PG, 93 minutes
Given the state of most entertainment geared towards kids these days – take “Hotel Transylvania,” please – “Brave” stands head and shoulders above the rest. It’s an energetic, engaging story of a Scottish princess who throws off the yoke of traditional expectations.
I especially give it points for having the girl not wait around for some derring-do dude to come save her but taking matters into her own able hands.
But the fact that it comes from the Pixar Animation studio means that, fairly or not, it’s automatically held to a loftier standard. Put against gems like “Finding Nemo” or “Up” or “Wall·E,” this movie has a tang of disappointment.
Merida (Kelly Macdonald) is the daughter of the king and queen (Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson), who have spent their whole lives preparing her to be married off to some prince for the good of the kingdom. But she’d rather shoot arrows and ride horses than play the maid-in-waiting.
The land has been plagued by a “demon bear” that ripped off the king’s leg when Merida was a girl, and when she makes a rash choice involving a local enchantress, the curse is brought home in terrible ways.