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Brave: Movie Review

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Pixar’s new movie, Brave, isn’t about talking cars or toys. It doesn’t even star boys. In this latest feature film from the animation studio, a princess takes the lead role – a first for Pixar.

Set in the Scottish Highlands, Brave is a different story than Pixar is used to telling. Thankfully, the studio tells a beautiful and adventurous tale, with humor and suspense, the entire family will love. It's a legend with very powerful lessons.


Merida wants to forge her own path in life, discover her own destiny. But, as the daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor, her life is bound by tradition and expectation. Unhappy with her determined fate, Merida defies custom, angering the lords of the land, her parents, dividing her kingdom. Desperate to change her circumstances, Merida makes a wish that is soon granted. But the outcome is not what she expected and her impetuous actions lead to even more dire consequences. Merida must undo the curse before it’s too late.


It’s not often that you find a movie with a great family message that’s funny, entertaining and safe for most ages to watch. Rated PG for some scary moments and rude humor, Brave is appropriate for children who are OK with somewhat suspenseful scenes including sword fighting and a vicious bear.

Brave is no fairy tale, but it is patterned after folklore. There’s no princess waiting for her prince charming to show up. Merida is a headstrong, wily teenage girl excited to explore her destiny. Her frizzy, untamable hair matches her personality as she clashes with her mother’s traditional view of who a princess should be. It’s the classic mother vs. teenage daughter story.

Falling in line with past princess-centered movies, magic is a part of Merida’s story. However, its use in Brave is different than in Disney’s classics, such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and The Little Mermaid. Pixar uses magic as an element to teach Merida a valuable lesson. The eccentric witch who casts a spell is not the villain, as we’re accustomed to in these stories. Malice isn’t a factor. In fact, nothing turns out well in the movie as a result of the magic.

Brave is exceptionally well produced. Pixar has captured the struggles of the mother-daughter relationship. The development of these cartoon characters is something to see as the filmmakers shine a light on the importance of appreciating and working differences out in family. All this, plus the incredible animation work done to create ancient Scotland on the big screen make Brave a worthwhile picture. Everything from the costume design to the set decoration, the talented vocal cast to the film score, complements to Merida’s developing story.


Though it's distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, Brave is not a Disney princess movie. There aren’t Broadway-style musical numbers weaved through a romantic storyline in this Pixar creation. Merida’s story is one of family and one of discovering your purpose. It’s one of bravery… and one to see.

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About The Author


Hannah Goodwyn served as a Senior Producer for, managing and writing for the award-winning website. After her undergraduate studies at Christopher Newport University, Hannah went on to study Journalism at the graduate level. In 2005, she graduated summa cum laude with her Master's from Regent University and was honored with an Outstanding Student Award. From there, Hannah began work as a content producer for For ten years, she acted as the managing producer for the website's Family and Entertainment sections. A movie buff, Hannah felt right at home working as's