‘Brave’: Entertaining Disney-Pixar Film about a Red-Headed Heroine


Disney and Pixar have enjoyed a successful partnership – they are perhaps even the most distinguished, powerhouse name when it comes to animation domination. They gave us a toy chest full of talking toys who teach us about friendships and racing cars that need a reality check. Now they want young children to learn the value of something more priceless: being brave.

 Brave (2012) Disney Film Review

Princess or no, young Merida (voiced by Kelly McDonald) is an Irish rebel. She lives under constant scrutiny of her strict but well-meaning mother (Emma Thompson) whose rules are endless. Her latest hope is to see Merida marry into one of the three tribes lest her father, Fergus (Billy Connolly) be drawn into war. Her father continues to indulge his little girl, shaping her into an expert archer.

The archery tournament for Merida’s hand has rules that prohibits anyone but the firstborn to compete. Fed up with her fate not being her own, Merida competes for herself upsetting her mother and unintentionally her entire house when a spell goes horribly wrong.

I can still remember the first time I saw the trailer spot for this. It wasn’t all that informative of a promo spot but intrigued enough. Animation movies usually don’t inspire mention here just because they’re not the genre I prefer nowadays. That said, I cannot help but enjoy the vision filmmakers – and the creativity from it, have for this new princess (or is it rebel?). So many times, you watch a trailer and feel as if in two minutes flat you’ve seen the entire film. With Brave, there is nothing in the trailer to really indicate how the film would play out. In this scenario, that’s very good.

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For a children’s film, this one was perhaps the bigger surprise than counterparts. I didn’t know what the plot had in mind, and am surprised by the turns the fairy tale takes into “darkness”; with everything (excitement, wonder, laughter, love) but the presence of a handsome prince. Here, we have the young, fiery Merida taking care of her family, protecting them from the mistakes she makes. And, gosh, do I love this red-headed snippet. She’s bold, caring… and a royal mess with her mass of corkscrew curls blowing behind her as she rides through the woods. The message the writers attempt to convey through the cover of a children’s movie isn’t a bad one, exactly… but in looking beneath the obvious ideals, it isn’t one of the most important ones either.

Merida’s entire attitude is one of rebellion towards marriage and I cannot say as I blame her. I’d reject convenience for marriage any day, but the way it’s done almost suggests that in order to be “brave,” we shouldn’t love. In many ways, I admire this movie from a fictional prism because it doesn’t employ the usual clichés. In fact by the time the ending rolls around, it has me laughing at the cuteness of the entire concept. The special effects are glorious as is the transformation of Merida’s young brothers a funny bone objective. Anytime there are good laughs, there’s a decent chance something will win me over. Here, there is great animation and some well-known vocal talent to balance out the few flaws.

In my book, love isn’t weakness. But then I don’t judge fairy-tale character’s harshly because at the end of the day, their reality is fiction, which is how we must enjoy it. And as a story, Brave is marvelously touching.

‘Brave’: Entertaining Disney-Pixar Film about a Red-Headed Heroine. A review of the Disney film Brave (2012). Features the vocal talents of Emma Thompson. #Disney #MovieArchives #Movies Click To Tweet

CONTENT There are two instances of male backside nudity and twice implied; one a male, another female nudity [she is covered in a blanket]. Merida back talks her parents on occasion and uses a spell as a means to rid herself of the nagging. There’s an instance or two of “adult” humor [a maid wearing a low-cut, cleavage baring dress]. Some minor “frightening” images may scare young children including the presence of a blood-thirsty black bear. The film is PG.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


    1. You'd be right in that assumption, Jo – Brave has some top-notch humor. Love when a movie can be poignant and comical in one well-made package. :) Enjoy!

      Thanks for the giveaway tip. :)

  1. I LOVED Brave, which surprised me in a big way. =) I think I could say that I liked it as well as Tangled and almost as much as How to Train Your Dragon, and I really wasn't expecting to like it at all. It's such a sweet movie… and I want her hair… haha.

    1. As did I, AnnaKate – it took me by surprise because I wasn't expecting it to unfold as it did. Tangled may still edge this one out… but both were touching by their own rights (I've not seen the other one you mention).

      Ha! Who wouldn't want that gorgeous mass of red hair!? Merida basically rocks it. ;D

    2. LOL! Perhaps I'll rent it Super Bowl night – I am the only one in my family who couldn't care less about the game so I instead rent some movies. It's fun. :)

  2. While it isn't my favorite Pixar movie, I did really like Brave! The little brothers were such a hoot. lol!

    You are dead on though, Rissi, about it scaring little kids. My three year old cousin got really scared when we went to see it.

    Great review! ;)

    1. The brothers were HYSTARICAL, Rosie! I loved them to death. Just their bits on-screen alone are worth seeing.

      Yeah, I think some kids are more sensitive then others – I babysit some kids who tend more that way. It's not hard to see why – the villains can be darn "scary" and to a 3-year-old, that is intimidating. To say the least!

  3. While I personally believe Pixar has made better films in the past, this one's pretty good. And I've been having a hangover with Brave for the past days. 'Twas a sweet, funny story! Actually, Merida reminds me of myself…minus the gorgeous red, curly hair (which I want).

    1. Really? That's neat, Jemimah! When you see reflections of yourself in a character, it's so much easier to relate and "get" that character. I read a book not long ago in which I saw some of my personality traits in a secondary character and it was easy to "get" her as a result. :)

      Glad you enjoyed Brave even though it's not your favorite Disney/Pixar title.

      And that hair… it's fabulous! ;D

  4. I have to say that it wasn't what I expected and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. But it was a little mish-mashed (it seemed to me) at some points, a bit short and slow in the middle. It might just be me. I liked it, but it wasn't a favorite for me. And Merida's brother were just so funny :) Especially as bears :) And I did like the whole bond that built between Merida and her mom. Good review! Sierra
    Keep growing beautiful!

    1. I can see where you are coming from, Sierra. The reason the story was written as it was (from my perspective) was to bond Merida and her mother. To do that, there had to be something drastic to change both women's perspective. In the end, it was sweet and I wouldn't be surprised if Disney made a sequel in the not-too-distant future.

      Brothers = HILARIOUS! I may have liked them more in that second half. :)

  5. Ohmyword. My older brother took my younger sister and me to the theater to see this…and I fell in love with the movie. 1) I need a Scotish accent. 2) I need to live in Scotland.

    I also really loved the bear fight. It was so symbolic and powerful! I thought it was one of the most intimidating scenes that Pixar/Disney has ever created.

    1. Hey, there, Joanna! Thanks so much for the follow and for the lovely comment – stop by anytime. :)

      The story is really grand along with quite the spitfire of a leading lady. Chances are, I'd watch it again because it was cute. You may be right about the climax – it was intimidating in certain ways but was also a touching demonstration of a mother's love and protection. That speaks volumes.

  6. I just watched this one, too! :)

    I agree with your thoughts on the trailer; it gave just a few clues about the movie, so I didn't really know what to expect plot-wise, which is a nice change.

    I enjoyed Brave, but not as much as I thought I might. I adore the setting of medieval Scotland or Ireland, so I had no problem getting lost in the time frame; Merida's little brothers were hilarious–and her father had some great moments! I loved the character of Queen Elinor, actually, maybe even more than Merida.

    I know what you mean about the "being-brave-means-not-falling-in-love" thing, and while it was nice for a princess to break the mold as Merida did, I'm enough a romantic sucker that I missed a worthy prince ;)

    Glad you enjoyed it–and it's definitely a fun movie to keep on the shelf!

    Between Amy Pond and Merida, I'm lapsing into Scottish accents right and left! :P

    1. The fewer clues a trailer can give and yet still pique the viewers interest, the better. In Brave's case, it was a HUGE benefit. The plot was a sweet ode to the mother-daughter relationship but was done in ways I never expected. Loved the little brothers (were they cute or what!?).

      Being a bit of a romantic I did miss the presence of a noble prince but also didn't ever expect him to show up…. so it was all good! If you want to look that deep (and being an animated movie, I may have over-analyzed it), I think writer's are subtly trying to add in a feminist twist there but of course, many young girl's won't "get" that entirely. Nowadays, they do pick up more than they should.

      Glad you liked it also, Jess-Rose! I may or may not buy a copy of it in the future. Time will tell. :D

  7. I didn't think I would like this movie. I heard it was great and others said it was bad. So soon I had no idea what I thought and finally saw it for myself. I was surprised at how much I liked it. I'm not crazy about the, "I don't need men because they are idiots" story. But this one was funny, and even the fellows made me laugh – and I didn't end up hating them.
    I found it to be a fun story, very exciting, and I loved how it was about a mum and daughter. (And Merida's hair is very cool. I know curls are hard to managed, but I loved hers.)
    Also, her brothers! They were sooo funny. I almost fell out of my chair laughing. And they made such cute little bears. The dad was great too.

    This is one movie I am considering buying

    1. You have an excellent take on this story, Jack – thanks for sharing! I agree 100% about the whole not-needing-men plot and love how you put it. :)

      The three little brothers were (possibly) the best thing about the film, and yes, they were even more amusing as their "alter-egos." :D

      I may get this sometime also because it was one of Disney's better animated flicks. After all… Christmas is just around the corner!

    1. So did I, TJ. It was cutesy and had a decent message. The writer in me appreciates creativity and as a result, I cannot bash this film too much. :)

      Thank you for reading!

  8. I really need to watch this movie, I was quite intrigued/excited about it ever since I saw the trailer but alas, am so behind at checking movies out xP Maybe I'll watch it sometime next month, my mum might be interested in watching it with me ;)

    1. Indeed you do, Li! :) Check it out – it's clever, something I can appreciate even if I did find a flaw or two in the scripting.

      This would be a fun one for your mother and you to watch together – it has a poignant message for mothers and daughters. Enjoy!!!

    1. It is sweet, Brooke. If you've seen/liked Tangled or any Disney/Pixar collaboration, you would likely enjoy Brave as well – it's really a great little family film. :)

      Thank you for reading!

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