August 13, 2012 Movies

After Disney/Pixar’s biggest collaborative disappointment last year with Cars 2 – they’re back doing what they do best with another original gem.

VisitScotland.com has basically been given a free feature-length advert as luscious highlands are brought to life with jaw-dropping computer-generated landscapes that will make you pine for a journey to our northern cousin – if it actually stops chucking it down.

This adventure trails the story of skilled archer Merida (MacDonald) – daughter to Scottish King Fergus (Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Thompson) – who loathes the thought of being pressed into an arranged marriage.

But when she turns to an eccentric old Witch (Julie Walters) in defiance, the kingdom is turned upside down when Merida is granted an ill-fated wish (I won’t embellish to save on spoilers!) – and she has to discover the true meaning of bravery to undo a beastly curse.

In this moment lies the weakest point of the film, as the main plot point somehow seems patch-worked into a seemingly thin storyline.

But the heart at the centre of the movie – mainly in part to fantastic core characters and the truly charming surroundings – pulls it through its shaky middle third to provide a good ol’ yarn full of wit, wisdom, and just plain good fun.

It falls a shade short of Pixar’s original best – such as Toy Story, Up and Finding Nemo – but sits comfortably alongside the upper echelons of their bountiful library of animated marvels.

Compared to the rest Disney/Pixar are still King of their domain – as this hits its target with considerable ease.

Gavin Miller

Voice cast: Kelly MacDonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, John Ratzenberger

Running Time: 1hr 40mins

Directors: Brenda Chapman & Mark Andrews