MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +4

Content: +3

Voice Talent: Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane. Animation/Adventure/Comedy in Disney digital 3D. Directors: Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Since ancient times, stories of epic battles and mystical legends have been passed through the generations across the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland. From Disney and Pixar, a new tale joins the lore when the courageous Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald) confronts tradition and challenges destiny to change her fate.

Brave follows the heroic journey of Merida, a skilled archer and headstrong daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson). Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the unruly and uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane). Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric witch for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to harness all of her skills and resources – including her clever and mischievous triplet brothers – to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late, discovering the meaning of true bravery.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Disney and Pixar still reign as kings of animation. It isn’t just that they have all the loot necessary to bring their stories to vivid life. They also have most of the creativity found in Hollywoodland. Their writers and filmmakers possess a winning combination of whimsy and potent story-telling ability that seems to escape most filmmakers of today, no matter the genre. While so many in the film industry are unable to tell today’s stories without crudity and excess, Disney and Pixar, knowing they are aiming at the family, use wit rather than shock value to get our laughs and our involvement.

These two titans of the animation genre once again give moviegoers a classic-to-be. With a magical use of 3D that highlights the story rather than detracting from it, Disney and Pixar fashion a whimsical tale that salutes past fairy stories as well as updating them to give little girls the same empowerment little boys get from caped crusader comic books.

From its lively score to the animation process to the vocal characterizations to the wit (occasionally bawdy, but never crude), Disney and Pixar have fashioned a feel-good movie. There’s been a great deal of hype for the release of this summer movie. Well deserved, for this will surely satisfy the entire family.

But the best part of this movie going experience for me, had to be hearing the kids in attendance laughing at some of the antics. That has to be one of the greatest sounds in the world – a kid laughing. You’ll hear it a lot at a screening of Brave.

Warning: In keeping with the tradition of Disney fairytales, there’s a witch, and our heroine asks her to cast spell on her mother so it will change the daughter’s fate. It’s part of the parable, one in which the girl learns life lessons. Also, we see a bare male bottom and the bared bottoms of three little boys in two different scenes. To me it seemed harmless and got the film’s biggest laughs. Again, I felt these sequences were bawdy, but not crude. Still, some will be frustrated that even Disney cartoons contain nudity these days. You’ve been warned.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: Several action sequences, and a few of them might disturb very little ones – Mom or Dad should be there to reassure.; the mother gets turned into a bear by a spell cast by a witch; soldiers and others chase the bear, trying to kill it; the mother bear defends her loved ones from a rogue bear.

Sex: None

Nudity: In two scenes we see a male bottom or three bottoms of little children; though these scenes are somewhat bawdy, I didn’t feel they became crude.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Our heroine makes a pie for her mother, knowing a spell has been placed upon the ingredients.

Other: None

Running Time: 93 minutes
Intended Audience: Family

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