(WXIA-TV) -- So the question about Disney Pixar's new movie is: is it great or is it really, really great?
In the tradition of Pixar's animated movies, Brave has a good solid storyline, fun characters, and beautiful, beautiful animation.
Brave is written and directed by a few different folks -- Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell and Brenda Chapman. Chapman has by far the most experience, with a bunch of writing credits (Beauty and the Beast, Cars, Chicken Run and a few others), and she became the first woman to direct a full-length studio animation in 1998 with The Prince of Egypt.
The cast brings along some fun talent with Kelly Macdonald (Helena Ravenclaw in HP:P2), Billy Connelly (from over 60 different movies), Emma Thompson (again from tons, but I'll mention Prof. Sybil Trelawny from Harry Potter), Julie Walters (Molly Weasely from Harry Potter...I'm finding a pattern now), Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid from Harry Potter...yep there's a pattern), and Craig Ferguson (everyone's favorite Scottish late night host).
In Brave, Pixar takes a coming-of-age story with a young Celt princess named Merida and twists it a bit. Merida is being raised to be a lady, but she'd rather be riding and shooting and climbing. She draws the line when her parents (specifically her mother) have a contest for her betrothal amongst the clans. Merida, in a very Disney way, meets a witch who promises her a potion to change her mother's mind about her betrothal. It does...by changing her mother into a bear.
Rather than this being a "child on her own against the world" coming-of-age story, or a "father versus child" coming-of-age story, Brave is a "mother and daughter team up and bond" coming-of-age story, where mother and daughter learn to see things from each others' perspective. It is original and kind of a nice change.
And because it's Pixar, there is no need for me to get into how absolutely amazing the animation was. I mean, amazing! From Merida's hair, the rolling mountain landscapes, to mother bear and daughter child catching salmon in the water....simply fantabulous animation!! Now I saw in 3D, which is gorgeous, but not necessary if you're not a 3D fan.
So whats the bottom line? It's still awesome Pixar, with a little twist. Everyone should see this at some point; it might be a fun mother-daughter movie night, or the whole family around the TV Sunday night. A solid two thumbs up!