The movie “Brave” is Disney’s Pixar’s latest filmmaking venture. It is basically a computer animation that tells the story of a young woman—a Scottish princess, actually—who is going through the typical teen troubles that have become the common fare of Hollywood. The difference being this story is set in medieval Scottland. At least, I think it’s medieval times: the characters are armed with bows and swords and axes, they are ruled by kings and queens, and they tell stories of close encounters with over-sized bears.
The plot revolves around the betrothal of the young woman (for the life of me, I can’t remember her name—I should, but I had an ear infection when I saw the movie, and they were talking in those fierce Scottish accents anyway). As was common in earlier times, the girl’s parents—the Scottish king and queen—are in the process of arranging her marriage. Basically, they want to hold an athletic contest of some sort, where the firstborn sons of the three other Scottish lords are to compete for her hand. She will wed the victor, or so her parents think. I think her name is “Merriada” or something like that. I’ll call her “M” for short. M wants nothing to do with any of her suitors. She’s a typical teenager hell-bent on living her life as she wants to, not as her parents want her to. So she takes steps to thwart her parents’ wills, some of which prove more disastrous than others. She encounters powerful bears, a clever witch, and a number of mystical wil-o-wisps.
Overall, I thought it was a decent movie, but I thought the message was muddled. She goes through her trials and tribulations which were basically a result of her own doing. Her goal is good—she simply wants a say in her own marriage—but she nearly gets her mother killed by her shenanigans. The conflict between what her mother wants and what she wants is only resolved when her mother changes her mind. And I don’t think that transition was handled well—it was cute, but it lacked something. Finally, I’ve noticed a trend in some of the more recent Disney movies. They seem to be getting darker and darker, as if they are forgetting that their primary audience is very young children. This one wasn’t too bad, but there were scenes with skulls and a battle with a very powerful bear that ended with a dead animal. Plus, the looming presence that M might lose her mother might be a bit too much for the very young. Still, it was a good, if not spectacular, movie.
I’ll give it three and a half—maybe even four—stars out of five stars.