Director: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Steve Purcell
Writer: Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell, Brenda Chapman, Irene Mecchi (Screenplay) Brenda Chapman (Story)
Starring: Kelly MacDonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Robbie Coltrane, Julie Walters.
Story: Merida is determined not to follow tradition and follow in the footsteps of her parents, especially her endearing mother. In defiance, she casts one wish that she now must undo to bring order to her kingdom once again.
A return to form for Pixar, Brave is a masterclass in computer animation and once again raises the bar for the competing animation studios. After a few years of retreading previous stories, Pixar once again delves into original territory with a slightly different take on the princess in distress story. Merida, is a fiery scottish princess who is not your stereotypical fairytale girl. Determined not to follow in her mother's footsteps, Merida would rather be heading into battle than cleaning the castle.
What makes this movie standout out from the rest is the focus on the relationship between Merida and her mother. After casting a wish that went horribly wrong, we follow Merida and her mother throughout the film as they strive to fix the bond between each other. Pixar seem to have this magic where they can weave the character developments beautifully within the main storyline of the film, although this does not work so seamlessly as what you would expect form this studio. Fortunately the computer animation makes up for the lack of depth through the film acting as another character in the movie. The landscapes of the Scottish highlands just oozes class and play a major part, complimenting the narrative.
The voice casting is once again spot on, proving that you don't need big name movie stars to voice your characters with Kelly Macdonald and Billy Connolly being the obvious standouts. If i had to nitpick at the movie though, it would be the character development which was not quite up to scratch compared to other Pixar outings, i felt that they could have easily added another 30 mins to the movie without it feeling to overdrawn. Then again, I'm comparing this film to classics and when you put it up against most animated features this still rises high above them all.