When Disney and Pixar come together, you do expect magic. After all the amalgamation of story and technique can be deadly and you do look forward to that in case of 'Brave'. Set in the era gone by, the film has the kind of story that could have actually been a feature film with real characters than the animated ones. Reason being that it isn't just the kind that would appeal to kids with elders only expected to tag along. However the makers ensure that 'Brave' has the kind of narrative which, despite its fantastical elements, has enough ingredients for all age groups.
Set in Scottish kingdom, 'Brave' is about a princess Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald), an accomplished archer, who wants to decide the course her life takes. Escaping from getting married to a boy who is expected to be the biggest warrior of them all, Merida finds herself in a world that was not just alien but also dangerous at every juncture. In the middle of this all there is a curse, the creatures that have gone hostile and many a surprising encounters.
What makes 'Brave' different from quite a few animation films is that this one has a very deep plot that has to be deciphered instead of plain and simple enjoyed on screen, courtesy visuals. Yes, every frame is painstakingly conceptualised and executed (something which is of course expected) while the colours lit up the screens. However one also has to be attentive about closely following what exactly is unfolding on screen. In that aspect, for kids this film turns out to be a tad more complicated than the likes of 'Cars' where it was action and humour leading from the front.
In that aspect, 'Brave' lives up to its title as most of the characters are projected as quite a brave-heart. Whether it is Merida or her parents (voiced by Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly) or even the villain of the piece, none of them is expected to take it lying down, something which gives an edge to this action affair. What adds spice to the proceedings is an inherent drama that stays intact right through the film's 90 minutes duration and gives something for the adults to ponder over as well.
However what one takes home are not just the visuals but also the mother-daughter bonding which, actually, turns out to be the USP eventually. In its own not-so-subtle way, it is demonstrated quite clearly that conflicts like the one seen in 'Brave' are age old but they can be resolved if there is a sense of trust & belief with an essence of togetherness imbibed in one's self. In that aspect, 'Brave' gets it right.
This also means while the core plot of the film coupled with treatment does make 'Brave' an engaging watch, it isn't the kind that delivers as high from the entertainment perspective either. Not quite a popcorn affair where you choose to surrender yourself into the world of make believe and just plain and simple enjoy all the action unfold with good dose of humour, 'Brave' is more of a thinking film which has been given a light hearted treatment, courtesy it's animation.