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Friday, August 10, 2012


Hearty plot with twists and turns, moments of sadness, beauty and comedy. (Review by Raeesa Abdul-Karrim)

The verdict is in for the latest Pixar Animation Studios release. Brave 3D has hit the South African Box-Office running. In its first week it has managed to top the SA list knocking over the epic final instalment of the Batman series The Dark Knight Rises. However, does Brave have all the magic and charm of previous classics or is it merely riding the wave of success generated by Pixar’s previous box-office winners?

Now in its sixth year under media conglomerate Disney, Pixar has grown significantly and retained its position as pioneers and leaders in animated film-making. Delivering classics like Toy Story 1, 2 and 3, Finding Nemo, Cars 1 and 2 etc. It is a given that Pixar films are highly anticipated. Directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, Brave introduces us to Pixar’s first female protagonist. A bug, a fish, a rat, a car and a robot ALL before their first female lead needless to say they have taken their time to create her. Question is, is she worth the wait? Possibly.

Set against the rolling landscapes of 10th century Scotland, Castle DunBroch and its adjacent lands are breathtakingly beautiful. It revolves around the life of Princess Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald), from her early years to young adult where she is faced with life-changing decisions. Like her fiery red hair, free-spirited Merida refuses to be tamed and follow the traditions of her clan, much to her mum Queen Elinor’s (Emma Thompson) disapproval. Merida sets out on a path that leads toward the destruction of everything that is valuable to her. However, as with classic fairytale formula all is right in the end.

The plot is hearty with twists and turns, moments of sadness, beauty and comedy. The characters are mostly quite theatrical which should keep the little ones glued to the screen. Billy Connolly voices the large and lovable King Fergus, while Merida’s non-speaking triplet brothers steal the show with their mischievous antics.

I loved the perfectly comprehensible Scottish accents and the hauntingly exquisite score by Patrick Doyle. With a strong sense of morals and love Brave is a genuine family film that tugs at your heart strings but isn’t too soppy to exclude those that prefer a little more action or humour. It was also great to see a fairytale where Prince Charming doesn’t save the day. But whether it will make it up on Pixar’s wall of classics is debatable.

As with most releases, Pixar screens a short film before the feature film. La Luna is an absolutely gorgeous film about three generations of Italian males with a very unique job description. It should not be missed. Brave 3D together with La Luna is currently showing at Ster Kinekor Theatres. – Raeesa Abdul-Karrim