Recommended for ages 12 and over
Theatrical Release: 6/22/2012
Video Release: 11/13/2012
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter
Writer: Mark Andrews & Steve Purcell
Producer: Katherine Sarafian
Director: Mark Andrews & Brenda Chapman & Steve Purcell
MPAA Rating: PG
Starring: Kelly Macdonald,
Since ancient times, stories of epic battles and mystical legends have been passed through the generations across the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland. In "Brave," a new tale joins the lore when the courageous Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald) confronts tradition, destiny and the fiercest of beasts.
Merida is a skilled archer and impetuous daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson). Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane). Merida's actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Wise Woman (voice of Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it's too late.
"Brave" delivers a good time for the family! The animation is fantastically executed and the voice work is top notch. It features Emma Thompson as Queen Elinor and Kelly Macdonald as Merida.
Merida is told by her mother that there will be suitors for her hand in marriage. One problem, she doesn't want to marry yet, and especially if it means the winner of an archery contest. She is better than her suitors and that doesn't sit well with Merida.
A curse is placed on her mother which turns her into a bear. This takes place after a terrible argument between mother and daughter. Merida feels horrible when she can't restore her mother to her former womanly self. She sets out to make things right and in this Scottish land we get a lot of humor along the way. That said, there are a few jump scenes including a bear jumping up suddenly at a character and one young child at the screening I attended cried out and then cried for a time. It is too intense for young children and features a lot of violence, albeit fantasy and animated violence. For this purpose, we are recommending the movie for ages twelve plus although some parents might be comfortable with kids nine and up watching it. We suggest parents consult the content listing below.
The themes of forgiveness and continuing to learn in life are to be commended. We are pleased to award this film five Doves, our highest rating. Come on, be brave and take someone along to see it with you soon.
Violence: A lot of fantasy violence including punches and fights and eyes poked; characters using weapons; arrows are shot; axe seen in bear's head; animal heads on wall; a crow is killed; bear bangs head and kids laugh; bear almost strikes princess; human skeletons are seen; a girl falls but she is okay.
Drugs: A couple of drinking scenes (probably wine).
Nudity: In a "Braveheart" kind of scene a Scottish man moons characters but we only see the lifted up skirt of his kilt; shirtless men and cleavage; nude men's rears seen and kid's nude rears.
Other: A few jump scenes including a bear jumping out at someone; a mother and daughter have a heated argument and the daughter makes it clear she hates the mother but she regrets that; a witch places a spell on a character but also explains how it can be broken and it comes from restoration of a relationship; the mention of a witch's convention; the painting of God touching Adam's finger during creation has the female character's face in it instead of Adam's face; mucus is seen on kid's nose and then he sniffs it up; water has worms in it and bear spits it out; boys cut man's mustache.