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“Brave” has an odd starting point for a Disney-Pixar movie: a princess, yes, yet no prince. No love interest, but a troubled daughter-mother relationship. A very limited number of cute creatures (and those that there are not too played out), and some scary fights to the death main characters have to engage in. Of course there is lightness: the setting in the Scottish highlands in the age of the old clans makes for language hilarity, kilt action and rough dinner entertainment. But the whole mood is a tad dark, even before the film goes Myasaki, with floating forest spirits and wood witches.

There is a lot to be said about it, but the one thing I will remember was that I am underwhelmed by the key turning point, the queen’s change of fate brought about by her daughter’s anger. Was that all, I wondered, after long talk about fate and change? The turning point allows for some cute moments, no doubt, including giant bears trying to eat with fork and knife and trying to maintain royal grace in general. But in the end, what I could enjoy was the Scottish atmosphere, not the plot or its twists. I could not help the feeling that the film owes its existence rather a current wave of medieval fashion than that one great idea for a story that Pixar has become so famous for. Entertaining while it lasts, but not much more, I am afraid.

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/brave_2012/

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