- Director:Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
- Cast:Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters
- Release Date:June 21, 2012
- Distributor:Walt Disney
- Running time:100 minutes
- Film Worth:$16.00
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
This doesn’t quite hit the grand heights of recent Pixar creations and overdoes its Scottishness, but it’s beautifully crafted and packed with humour and heart.
In a way it is fitting that Disney ended up acquiring Pixar, as the powerhouse little company has undoubtedly become the flag bearer for children's animation today. With such modern classics as the Toy Story series and Up, every new Pixar film is eagerly anticipated by children and adults alike. The other development has been the consolidation of the trend of famous actors voicing the characters, and once again Pixar has no trouble in attracting major talent.
One of the selling points of this ancient Scottish tale is that the Highland King Fergus is voiced by world-famous Scotsman Billy Connolly. Perhaps Pixar have rather overdone the Scottishness. In fact it couldn't really be more Scottish if it was a Whiskey-flavoured Haggis wrapped in a tartan kilt but, then again, this is a period piece and it has to go all over the world.
The film breaks new ground by having a female lead - the plucky princess Merida (voiced by the still under rated Kelly Macdonald - Gosford Park, Boardwalk Empire). Merida is of marriage-age and King Fergus and his Queen (another well-judged voice performance by stalwart Emma Thompson) are keen to marry her off. The clan chiefs come to Fergus' castle bringing a series of comic and unsuitably foppish princes. Perhaps predictably for today's sensibilities, the fiery red-haired Merida is an independent sort of a girl who is more interested in archery (she is a better shot than all her suitors), and galloping around the highlands on her trusty Clydesdale. When she goes missing the king and queen become frantic and send out search parties.
Obviously, this being a cartoon, things can only end well. There are plenty of small comic touches. Kids will enjoy the antics of Merida's three little red-haired younger brothers who provide good knockabout moments. Overall though, it is the look of the film that captures the eye. Pixar have had fun creating a magical atmospheric world of misty hills and towering stone castles. Perhaps not Pixar's strongest effort, but the craft and humour are still more than evident. Even a seventy percent Pixar outshines most of its rivals.