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Nov 12, 2012

MPAA Rating:


Run Time:



Mark Andrews | Brenda Chapman


Kelly Macdonald

Billy Connolly

Emma Thompson

Julie Walters


2012 Disney/Pixar

Official Website >>

Still shot from the movie: Brave.

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Reviewed by

Overall B+
Run Time94

Making the Grades

Redheads finally get their own hero in the form of a feisty Scottish princess with a mass of wild, ginger-colored curls.

From her infancy, Merida (voice by Kelly Macdonald) has been groomed for the role of a royal by her mother, the stately Queen Elinor (voice by Emma Thompson). But Merida chaffs under the imposed restrictions of etiquette and embroidery skills. She prefers to race through the woods shooting arrows at targets suspended along the path. The clash of ideals between parent and child peaks when Merida discovers she is about to be betrothed to the man who wins an archery competition.

To be fair, the trio vying for her hand is the most unsuitable bunch of suitors ever assembled and only by sheer dumb luck does one of them manage to hit the bull’s eye. However, Merida isn’t about to let a fluke determine her future. Defying her mother’s orders, she fires off an arrow that neatly splices the winning shaft into pieces. The rebellious act results in a war of words that sends Merida fleeing into the woods.

There, in the dark recesses of the forest, she stumbles upon a woodcarving witch (voice by Julie Waters) who supplies her with a potent spell. In moment of impetuosity, Merida uses the magic charm on her mother. (This kind of impulsiveness is what gives redheads a reputation for having hotheaded tempers.) Unfortunately, the consequences for her act are unbearable, but to undo it will take more than a steady aim and sure shot.

With three rowdy little brothers and a rather ineffective father (voice by Billy Connolly), she and her mother are the powerhouses in this female-centric film. And while the tension in their relationship is one other moms and girls may relate to, the threats aimed at these main characters and the frequent use of weapons may be too intense for younger viewers. As well, the film contains several frightening scenes played out on the big screen in 3D splendor. To offset the scary action, the script includes some animated male buttock nudity and the unruly antics of Merida’s younger siblings (one of whom dives into the ample bosom of a housemaid to retrieve a key).

Merida may be Pixar’s latest addition to the Disney stable of princesses, but she is far spunkier than the original fairytale royals. She also isn’t waiting around for a Prince Charming to whisk her away. This storyline reflects a far more contemporary take on female independence where women decide not only whom they will marry, but if. While that is a great step forward in Merida’s mind, it doesn’t happen until both this mother and daughter learn the value of listening.

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Brave.

Like many parents today, Queen Elinor is eager to give her daughter advantages she didn’t have. What things do you have that your parents did not? What are the basics that children need to succeed? What do Elinor and Merida discover they really need from one another? What is important when it comes to building strong parent/child relationships?

In the past arranged marriages served as a way to build alliances between countries. What was the benefit of these kinds of pairings? What advantage did it have for the countries involved? What were the disadvantages? Is there still a role for arranged marriages? Would you want your parents to find a partner for you?

Highland games, held in Scotland and other countries, pit competitors against one another in numerous athletic competitions including the caber toss, stone put and Scottish hammer throw.

Trailers & Clips

News & Views About Brave:

Canadian Movie Ratings

G Violence, Nudity
MB PG Violence.Frightening Scenes.

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of Brave...

Home Video Notes: Brave

Release Date: 13 November 2012

Brave releases to home video (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo Pack) with the following extras:

- Audio Commentary

- Animated Short: La Luna

- Bonus Short: The Legend of Mordu

Exclusive HD Content

- Brave Old World

- Fallen Warriors

- Dirty Hairy People

- It is English… Sort Of

- Angus

- The Tapestry

- Promotional Pieces

- Art Gallery

- Merida & Ellnor

- Bears

- Brawl In The Hall

- Wonder Moss

- Magic

- Clan Pixar

- Once Upon A Scene

- Extended Scenes & Alternate Opening

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AndreaUpdyke says: Jun. 26, 2012

Beautiful animations, but I do not recommend this movie for children under 8. Here’s why -

debsherlrn27 says: Jul. 01, 2012

Saw this movie this afternoon with 4 children: Ages 9,7,6 &5. Three girls and one boy. Was the 3D version. Way too frightening for ALL! Had to leave the theater due to the real-life appearance of the grizzly bears and attack scenes, two out of three children in tears. There was probably 15-20 minutes remaining, and should have left sooner.I agree with AndresUpdyke - and even 8 yrs may be too young…

MM says: Jul. 04, 2012

Saw movie with an 8 and a 6 year old females.  Both were very scared at bear scene.  Both in tears.  End of movie, both girls in tears over mom/daughter fall out and make up.  Both girls WOULD NOT recommend this movie.

misty says: Jul. 03, 2013

I took my son to see this in the theater when he was 3. The bear scene scared him, but not to the point of tears. He was a little young to sit through and entire movie at that time, but he lost interest about half-way through. We tried watching it again at home this year, but he still was not interested. The bear was still to scary for him. He loves Cars and Toy Story so I think Brave had too much dialogue. He was just not interested in the mother-daughter relationship. I think this would be a great movie for older girls who would not be afraid of the bear.

Marc M says: Dec. 08, 2013

Saw it with my 6-year-old daughter in the theater, and she was afraid of bears for months afterward (going camping later that summer didn’t help).  Older children won’t be as frightened, and will remember all of he funny moments more.

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