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Brave (***)
directed by
written by Brenda Chapman & Irene Mecchi and Mark Andrews & Steve Purcell
Principal Cast
Kelly Macdonald -- Merida (voice)
Billy Connolly -- Fergus (voice)
Emma Thompson -- Elinor (voice)
Julie Walters -- The Witch (voice)
Robbie Coltrane -- Lord Dingwall (voice)
Kevin McKidd -- Lord MacGuffin / Young MacGuffin (voice)
Craig Ferguson -- Lord Macintosh (voice)
Ratings are based on Rick's four star system.
One star - the commercials are more entertaining than the viewing.
Two stars - watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars - good solid entertainment.
Four stars - you never dreamed viewing could be this good.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood

Brave Brave is a modern fairy tale, occasionally a post-modern fairy tale (the witch has an answering machine). A few chauvinist piggies have suggested that the heroine, Princess Merida, is a lesbian because she doesn't want to get married. Idiots!

Brave is much better than any of the other feature length animated fare currently on screen. In fact Brave is the only animated movie worth watching since Toy Story III. It is thoroughly enjoyable, but not deeply moving.

Someone pointed out to Pixar that they had not made a film with a strong, female lead, so as good liberals they decided to make a film with a female hero and a woman writer and director. There is something essentially wrong-headed about this. Why not just be open-minded? Tell the best story you can and hire the best talent. A fair share of female characters and women writers and directors will be the natural result. That way, Pixar would have avoided the embarrassment of having take Brenda Chapman and Irene Mecchi off the film half-way through production and replace them with Mark Andrews and Steve Purcell.

Unlike Snow White and the Huntsman, where too many cooks spoil the broth, Brave does not show any obvious seams. Characters, plot, theme, animation, and music come together to make a thoroughly enjoyable film.

The Pixar short shown with Brave is La Luna (****) by Enrico Casarosa.

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Copyright © 2012 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon. Visit his web site at

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