Once again, Pixar releases yet another absolutely breath-taking animated film that is sure to please all movie-goers. The film definitely has a dark side to it in the story line but very well depicted and visually outstanding. Even the opening short film of La Luna was adorable as well as the trailer for Monsters University which looks absolutely hysterical.
Set in the highlands of Scotland a young red-headed girl plays with her parents in a pasture. It is her birthday and all she wants is a bow like her fathers. Her wish was granted and as she practices at a target an arrow shots beyond eyesight and into the forest. As she scouts through the trees in search of her arrow she is soon greeted by a mystical wisp which leads her back to her parents. Suddenly a fierce bear covered in arrows from past aggressions appears from the forest attacking the family.
Do you believe in fate and does everyone have a planned destiny or is there some way of changing it? Years later. Princess Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald) is back home living with her three young brothers, Harris, Hubert, Hamish, her mother Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson) and her father King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) who in a fight with a bear years earlier happened to lose one leg. Merida is quite the stubborn princess who loves to spend time on her own with her bow and arrow and her horse, Angus, riding throughout the forest practicing shots at her targets. Queen Elinor is trying to make her into a lady in hopes of changing her tomboy ways especially since it is time for her to marry one of the 3 Lord’s son’s. Soon the suitors arrive and participate in the Highland Games whereas the first born sons of Lord MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd), Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane) and Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) compete for Merida’s hand in marriage. One problem with this competition, Merida has decided against her mother’s wishes to compete herself, seeing that she too was first born.
As an argument ensues between Merida and her mother, Merida breaks away after ripping her mother’s tapestry; her mother reacts by throwing her daughter’s favorite bow in the fireplace. On horseback Merida rides into the forest where she meets up with an old lady (voice of Julie Walters)and her ornery Raven, a witch that grants her a wish, a wish that will change her life and that of her families possibly forever. A spell that will become permanent by the second sunrise unless Merida is able to change its fate, look inside herself and set aside her selfish pride and mend the tear that developed between her and her mother bear. There are many obstacles in the way in order for life to become what it once was for Merida and her family but it is amazing what a needle and thread along with fate and destiny will do to once again find the truth that lies within the legend. Fate lives in us all but sometimes one must be brave enough to see it! I will admit in this absolutely beautifully animated story, a meld between dramatic and comedic, it has its hilarious moments for sure, the end brought me back to the last times I spent with my mother reflecting on the things I should have told her and the time I could have spent with her, accepting her words of wisdom that would find the fate inside and lead me to my destiny in life. Maybe it has, maybe things do happen for a reason, as we ourselves follow those wisps that appear leading us to our final destiny. Not much more to say other than that Disney and Pixar have once again created a beautiful animated picture that contains a magnificent story. If there is one negative I’d have to say that it was difficult to understand some of the accents from the Lord’s, although one I believe was on purpose! Everything from the hawks to the horses to the bears to the salmon in the streams, the waterfalls, the characters, the countryside’s and the forest, all were visually brilliant. This film was dedicated to Steve Jobs. Written and thoroughly enjoyed with four paws out of four by Jon Patch.