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Brave – Will-O-Wisps For Days

I don’t have a Scottish accent, and if I tried to impersonate one it would most likely come out jokingly stupid. Watching this Family Animation however reinvigorated a drive in me to try practicing it. Only by talking to myself though, God forbid to other people.


Brave (2012) is directed by Brenda Chapman and Mark Andrews, produced by Pixar Animation Studios, and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures.

The voice acting team includes Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson, and Billy Connolly. Others are added as well such as Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, and Craig Ferguson.

A courageous and bold skilled archer, Merida, is the daughter of Scottish King Fergus and Queen Elinor who wants to determine her own path in life free from outside control.

She intentionally defies the order of an age-old tradition and ends up causing strife between kingdoms of Highland lords.

To find an answer and solution to her mother’s overbearing insistence on living up to being a princess, she inadvertently encounters a witch in the forest who grants her a spell that could change her fate in return for a prized possession.

The spell unfortunately does not work in the way that she intended for and must find a way to reverse it before its too late and the effects of it become permanent.

Photo Credit: Pixar

Engaging Plot

Merida is a character that I find really fascinating. She’s not the typical princess that desires being with prince charming and riding off into the sunset.

She also doesn’t care too much about comporting herself and acting with gracefulness.

Instead, she’s flamboyant and a go-getter. Having similar characteristics of her father, King Fergus, Merida shows behaviors and traits that don’t reflect the life that her mother, Queen Elinor, wants to imbue her with.

Not wanting to be controlled and given away in marriage against her will, she rather wishes to be her own person and have the freedom to choose her own path in life.

Merida shows a keen interest in being adventurous and explorative.

Possessing a gifted talent for archery, she enjoys hunting in the outdoors and being open in nature.

What I liked most about Merida was that she wasn’t afraid to express herself and rough up the feathers a little bit with the people around her that had expectations for her to act a certain way.

The directors and writers did a great job in making her personality stand out in a unique fashion.

Alluring Cinematography & Comedy

Without a doubt, the cinematography in this movie is absolutely beautiful.

I found the will-o-wisps (blue magical balls of light) to be particularly cool looking. As practically with any Pixar animated film, the CGI was created exceptionally well.

Everything looked designed with careful consideration and thought.

The writing as well was handled cleverly. One thing I didn’t expect coming into this was how incredibly funny the characters would be.

Funny isn’t enough to describe it, there were various scenes where I was left cracking up continually holding my ribs.

There were three little boys that were the younger brothers of Merida-Harris, Hubert, and Hamish.

These little guys were remarkably hysterical.

Certain scenes they were in where they played jokes on and bamboozled the other characters were very entertaining and served to enhance the comedic effect overall.

Photo: Walt Disney Pictures

Brave (Get It?) Performances

It goes without saying that Kelly Macdonald was by far the best voice actress.

She completely nailed her performance with ease and clear effectiveness through showing the viewer a deep close look at who Merida is and why she acts the way she does.

Emma Thompson and Billy Connolly as well worked great as a duo.

Their back and forth communication in addressing Merida and what her future holds served to give depth to the main character and story.

I would however have liked to have seen more development with the witch character, voiced by Julie Walters. She didn’t really get much screen time in my opinion.

I understood why she had to be in the exposition, it’s just I wasn’t really convinced with her motivations and actions.

A little more backstory and explanation in relation to who the witch was, where she came from, and why she gave Merida a bad spell would’ve been sufficient enough.

The big thing that kills it for me though is the villain they portrayed.

I won’t give too much to spoil it, so I’ll keep it vague. Somewhere around the ending when the movie revealed the villain it was a bit jarring.

The twist and turn it took just wasn’t very believable for me. I initially had an idea about where the narrative was going to go but then it changed course and went somewhere else.

For some people they liked that, but for me it simply wasn’t effective to not stick to the perceived outcome of the finale.

Pixar/Walt Disney Studios

Final Thoughts

Brave is a fun, entertaining watch for anyone wanting to relax and vegetate on an adventurous journey of a girl discovering her bravery and boldness to establish her identity.

It’s a good example of showing to parents the importance of understanding their children and their passion to want to unearth their true potential.

And also to children of equally listening to their parents and accepting the fact that they too have been in the same position they’re currently in and hold wisdom to instruct out that, while hard to come to terms with at first, is meant to be well-intended and for the best.

Both are valuable lessons that each and every person can learn from.

FP Score – Noteworthy

Rating: 4 out of 5.




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