Brave effort falls short
THE widespread belief that ‘‘ Pixar does not do average’’ no longer holds true now that Brave is upon us.
This moderately engaging, girls- only animated adventure goes fairly enough by conventional cartooning standards.
However, being simply better than the rest never used to be enough for Pixar Studios, who are now officially in their first rut after last year’s dud, Cars 2.
In Brave, Kelly Macdonald supplies the voice of Merida, a medieval Scottish princess who accidentally turns the offer of a magic wish into a beastly curse that blights her father’s kingdom.
Merida’s dad, Fergus, ( an enjoyably blustery turn by comedian Billy Connolly) isn’t aware of his daughter’s clanger, but her mother, Elinor ( Emma Thompson), most certainly is. It was Merida’s blunder that turned Elinor into a big, bad bear.
And it is Merida alone, of course, who holds the key to undoing the freaky spell.
Merida is a well thought- out character who, like the new Snow White, is not afraid of a scrap and is more than handy with an old- fashioned weapon or two.
As expected, Brave’s production values and voice talent are first- class, however, the storytelling often plods.
The ‘‘ wow’’ factor associated with Pixar classics, such as Finding Nemo, Up and WALL- E is conspicuously absent. Nice enough, but not essential. Important note: The 3D version of Brave is a touch under- illuminated.
Unless you’re happy with paying more to see less, look for cinemas showing the superior 2D version.