We loved Brave. The characters, the plot, the settings, the humor, the themes, the moral, the score, all of which we parsed over birthday pizza lunch. We liked strong Merida who can shoot an arrow accurately from horseback but who also recognizes when she makes a mistake and is brave enough to fix it; plus unlike ALL other princesses, she is neither interested in falling in love/getting married nor does so accidentally by the end of the film (a la Belle, Pochahontas, Mulan, Rapunzel). Marriage is just not her raison d'etre. Finally. We also liked her three mischievous brothers and her loving dad. And especially her graying and wrinkled yet beautiful and powerful mum, voiced by none other than Emma Thompson. After spending yesterday at the Highland Games, we spotted numerous Scottish details--caber tossing, hammer throws, dancing, clans, tartans, bagpipes, frosted biscuits, and all the accents. We liked the magic and the legends, the standing stones and will o'the wisps, even the woodcarving witch. We even liked the breathtaking scenery and the lovely, lilting music. Sure, both kiddos got scared during the intense bear scenes. And three of the four of us cried at the touching ending. But no complaints. No negative comparisons to other Pixar or Disney films ('cos I didin't really like Cars or Toy Story that much). No kvetching about weak male characters (anybody else notice that one of the suitors sorta resembled Prince Charles, but blonde? Or was it just me?). No complaining about an anti-feminist solution to the main plot problem (because really, it wasn't. Sewing at a full gallop is just not all that traditional. Especially since she has a dual with her dad afterwards! Can't find the review I read that in, though.). Why do I even read reviews? We thought it was wonderful. All of us.
And we spent the afternoon playing with the action figures and castle!
(We also liked the Pixar short, La Luna, which was very sweet and surprising.)