• PG
  • Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman (2012)
  • US
  • 89 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

Pixar's 13th full-length film is the studio's first to feature a female as its central character, and a memorable creation she is, too. Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald) is a Scottish princess whose head of unruly red hair conveys her fiery spirit: this is a young woman who prefers horse riding and archery to the restrictive life of the court. When Merida learns that her mother (Emma Thompson) plans for her to marry to preserve peace in the kingdom, the princess takes off. But this being a fairy tale, she winds up in a forest, where she meets a witch and begs for a spell that will change her mother's mind. Bad idea. In terms of story Brave seems rather old-fashioned alongside Pixar films such as Up and WALL-E, but there is still plenty to admire. It looks stunning: from the re-creation of the Scottish countryside to Merida's live-wire hair, the film is a technical marvel. Also, while Merida matures during the film, hers is not the predictable romantic fate of spirited princesses past. That said, "Brave" serves up some lazy clichès in its depiction of the kingdom's menfolk and while the film is very entertaining, it lacks the audacious spirit of the studio's earlier offerings.

Plot Summary

Animated fairy tale with the voices of Kelly Macdonald and Emma Thompson. A tomboyish Scottish princess flees the court when her parents talk of marrying her off, but she encounters more trouble in the woods where a witch agrees to cast a spell for her.

Cast and crew


Kelly Macdonald
King Fergus
Billy Connolly
Queen Elinor
Emma Thompson
The Witch
Julie Walters
Lord MacGuffin / Young MacGuffin
Kevin McKidd
Lord Dingwall
Robbie Coltrane
Lord Macintosh
Craig Ferguson
Young Merida
Peigi Barker
Sally Kinghorn


Mark Andrews
Brenda Chapman

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 3 Aug 2012
Certificate PG
Buena Vista Home Entertainment