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Review: Brave

Merely good
By BRETT MICHEL  |  June 21, 2012
2.0 2.0 Stars



An improvement over the wreck of Cars 2, Pixar's beautifully rendered Brave is merely good. But after the successive triumphs of the past decade, it's hard to accept anything less than transcendence from the animation studio. Disappointing on a story level, this fable in the feminist Disney Princess mold (unremarkably so) signals problems from the start. An emotionally distancing over-reliance on a voiceover (the antithesis of, say, the nearly wordless masterpiece of montage that set the stage for Up) supplied by flame-tressed Merida (Kelly MacDonald) — the fiercely independent daughter of a Scottish King (Billy Connolly) and Queen (Emma Thompson) — is possibly a product of shake-ups behind-the-scenes (Mark Andrews replaced director Brenda Chapman, who conceived the not-so-original tale), while the pieces (a kingdom in chaos, a wood-carving witch, a rampaging "demon bear," a rote mother-daughter conflict, and a curse — sigh) never coalesce into a satisfying whole.

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