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Onward the brave
There’s been a lot of anticipation surrounding Brave – the first Pixar film to have a female protagonist/heroine, Pixar’s first fairytale, and of course, the last Pixar film to have the vision of Steve Jobs as an aspect of its development. So the weight of expectations was heavy.
Pixar completely re-wrote their animation technology to enable the complexity of depth, movement, tone and texture found in this, a story much darker and more one-dimensional than we’ve previously had from Pixar.
With the heart of the tale set within the brutal magic that typified 10th century understandings of the world, this wouldn't be the film to take small people to in 3D.
Merida, the heroine, is a reluctant princess whose desire to reverse her fate has unforetold consequences that she must battle to fix before the second sunrise.
As a protagonist she is charming and compelling – a girl-warrior and great icon for small girls to look up to. However, the narrative itself lacks the multidimensional plot points of a Cars or Toy Story, in which all ages of audience can be kept engaged.
The balance between humour and the really very scary aspects – witchcraft, possessed bears, shapeshifting – was not quite there.
Our verdict: Visually arresting, great fun for girls and boys seven and up. Is it a classic that you’ll be buying on DVD? Perhaps only for the brave.
Kate Hannah 11 June 2012