Rashid Irani's review: Brave

  • Princess Merida

    Pixar's most-awaited animation film Brave is all set to hit the screens soon. Here's a look at brave Princess Merida's journey and the challenges she ...

  • Princess Merida

    Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald) defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one ...

  • King Fergus

    Merida's dad King Fergus is none other than Bill Connolly.

  • Queen Elinor

    British actress Emma Thompson is the voice behind Queen Elinor, Merida's mother.

  • triplet

    Merida also has a bunch of bratty triplet brothers.

  • Lord Dingwall

    Cantankerous Lord Dingwall's voice is that of Robbie Coltrane.

  • Wee Dingwall

    Callum O'Neill has lent his voice to Wee Dingwall.

  • Lord Macintosh

    The surly Lord Macintosh is one of the three unruly lords of the land.

  • Angus

    Black as night with ivory muzzle, Angus is Merida's powerful Clydesdale and her most trusted confidant.

Pixar magic continues to enthral

Brave
Direction: Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
Voices: Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson
Rating:****

Since its debut with Toy Story back in 1995, animation giant Pixar has distinguished itself by constantly creating some of the best loved contemporary cartoons. Although their 13th feature may not rank alongside The Incredibles, WALL-E, or Up in the Pixar pantheon, Brave is every bit as visually sumptuous and emotionally resonant as you’d expect.

Set in medieval Scotland, the magical adventure marks the directing debut of veteran storyboard artist Mark Andrews. He took over from Brenda Chapman, who conceived the fantasy and receives joint credit as helmer.

This is also the first Pixar film to centre on a female protagonist. An impetuous teenage princess (voiced by Macdonald) is determined to control her own destiny, never mind if her parents (Thompson-Billy Connolly) have other plans. Faced with the prospect of an arranged marriage to one of three lords from rival clans, the rebellious youngster flees into the surrounding forest.

The plot thickens, and how, when the headstrong lass seeks help from a wily witch (Julie Walters). An age-old curse is invoked, leading to dire consequences for her family and the entire kingdom.

The story now takes a supernatural turn, becoming even somewhat scary for the little ’uns. The princess ultimately realises that differences between parents and offspring need not be divisive. The heroic final act underscores that family bonds are more powerful than pride or selfishness.

The fairy tale-style narrative may be familiar but there's no faulting the craft. The visual design, which features some of the most limpid landscapes ever animated, is matched by the attention to detail. The voice talent invests their characters with more vitality than most actors in live-action films.

Oh, and do get to the cinema on time or you might miss out on an entrancing seven-minute short film called La Luna, which precedes the feature presentation.

 

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