Directed by Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, and Steve Purcell
Starring: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson
This is the latest creation from the Disney and Pixar partnership that has produced movies like Up, Toy Story, and Cars. This time the story was the creation of Brenda Chapman, she was looking to create a new fairy tale in the spirit of the Brothers Grimm. She shares credit as a director along with Mark Andrews and Steve Purcell. The voices in the film feature some familiar and unfamiliar names. This includes Kelly Macdonald (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II), Billy Connolly (The Last Samurai), and Emma Thompson (In the Name of the Father). The film also features the voice of John Ratzenberger, the only actor to be featured in all of the films Pixar has made.This movie is the first Pixar film to have a female as the main character.
Princess Merida (Macdonald) wants to choose her own path. To do so, she must defy an ancient tradition and the wishes of her parents (Connolly, Thompson). When she clashes with her mother she finds herself looking for a way to control her own fate. So she enlists a witch to change her destiny, and gets more than she bargained for. Now she’ll need to fight to get things back to how they should be.
This is a good movie, but not one of the game-changers that Pixar has been known for. The acting and animation are good throughout the film. Each of the voices seemed like a perfect fit for their characters. Like most Disney movies, the film has a host of memorable characters that bring fun moments to the movie throughout. The movie also made a good decision and avoided pausing for overly sentimental musical numbers. All of the pieces work together well for a film that the family can enjoy together.
If this film had any weaknesses, it came from the story itself. I felt like the story was a bit of a repeat. The whole idea of the rebellious princess is a bit overdone in the world of Disney films. I felt like they might have been able to stretch a bit more and come up with something more unique. The movie isn’t bad, it just could have been so much better.
For the parents with children out there, this is a great movie for everyone to see. The adults will still find those nuggets of humor that work on their level, while the kids will get everything they hope for from a Disney movie. The characters are fun, and the music throughout the movie is good as well. Visually, the movie is another step in the right direction for computer animated films. While I didn’t love this one, I liked it a lot. I give this movie 3.9 out of 5 stars.