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Released: 13th August 2012

Directed By: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman

Starring: Kelly Mcdonald, Billy Connoly, Emma Thompson

Certificate: PG

Reviewed By: Ben Harris

Confident stance, bow and arrow in hand and vibrant red curls cascading over her shoulders – its Pixar’s first female protagonist, Merida. She may not be part of Pixar’s most ambitious work but it’s still thoroughly enjoyable, nevertheless.

‘Brave’ takes place in Scotland, home to Merida – a skilled archer and princess. Craving independence and in constant battle with her mother over arranged marriage, Merida flees into the forest and discovers the home of an old Witch. Asking for help, Merida is granted a wish but it’s a wish she will soon regret and must deal with the consequences.

Because of its simplistic nature and traditional structure, Pixar’s thirteenth feature is undoubtedly a Disney vision. The child friendly themes take ‘Brave’ down a cliché path but it’s so well crafted and beautifully animated that you forgive it for its unoriginality.

The main focal point of ‘Brave’ is the relationship between mother and daughter. Whilst the premise is touching and sweet, it also gives way for humour that can be enjoyed by both children and adults. It’s story can’t match previous Pixar outings but the Scotland setting and gorgeous animation adds a special charm and sophistication.

On top of that we have an array of first-rate voice talent. Kelly Macdonald effortlessly steps into Merida’s shoes, alongside the delightful Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson, and a quirky Julie Walters.

‘Brave’ doesn’t break new ground, however it has enough emotional depth and light humour to satisfy. And hopefully this is the start of introducing leading ladies into the Pixar world.

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