Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 2012. Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios. Story by Brenda Chapman, Screenplay by Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell, Brenda Chapman, Irene Mecchi, additional screenplay material by Michael Arndt. Produced by Katherine Sarafian. Music by Patrick Doyle. Production Design by Steve Pilcher. Film Editing by Nicholas C. Smith. Academy Awards 2012. Golden Globe Awards 2012. New York Film Critics Awards 2012. North Carolina Film Critics Awards 2012. Online Film Critics Awards 2012. Phoenix Film Critics Awards 2012. Washington Film Critics Awards 2012.
The King of a Scottish clan is delighted by his spunky, rebellious daughter Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald), but her mother (Emma Thompson) is appalled that she does not behave like a proper princess. With her perpetually tousled hair and her insistence on improving her bow and arrow techniques, Merida shocks her betters when she enters the archery contest that is actually meant to help her family choose her future husband. Hoping to get her mother to see that she wants more from life than just betrothal, the young lass asks a forest witch (Julie Walters) to cast a spell that will solve her problems; the result is that she transforms her mother into a giant bear, a seriously inconvenient trick given that Merida’s father (Billy Connolly) is famous for hunting and killing them. It does not sound like much in description, but the no frills plotting and gorgeously colourful animation will delight the young and old, punctuated by some exquisite sequences of imaginative magic and even moments that are genuinely frightening. It holds on to its narrative reins all the way through, a solid animated classic that is sure to satisfy.