Friday, August 03, 2012

Movie Review: Disney-Pixar's BRAVE

“Some say our destiny is tied to the land, as much a part of us 
as we are of it. Others say fate is woven together like a cloth, 
so that one’s destiny intertwines with many others. 
It’s the one thing we search for, or fight to change. 
Some never find it. But there are some who are led.” ~ Merida 

I have a deep fascination with Celtic music thanks to Enya and The Corrs. I also like the movie Braveheart despite its sad ending. Thus, it's a given that Ireland and Scotland are two dream destinations I'd love to go to in the future.

The moment I saw the trailer for Disney-Pixar's Brave, heard the music, and listened to the characters' accents, I knew I'd love to see that movie. And when I did see it, I found it a fantastic tale of love for one's family and heritage.

Brave is a grand adventure filled with unforgettable characters, beautiful words, and the signature Pixar humor that will make you laugh while simultaneously touching your heart. The movie joins the roster of lores about epic battles and mystical legends that the mysterious highlands of Scotland is known for.

This story follows the journey of a headstrong princess named Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald). A skilled archer, her independent spirit led her to confront tradition and challenge destiny to change her fate after her parents, King Fergus (voiced by Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voiced by Emma Thompson), announced that their daughter has to marry soon.

Defiantly, Merida questions an age-old custom that is sacred to her parents and to the three other lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (voiced by Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voiced by Craig Ferguson), and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voiced by Robbie Coltrane). In her frustration, the princess sought the help of an eccentric Witch (voiced by Julie Walters) who granted her an ill-fated wish.

What happened next unleashed chaos and danger in the kingdom. Merida found herself harnessing all her skills and getting help from her mischievous, albeit clever and adorable, triplet brothers to undo the beastly curse before it's too late. In the process, she discovers the true meaning of bravery while getting to know herself and her mother, better.

This film has a universal theme because both parents and children would be able to recognize themselves in one or more of the characters. I was once a teen so I remember having that rebellious streak when one is young but I am also now a mom who only wants the best for my children. I agree with producer Katherine Sarafian when she said, "I think a lot of people—adults, teenagers and kids—are going to relate to the idea that you want to choose your own path, and at the same time, you have an allegiance to your family, so you’re always walking that line. What’s overstepping and what’s not?" 

I am a believer when it comes to the notion of creating one's destiny. We steer the course our future every time we make a decision and it is up to us to pick the right ones. Still, it is in making the wrong choices where we gain the most knowledge and see what we are really made of.

Go watch Brave and enjoy the beautiful landscapes of Scotland. Disney-Pixar did an excellent job capturing the colorful vistas, making the animations flow flawlessly, and providing beautiful music that ties together all of the story's action, emotion, and humor. 

To see more stills from the movie, please click here.

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