conflict or conquest at all. the design and structure had potential, but none of it was realized.
Super Reviewer
½ December 26, 2012
A stubborn Celtic princess butts heads with her equally strong-willed mother over an arranged marriage, but when she unwisely asks for help from a witch the situation gets messy and she must mend her relationship with mom to save the kingdom. The medieval Scotland setting and fairy-tale atmosphere are appealing, and except for below-par comic relief this revisionist princess story lives up to Disney/Pixar's usual high standards.
Super Reviewer
½ November 25, 2012
Change your fate.

Great Pixar Movie! Disney does it again! Animation is spectacular, great setting in the Scottish Highlands. Voice acting is above par. While this film may not be up there with Pixar's best, it still has a wonderful story and character interaction. Merida's relationship with her family feels genuine and most children will probably be able to relate. At the heart of the story is her relationship with her mother. This is more than a story about fate, but a story about obligations to family and how growing up means taking responsibility and putting away childish selfishness in place of those responsibilities. Although the core plot is unconventional and unexpected, it has a fantastic heart and once again proves that Pixar can tell a story like no other. Brave is an entertaining, humorous, and heartfelt story that will be wonderful for kids and adults alike. Merida is a wonderful new character and the entire film looks beautiful. Even if you don't have children, I recommend this film if you've loved other Pixar's before it. P.S- Stay till the end of the credits for a lil extra scene.

Set in Scotland in a rugged and mythical time, "Brave" features Merida, an aspiring archer and impetuous daughter of royalty. Merida makes a reckless choice that unleashes unintended peril and forces her to spring into action to set things right.
Super Reviewer
½ June 28, 2011
Choice versus responsibility. Tradition versus personal freedom. Brave, as far as its story themes go, may not blaze any new trails. I mean, how many times before have we not met an unruly princess, who just wants to live a normal life, away from forced betrothals and overdemanding parents? Canvassed from that point of view, Pixar's latest adventure scores no points for originality.

Yet, there's something about this old-fashioned fable that really agreed with me. Not just in the artistic sense, for it is indeed visually stunning with its beautiful Scottish scenery. I think the prime reason why I liked it is linked to my avid love for history and derring-dos set in the Middle Ages.

Plot-wise, it's a bit on the thin side, but princess Merida is an enchanting character, whose free-spirited nature made for a captivating watch. Add to that the memories it evokes of Mel Gibson's Braveheart (one of my favourite epics of all-time), and there was no way I wouldn't be compelled to follow the journey through.

Predictable yes, but also fun and incredibly vibrant, with heartfelt performances from its magnificent voice cast. Billy Connolly alone would have been presence enough to give it soul. So for those prone to labeling this as "one of Pixar's weakest efforts", I can perfectly understand your reasons, but in my book its strengths outweighs the evident familiarity. Maybe not brave enough to aim its arrows for something new, but I for one found myself charmed by this lush and colorful fairy tale.
paul o.
Super Reviewer
½ June 21, 2012
The animations were beautiful as well as the voice of the lovely Kelly MacDonald. Right after the amazing short film "La Luna", Brave set the story immediately and brought out the best from the Scottish Highlands. A great addition to Pixar films and redeems them for their misadventures in Cars 2.
Super Reviewer
July 15, 2012
Good storyline about a princess and her mother's relationship. The Queen is preparing her daughter for her duties but the princess just wants to be free. Funny and moving. The wild bear scenes might frighten children.
Super Reviewer
½ August 22, 2012
The animation is top-notch and a great factor to why it's worth the watch, but although heartfelt and sincere, Brave lacks what other Pixar masterpieces offer which is a deeper sense of plot and a story that's actually worth the wait.
Super Reviewer
August 15, 2012
Set in 10th century Scotland this is a fairly reasonable attempt at a dark-ish fairytale by Pixar. Its nice to see some originality being used for the fable and a good effort in keeping some realism or historical accuracy, visually at least, at the same time (I think, looks historically fine).

The film looks tremendous, first thing you notice hands down are the visuals. Pixar have really gone to town here and put together some of the most gorgeous vista's I've seen for some time. Scotland has never looked so magical, colourful and enchanting. The rolling greens, rough Highlands, deep dark forests that harbour little blue will-o'-the-wisp's which flitter around and the fiery red hair of the main character 'Merida'.

To be utterly brutally honest this is the films one and only high point, the reason for seeing it. The story is akin to your typical fairytale of witches in the woods turning people into beasts which works well but I found myself growing slightly bored. Yes kids will love it but for adults there isn't really anything that will grasp your attention like certain other Pixar films.
The film is really aimed at young girls which is quite unique really. The relationship between a young girl and her mother, nothing wrong with that, nice angle but ultimately a bit sickly for the blokes.

I found myself liking the characters of 'Merida's' family more, the comical set of stooges from various other clans and 'Merida's' father voiced by Billy Connolly. These guys were good fun and I especially liked the highland games sequence.

The plot was kinda weak and merely revolves around 'Merida' trying to reverse a spell, its not even explained why the witch screws her over with the spell, just does. Its also interesting to note the film appears to have no real villain either, not really no, this creates issues for a kids film like this.

Family characters and the overall sumptuous feast for your eyes clearly the films plus points. The usual high caliber animation from Pixar naturally but overall the story is kinda thin on the ground, even the musical score could have been better if you ask me.
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