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716 of 768 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story for girls
I've read some of the bad reviews, and they seem focused on a few things: 1) Scary scenes, 2) Nudity, 3) Lack of romance. Well, my three year old is super brave so I do agree that a lot of sensitive littles may have an issue with the movie, but it's not really an issue in our household. Nudity? Well, that's kind of laughable as it's an animated movie. I guess some people...
Published on October 28, 2012 by mememe

versus
21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a solid story
This is an addition to my original review (below).

After viewing this film for a third time, I finally determined where the real fault lies in the story. Merida (the princess) wants to change tradition (i.e., her marriage to the winner of a contest). But the problem is, she does absolutely nothing to earn the RIGHT to challenge the tradition. That is, Merida...
Published 18 months ago by John S. Reid


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716 of 768 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story for girls, October 28, 2012
I've read some of the bad reviews, and they seem focused on a few things: 1) Scary scenes, 2) Nudity, 3) Lack of romance. Well, my three year old is super brave so I do agree that a lot of sensitive littles may have an issue with the movie, but it's not really an issue in our household. Nudity? Well, that's kind of laughable as it's an animated movie. I guess some people would rather hear fart humor and characters calling each other jackass ("Shrek"), and if that's you then skip this one, but it's really just two quick scenes and not in a scandalous way. And about that lack of romance... one of the reasons I love this movie for my daughter is the lack of romance for the main character. In fact, the whole plot is about teenager Merida trying to change her "fate" which is to get married before she's ready. She passionately pleads during one speech to the parents of her suitors to let their children decide when they are ready for marriage and to choose their own spouses. This is beyond refreshing after decades of Disney princess schlock where the all too young princess gets into a scrape and must be rescued by a man and then lives "happily ever after". Also, I found the romantic sparks between Merida's parents to be pretty sweet.

If you're raising an independent daughter you want to think for herself and not think girls are meant to be saved by boyfriends, don't skip this movie. (If she's sensitive and scares easily, wait until she's at least school age, though.)
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388 of 461 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pixar's First Fairy-Tale Hits The Mark!, June 24, 2012
Pixar Animation Studios has always been known for their unique approach to filmmaking. They have always put the story first and foremost, something that so many other studios seem to take for granted. They also know the rest of the ingredients to add to make their films stand out from the rest: Great characters, lots of heart, and a goodly quantity of humor.

While not continuing the 21st century tradition of turning the fairy-tale on its head, as in the case of "Shrek", "Brave", feels like a rediscovered story by Grimm's with an unmistakably Pixarian flavor. Legends and myths abound in Scots folklore, and the writers at Pixar didn't have far to go in order to come up with their own story, one that is at once relevant, quite original, and yet entirely congruous with one's expectations of the perfect fairy-tale. As fresh and surprising as any of the studio's previous successes, I enjoyed it immensely, and could watch it many times over without growing tired of it. It's hard to find a real family film that everyone can enjoy together, but this one comes pretty to close to that ideal.

In the ultimate cautionary tale of being careful what you wish for, the film, set in 10th century Scotland, concerns Princess Merida, a feisty, strong-willed, adventure-seeking lass, skilled with both a sword and a bow and arrow, who would rather practice archery and ride through the woods with her horse, Angus, than follow the path desired for her by her parents; or more specifically, her mother. Determined to avoid her fate, she runs away, and manages to find a way to alter her destiny. To make a long story short, this ill-chosen wish sets off a chain of events that threaten to destroy everything Merida holds dear and the entire kingdom of DunBroch along with it.

This fresh take on a typical princess character pleasantly surprised me, as well as the fact that the emotional core of the film, as well as most of the plot, stems not from a romantic relationship between prince and princess, but from the mother/daughter relationship between Merida and Queen Elinor. Anyone who is a daughter like I am will easily relate to how complicated the bond can be between a mother and her child, and this film portrays that unique bond beautifully. Without giving too much away, it is their love for each other and their clashing of personalities that ultimately moves the entire film forward, and the changes they both experience throughout the course of the film give them both a better understanding of each other, and emphasize the importance of empathy, bravery, courage, family, and love.

Not content with just being an entertaining theatrical experience, the film goes into a level of moral and emotional depth that even fans of Pixar may be unfamiliar with. It takes a very special film to bring me to tears, and I was moved quite often. Not to say that "Brave" is strictly a tear-jerker, because it is not. I'd estimate that there is more action, adventure, and humor than in any other Pixar movie to date.

There is no doubt that "Brave" is one of Pixar's most beautifully animated films. The amount of detail is simply brilliant, and computer technology being what it is today, there are times when the visuals on screen almost rival the real world. I've never been to Scotland, but the richness and beauty of the country expressed in the film makes me feel as if I had. The landscapes are simply breathtaking, and so photo-realistic you might feel as if you've just fallen into the wilds of the Highlands; I'm sure that more than one viewing would be needed to absorb it all. The rendering on the hair and fabric is especially lifelike, and certain scenes involving non-human characters might make you do a double-take, they appear so true-to-life!

Composer Patrick Doyle's score is appropriately Scottish in flavor, combining the expected Gaelic melodies (jigs, reels, and such like), with more modern, atmospheric, incidental scoring. Sprightly where it needs to be and brooding where it doesn't, it perfectly enhances the movie to the point that it feels as organic as the moss on the trees. The gentle lullaby, "A Mhaighdean Bhan Uasal", sung by Emma Thompson, is one of the stand-out pieces, and serves as the kind of musical representation of the love between Merida and Elinor. I also quite enjoyed "Song of Mor'du", a sort of Scotch drinking song, heard mainly in the background, but reiterated often throughout the rest of the score. There are also three other songs: "Touch The Sky" and "Into The Open Air", performed by Scots songstress Julie Fowlis, and "Learn Me Right", sung by Birdy, with Mumford and Sons, which, while not written by Doyle, fit expertly into their places in the story and aptly enhance the film.

Now, a good animated character needs a good voice to bring them to life, and the entire cast is all very well-chosen and very well-acted. Comprised mainly of Scottish and English actors, including Billy Connolly as King Fergus, Emma Thompson as Queen Elinor, Robbie Coltrane as Lord Dingwall, Julie Walters as the Witch, and the incomparable Kelly Macdonald as Merida herself, it would be hard to find another group of people so perfect in their roles. Macdonald is wonderful as the flame-haired heroine, and Thompson simply shines as the equally obstinate but caring mother. Billy Connolly is a great counterpoint to her more level-headed and dutiful Queen, but gets far less screen time than either of the two female protagonists.

To sum it all up, "Brave" is a beautiful, touching, exciting, and refreshingly original film, one that is entertaining on so many levels and can stand proudly alongside any of Pixar's previous masterpieces. I would rank it as one of my favorite (if not my favorite) Pixar film, and would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone.
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123 of 152 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For every mother, daughter, and/or Warrior, October 31, 2012
I don't enjoy every box office hit animated movie, but I thoroughly enjoyed Brave. The ending theme may be about bravery, but the story is rich in family relationship and in choosing who you are, who you want to be and how you treat others. It's a great movie to take your kids to see with you.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OLD SCHOOL DISNEY MAGIC STORY TELLING, October 12, 2012
Ok , I really dont understand peoples reveiws of saying this is one of disney /pixars worst.. What movie were they watching I ask . Because I for one saw old school disney storytelling with the beauty of pixar annimation. I suppose it is a more adult like fairy tell story, still has cute jokes but none of the disney sidekick goofyness for kids. But the story is very scottish folklore , which I loved and the characters are so easy to love as well.. I would of given it 5 stars had not for bit slow part in middle. But Ill definatly be purchacing the movie to add to my collection.,
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, beautiful animation., November 17, 2012
By 
Daddy Shawn "Writer & daddy." (La Verne, CA, United States) - See all my reviews
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I've been trying to understand why some seem to be lukewarm about BRAVE. Some would like to see the beginning cut so that the action starts sooner, I would say that you'd miss the exposition if it wasn't there. I, for one, enjoyed every minute of it. Some have said that the backgrounds were too realistic, I think the backgrounds (and all the animation) is just incredibly beautiful. I would agree with the sentiment that it would have been nice to see more of the mother/daughter interaction, but then the movie would have been too long for the younger kids. It's there appropriately, but when the mother and daughter's relationship changes it could have been a slower process and I'd have enjoyed it because I'm at an age where I can enjoy the subtle changes. A ten-year-old wouldn't like that so I can understand the choice. I've read all the negative reviews, but I just don't agree. BRAVE is a great film.

As for this 5-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition - It's fine. I would have liked a sound remix for the 2 channel Dolby. The dialogue is slightly too weak or the musical soundtrack too loud. But if you aren't listening to the film on internal TV speakers then you're fine. It's all great and nothing too terribly distracting. It's great that Disney included so many extras. That makes buying these versions worth the extra $$. I couldn't care less about the 3D, but it's there if I care to watch it. But I honestly never do.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brave, very good show for the whole family, December 18, 2012
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This review is from: Brave (DVD)
I have thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It was a definite good pick for my home video library.
It's good for all ages, young and old alike!
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80 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tight story, Pixar's best rendering yet!, June 26, 2012
No spoilers, just saying that Pixar has redefined a tired Disney theme "princesses" with realistic themes that mother's and daughters and fathers deal with.

The animators were set completely free on animal & scenic rendering. It's scary how fantastic the animation is.

It's also a wee-bit scary in the middle. So see and judge it before you let your sub-eight year old kids watch it.

That said, it's going in my cart as soon as it's available.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, November 20, 2012
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This review is from: Brave (DVD)
I so enjoyed this movie with my granddaughter. i would suggest it to all and any. it is a funny enjoyable movie.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!!!!, December 18, 2012
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This review is from: Brave (DVD)
Disney does it again! A wonderful story about the relationship between a mother and her daughter. Its a tear jerker so be prepared with some tissues!
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21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a solid story, May 18, 2013
By 
John S. Reid (Spokane, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Brave (DVD)
This is an addition to my original review (below).

After viewing this film for a third time, I finally determined where the real fault lies in the story. Merida (the princess) wants to change tradition (i.e., her marriage to the winner of a contest). But the problem is, she does absolutely nothing to earn the RIGHT to challenge the tradition. That is, Merida does not place her own personal safety at stake, nor does she redeem anyone by taking her position (e.g., by personally saving the soul of the ghost-bear prince). If she had placed her own interests at risk, or accomplished something grand or noble by taking her position, then she would have earned the right to challenge tradition. But ... she did nothing. Rather, it was her mother (Elinor) who changed. In short, the ostensible heroine of the story (i.e., Merida) did nothing meritorious - she was only "brave" in being a defiant child. And what lesson does that teach?

My original review:

With over 2000 reviews written thus far, it's unlikely that anyone will read my review. Notwithstanding, here I go.

First of all, let me say that the animation is superb - what Pixar has done in the way of animating hair and water is simply amazing. The forest scenes in the early part of the film are works of art.

Now, to my major problems with the film. Yes, I understand that the "moral" of the story is about being brave in choosing and pursuing your own destiny. What I simply don't get is why the mother (Elinor) underwent such a radical change in personality (going over to accept her daughter's views) merely as a result of her transformation to a bear. There was simply nothing in the mother's experience as a bear which would explain this transformation of personality. Yes, there is the whole "fish" scene, and the "rescue from the evil bear" scene, but I just don't see why either experience should convince the mother that she was wrong in her views, and that her daughter (Merida) was right. Plus, it does not seem that any lesson was learned by Merida, the ostensible heroine of the story (a major shortfall in story telling). In fact, it seems to me that the story is more about the mother (Elinor), and what she learned as a result of her experiences. But, as said, the story falls short to that end. Plus, there is the whole confusing thread of "legends are lessons" - what lesson was learned by whom and as a result of the story told? Merida did not save her mother - it was the mother who saved herself from the "evil bear". So, in my opinion, not good story telling.

John Lassiter (the father of Pixar) is on record as being a great admirer of the films of Hayao Miyazaki (as am I). In Brave Lassiter attempts to create a "young heroine" story line, perhaps along the lines of Miyazaki's Spirited Away, or Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. But Lassiter falls short in Brave. That is, the ostensible heroine of Brave (i.e., Merida) does not place her own life at risk in order to save those whom she loves (or for a greater ideal). In Brave, Merida's greatest contribution to the salvation of her mother is merely placing the stitched-together tapestry over her mother. It was not Merida who saved the day, but rather her mother, Elinor. So what lesson is to be learned from this film? Nothing, so far as I can discern. Merida (the daughter) did not "save the day", and Elinor (the mother) underwent a transformation in personality with no satisfactory explanation as to why that occurred. In the end, a confusing story line as to what was learned by who, and why.
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Brave
Brave by Mark Andrews (DVD - 2012)
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