Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Night Magical Movie: Brave

Many of my readers have realised that most of my movie posts are older movies, that would be because I don't get out much.  We hardly ever spend the money to go to the movies, we usually wait for them to come out on DVD instead and I ofen watch them while working on artwork.  However, from the first time I saw still shots of this one, I knew I wanted to see it.  Celts, magic and a firey chick, did they make this just for me?!  I looked up the trailer and showed Dan and he suggested that it would be cool to take Olivia our little 2 1/2 year old granddaughter to see it.  So when my daughter called me up to see if I would babysit Olivias brother 1 year old Rhys so they could go see Brave, I said "No way, we're coming too!"  Rhys' Granny was kind enough to babysit (thanks, Tracey) and we packed up the clan and headed up to the neigborhood theater. 
The royal family at the dinner table.
Pixar's Brave is the story of Merida, (voiced by Kelly Mcdonald) a Scottish princess who wants to make her own destiny in life.  Unfortunately, her position as a princess means she's required to do lots of things she would rather not, girly stuff like needlework and learning manners under her mothers the Queens (Emma Thompson) strict tutelage.  Her father the King (Billy Connely) who lost his leg in a fight with a bear when she was a child, supports her free spirit with the gift of her very own bow and arrows.  Her favorite thing in the world is defying her mother and sneaking away on her horse to practice her archery skills and run free across the Scottish countryside.  When it's announced that a contest will be held to decide which of the neighboring kings first born sons will win her hand in marriage, Merida is not thrilled with the idea. 
I loved the scenery...
Merida decides that since the first borns of each king are allowed to compete she chooses archery for the competition and then jumps into the contest at the end to win her own hand.  This causes lots of friction between all the kingdoms and even more between Merida and her mother.  When Merida runs off and ends up following willo-the-wisps through the woods and finds the cottage of a witch who also is a wood carver.  Merida talks her into doing magic for her so that she can change her mother in order the change her destiny without first considering the consequences.  That's when things go even worse for Merida and for her mother.
Merida rocks the competition but leave the other clans in an uproar!

Merida has to learn through her adventures the importance of family and her mother who gets pulled into the adventure with Merida through a magic spell has to learn respect for her daughters dreams and skills.  The two of them must learn to work together to break the spell by mending what was torn apart by both of their pride. 

Merida is Pixar's first female protagonist, something my son pointed out right away, and they really chose a good one!  She is a wonderful character full of fire and knows pretty much what she wants.  She is rendered beautifully in fact her wild mane of red hair is practically a character itself!  Computer animation has really come a long way, we didn't see the 3D version, but it still was a delight to the eyes.  For me the scene in the morning sunlight at the river was absolute magic, the animators captured the motion of the water and the morning light with finesse and beauty.  I loved the willo-the-wisps and the witch was hysterical!  Not a typical fairytale wicked witch at all which was refreshing, instead she was there in the woods just trying to market her woodcarving wares until the willful Merida pretty much cornered her into provider her with a magical solution to her problems.

 I just about died laughing when Merida returns only find an answering machine type message coming out of the witches cauldron with instructions on how to break the spell and apologies that she's away at the Wickerman Festival at Stonehenge.   The action scenes had you on the edge of your seat and we all laughed that Merida's triplet brothers reminded us very much of her brother Rhys at home with grandma.

 Without giving you a spoiler, I wanted to applaud Pixar for coming up with a very different ending than we usually have for the animated stories about princesses, they really surprised and delighted me by taking the last scene down to road less taken.  Not all princess stories have to be love stories after all!

Did I mention the soundtrack? Oh, man I've gotta have that soundtrack!  In fact, I think I may just have to buy this movie when it comes out on DVD because I think it would be an inspiration to have it playing while I'm working at my old wooden art table.
Merida following the willo-the-wisps.

Monday Movie Featured Item:

Merida isn't the only Celtic warrior woman, in older times, the Celts were actually known for the women fighting right along side the men, all painted in woad body paint much like the Macintosh clan in Brave.  This movie made me think of the people and places in my Voice of the Trees deck, an oracle deck based on the Celtic Ogham.  This garden flag features the cover art of the accompanying book Voice of the Trees Companion, another awesome Celtic warrior chick!

Ogham Shield garden flag available in the Official Voice of the Trees Etsy shop.

Bright Blessings!


  1. I was so surprised by this movie! It made me so happy that Merida was her own hero, with the help of family. The ending was so beautiful. I loved the animation and I LOVED Merida's horse! So beautiful! Was the answering machine scene your favorite? I loved that! I saw the movie with my boyfriend and after that he asked, "I wonder if that would happened if you punched all the buttons on the answering machine?" hahaha I don't want to try it! My favorite scene was when the father imitated his daughter when trying to act out a conversation between Merida and her mom :) he was hilarious!

  2. This review turned the tide for me to go see this film! I read mixed reviews online, but I decided to give it a shot and I LOVED the movie. Thank you so much for writing this. :D

  3. I was quite disappointed because of this one. It was lovely I don;t disagree but I thought It won;t be another My brother bear. The music could be more like in Mists of Avalon


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