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Brave

By MATTHEW SINGER
Can it really be true that through a dozen films, Pixar—the North American animation titan celebrated for its multilayered storytelling and uncommonly complex characters—declined to come up with a single female protagonist? Indeed it is. Introducing a touch of femininity to the anthropomorphic sausage fest should register as a progressive step forward, but Brave, the company’s 13th feature and its first charged by a current of girl power, is the most conventional movie the studio has yet produced. A fable pitched directly at the princess demographic, it’s set in medieval Scotland, features run-ins with witches, excursions into deep, dark woods, and a few very expressive bears, and concerns itself with a rebellious daughter of royalty. In short, it feels like a classic Disney picture. Normally, that’d be a compliment. In Pixar’s case, it represents a regression. To be fair, the young lass at the film’s center is a piece of work. Her name is Princess Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald). She has eyes the color of the Tahitian ocean and a tangle of bright red curls erupting out of her head like magma from a porcelain volcano. Handy with a bow and arrow, she’s like Katniss Everdeen for the Dora the Explorer crowd. But in comparison to the movies of Pixar’s past, Brave feels stultifyingly simple.
 
  • Genres: Animated, Adventure, Comedy
  • Running Time: 100 minutes
  • Release Date: Monday, August 13, 2012
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • MPAA Rating: PG [ Rude Humor, Some Scary Action ]
  • Critic's Score: B-
  • Starring: Kelly Macdonald [Voice of Princess Merida], Emma Thompson [Voice of Queen Elinor], Billy Connolly [Voice of King Fergus], Julie Walters [Voice of Witch], Kevin McKidd [Voice of Lord MacGuffin/Young MacGuffin], Craig Ferguson [Voice of Lord Macintosh], Robbie Coltrane [Voice of Lord Dingwall]
  • Directed by: Mark Andrews [Director], Brenda Chapman [Director], Mark Andrews [Screenwriter], Steve Purcell [Screenwriter], Brenda Chapman [Screenwriter], Irene Mecchi [Screenwriter], Katherine Sarafian [Producer], John Lasseter [Executive Producer], Patrick Doyle [Original Music]
  • Visit the Movie Website | Watch the trailer
 

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