BRAVE is no ordinary princess tale. There is no pining after boys, no happily-ever-afters involving a white dress and no riding into the sunset with prince charming.
It all starts off in quite a conventional manner; the young flamed haired Merida (Kelly Macdonald) is more interested in shooting arrows with her boisterous father (Billy Connolly) than sewing tapestries, learning about deportment and all the other duties expected of a lady.
She wants nothing to do with the arranged marriage put in place by her parents and instead dreams of a life where she is in control of her own fate.
All pretty stock standard packaged in cute Pixar animation of a imagined version of mediaeval Scotland.
But then things take a rather odd turn, involving an encounter with a witch, a disastrous bargain and a damaging spell.
More than just a tale about controlling one's fate, it is a mother-daughter-rivalry farce infused with humour, heart and just the right amount of quirk.
In typical Pixar style Brave is incredibly cute and technically it's visually impressive with its beautiful attention to detail particularly in the character's facial expressions and Merida's wild and unruly hair.
The characters are lively and engaging with Merida's younger brothers, three cheeky little scamps who cause havoc at every available opportunity like Dennis the Menace tripled, stealing the show.
Brave's message is a little muddled but it is a light, funny, unpretentious romp and is a delightful antidote to princess tales where the leading lady is either a damsel in distress or can only triumph by besting the men at their own macho games.
- Stars: Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly, Robbie Coltrane, Kelly Macdonald
- Director: Brenda Chapman
- Rated: PG
- Reviewed By: Miranda Cashin
- Verdict: Three stars