Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Not a {Proper} Princess

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Not a {Proper} Princess

Article excerpt

Not only does Merida, a Disney-Pixar princess, have two living parents, but she isn't willing to sit idly by while three young men of dubious appeal compete for her hand in marriage. Especially when her archery skills far outweigh theirs.

"Brave" is the animated adventure that women and girls have been waiting for since Snow White fled into the forest or the Little Mermaid sacrificed her voice for life on land.

Merida is a Scottish teen who, at this point, isn't interested in getting married and wants to control her own destiny. She chafes under her mother's rules about what a princess does and doesn't do. Queen Elinor has many: A princess doesn't chortle, "stuff her gob" (mouth to us) or place her weapons on the dinner table and, above all, must strive for perfection.

Merida, a headstrong girl with wild, curly red hair, is especially appalled by the future that seems to await her. Three lords of the kingdom, each representing a different clan, will present their first-born sons for a competition with marriage to Merida as the prize.

"Mother, suitors, marriage?" Merida challenges, while the queen counters, "I would advise you to make your peace with it. It's marriage, it's not the end of the world."

When Merida stumbles upon a witch masquerading as a woodcarver, the girl asks for a spell to change her mother. In a clear reminder to be careful what you wish for, she watches Queen Elinor undergo a beastly transformation and tries to reverse the curse before it's too late.

"Brave," featuring the expressive voices of Kelly Macdonald as Merida and Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson as the king and queen, boasts remarkably detailed and spectacular animation. Merida's red hair, an explosion of corkscrews, is a work of art, and so is the Highland countryside, while the faces of the king and clans leaders look carved from jagged stone -- especially their beaks.

The movie is rated PG for some scary action and rude humor, and a couple of scenes involving bears sent some little ones at a preview diving into their parents' laps or to the lobby for a breather. …

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