Starring the voices of: Kelly MacDonald, Julie Walters, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane, John Ratzenberger
In cinemas August 3rd
Disney princesses are usually groomed to perfection and delicate and ladylike. Not so with Merida (MacDonald), daughter of King Fergus of Clan DunBroch (Connolly), who would rather be shooting arrows and climbing trees than indulging in the etiquette lessons enforced upon her by her mother Queen Elinor (Thompson). She also has wild fiery red hair and a temperament to match which is unheard of in cartoon princesses.
When her mother organises a meeting with the first born sons of three other clans, with a view to finding Merinda a suitor, the rebellious teen is not impressed. Storming off after a row she stumbles upon a cottage where a mysterious old woman sells her a spell to change her mother and ultimately change her fate. However, the results are not what anyone expected and see mother and daughter having to work together to reverse the spell and restore normality while inadvertently bonding with each other along the way.
This is possibly the most un-Disney, Disney princess movie ever, which probably owes much to the fact that Pixar produced it. There is no Prince Charming and our heroine has no interest in being swept off her feet, preferring instead to decide her own destiny. Merida is also their first Scottish princess and MacDonald’s voice talents infuse her with real warmth. A far stronger role model than many princesses who have gone before her, young girls will delight in watching her frustration as her parents attempt to groom her for royal life.
This story is beautifully written and magical enough to enthral children while every adult in the audience will be able to relate to those awkward teenage years when you feel like your parents are trying to control your life. Of course the story would be pointless if the animation wasn’t top notch, but we’ve come to expect nothing less of Disney Pixar at this stage and as usual they have delivered a visual masterpiece that has plenty of depth and texture. The Scottish landscape they have created is truly breathtaking and the detail of the characters is phenomenal.
As with all Pixar offerings, this will make you laugh while tugging at your heart strings and leave you in awe of the talent of the people involved. A lovely family movie but one that has plenty for the adults to enjoy on their own also.
Make sure to arrive early if you’re going to see this as it is accompanied by an incredibly charming short called La Luna, which will set you up nicely for the feature presentation.