Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

Ever since the ads for Brave began showing up, my daughter wanted to see it.

With every sneak peak of different scenes, with every extended commercial my daughter made it clear we were going to see this movie on the first night. She even wrote it on our calendar.

We were going to do that right up until we noticed that soft ball practice was at the same time as when we needed to leave for the drive-in theater.

So we changed our plans and went the following night to Harvest Moon Drive-In Theater all the way in GibsonCity.

Poster image from

The movie tells of a young Scottish princess who has come of age during the middle ages. Her father (Billy Connelly) is the king and must preside over her betrothal to one of the sons of the three lords. Each man must participate in a skill test of the princess’ choosing to see if he is worthy of her hand. Along the way, her mother, the Queen (Emma Thompson), has been trying to teach her daughter decorum and the ways of royalty.

Unhappy at the turn of events, angry at her mother, and wanting to find an easy way out of her dilemma, Merida(Kelly MacDonald) seeks the local witch to create a spell to change her mother about the idea of marriage. But like many spells in fairy tales, this one has unforeseen consequences and Merida must clean up the mess she has made before it is too late.

What I loved about this movie was the stunning animation that reminds me of the quality of hand-drawn anime from Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki.  I also appreciated the dead-on casting of voice actors. Billy Connelly was great as the king while Emma Thompsonis sitting in her rightful place. Kelly Macdonald was excellent as Merida.

While this may go down as one of the weaker movies by Pixar, I still find it a strong tale about a girl who finds she has to fix a problem she created. She has to learn to take responsibility for her actions, which can be hard for a teenager as those of you with teenagers know very well. In that sense it is like many Pixar movies which forces the lead character to confront their own worst traits.

There are parts that might be scarier than pre-schoolers want to see. We took along our 7-year-old who loved the movie but, then again, he was sitting next to Dad. I could see how some of the fight scenes could be especially daunting for the youngest members of the family. Otherwise it is a fun action-filled movie suitable for the whole family.

As for the bear thing, I never saw it coming although when you think about it, the storyline fits with the first part of the movie. Would I go see Brave again?


And I would definitely get another funnel cake sundae from the concession stand.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.