Brave [2012] ★★★

I approach each new Disney Pixar film with a combination of eagerness and apprehension: will it be as good as I want it to be? As far as “Brave” is concerned,  I knew within minutes that the answer was yes. Even though it doesn’t break any new grounds, I was still captivated by it. It’s that wonderful creativity, along with seemingly boundless imagination that makes “Brave” so good. The movie’s strongest asset is its leading heroine,  a young Scottish princess named Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald). She’s not your average princess, as she rejects feminine stereotyping and would rather spend her time in the forest with a bow and arrow. The plot gets interesting when her mother decides that it’s time for her to get married, even though she’s far from ready. This does not go over well with Merida, who informs her mother that she just wants her freedom. I could go on, but the movie takes you places you don’t see coming, and it wouldn’t be fair to spoil its many surprises. But I will say that “Brave” is both entertaining and continually surprising. That’s always a winning combination in my book. But perhaps the least impressive aspect of it is its use of 3-D, which might best be described as unnecessary. I suspect that the Pixar folks don’t care that much about the medium because their films are already so dimensional. And that’s fine with me.  With that aside, I have nothing else to complain about. The folks at Disney/Pixar can be proud of what they’ve achieved here, and I think audiences of all ages will be grateful. My advice for a weekend at the movies? Take your kids to see “Brave”. You’ll thank me later.

Rating: 3/4

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