Starring: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, Sally Kinghorn, Eilidh Fraser, Peigi Barker, Steven Cree, Steve Purcell, Callum O’Neill, Patrick Doyle , John Ratzenberger
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Pixar animation directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman. The story set in Medieval 10th century Scotland and centers on Princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald), a skilled archer, who decides to defy the age old customs enforced by her mother, Elinor (Emma Thompson), and refuses to marry the oldest son of one of three lords from other clans, causing chaos in her kingdom. Seeking to change her fate, Merida consults a witch (Julie Walters) for help, but by doing this her family becomes cursed and Merida is forced to undo the spell and discover the true meaning of bravery.
Our Favorite Quote:‘Some say fate is beyond our command, but I know better. Our destiny is within us. You just have to be brave enough to see it.’ – Merida (Brave) Click To Tweet
Best Quotes (Total Quotes: 62)
[first lines; young princess Merida plays hide-and-seek with her mother]
Elinor: Where are you? Come out! Come out! Come on out! I’m coming to get you!
[young Merida laughs as she hides under the table]
Elinor: Where are you, you little rascal? I’m coming to get you!
[Elinor looks under the table but Merida quickly moves to hide somewhere else]
Elinor: Hmm. Where is my little Birthday girl, hm? I’m going to gobble her up when I find her!
[Merida comes up behind Elinor and goes to run away but Elinor catches her]
Elinor: I’m going to eat you!
[she pretends to eat Merida and they both laugh]
[as Elinor and young Merida play, Fergus places his bow on the table]
Elinor: Ach! Fergus, no weapons on the table!
[Merida runs towards the table]
Young Merida: Can I shoot an arrow?
[she picks up the large bow from the table]
Young Merida: Can I? Can I? Can I? Can I? Please, can I?
[she falls and laughs as the bow is too big for her]
Fergus: Not with that. Why not use your very own?
[he presents her with a small bow]
Fergus: Happy Birthday, my wee darlin’!
[as Fergus teaches young Merida how to shoot with her bow, Merida misses the target]
Fergus: Now, there’s a good girl. listen. Draw all the way back now to your cheek. That’s right, keep both eyes open, and boost.
[Merida shoots and misses the target again]
Young Merida: I missed it.
Elinor: Go and fetch it, then.
[as Merida runs off to fetch the bow, Elinor turns to Fergus]
Elinor: A bow, Fergus? She’s a lady!
[Fergus pinches Elinor’s behind playfully and laughs]
[as Merida seeks her missed arrow in the forest and finds it, something feels strange she turns and sees a floating blue light]
Young Merida: A Will O’ the Wisp.
[Merida runs towards it and tries to catch the wisp but it flies away]
Young Merida: They are real.
[Merida then sees a line of wisps and goes after them excitedly, Elinor calls out to her]
Elinor: Merida! Come on, sweetheart, we’re leaving now…
[Merida runs back towards her parents]
Young Merida: I saw a wisp! I saw a wisp!
Elinor: A wisp? You know, some say that Will O’ the Wisps lead you to your fate.
Fergus: Oh, aye! Or an arrow! Come on, let’s be off. Before we see a dancing charging bubu or a giant…
[Fergus walks off and Elinor picks up Merida]
Elinor: Your father doesn’t believe in magic.
Young Merida: Well he should, cause it’s true.
[suddenly huge black bear comes behind Elinor and Merida, making Merida scream with terror]
Fergus: Mor’du! Elinor, hide!
[Elinor and Merida run off, one of Fergus’ men passes a spear to him, Fergus charges towards Mor’du but he snaps off Fergus’ spear, then we see Elinor and Merida escape on horseback, then Fergus holds up his sword at Mor’du and shouts]
Fergus: Come on, you!
[suddenly Mor’du lunges forward and the screen goes blank]
Merida: [voice over] Some say our destiny is tied to the land, as much a part of us as we are of it. Others say fate is woven together like a cloth, so that one’s destiny intertwines with many others. It’s the one thing we search for, or fight to change. Some never find it. But there are some who are led.
Merida: [voice over] The story of how my father lost his leg to the demon bear, Mor’du, became legend. I became a sister to three new brothers, the princes. Hamish, Hubert and Harris. Wee devils more like. They get away with murder! I can never get away with anything!
[we see Merida, now a teenager talking about her life, as the doors to the palace open we see Merida biting into an apple and Elinor looking disappointed]
Merida: [voice over] I’m the princess. I’m the example.
[Merida quickly discards the apple and wipes her mouth with the back of her hand and starts walking towards her parents]
Merida: [voice over] I’ve got duties, responsibilities, expectations. My whole life is planned out, until the day I become, well, my mother. She’s in charge of every single day of my life.
[we see Merida reciting a traditional English song in a monotone voice and looking bored]
Merida: A Robyn, jolly Robyn, and thou shalt know of myn.
[Merida projects her voice louder]
Merida: And thou shalt know of myn…
Elinor: Pronounciate! You must be understood from anywhere in the room, or it’s all for
[Merida mutters to herself]
Merida: This is all for naught.
Elinor: I heard that! From the top.
[we see Elinor teaching Merida geography]
Elinor: A princess must be knowledgeable about her kingdom.
[she takes away the paper that Merida is writing on and holds it up]
Elinor: She doesn’t make doodle!
[we see Elinor teaching Merida how to play the lyre which sounds out of tune]
Elinor: That’s a C, dear.
[then we see Merida holding a bird with Fergus standing beside her, as Merida tries to feed the bird it flies off and attacks Fergus, Merida starts laughing as Fergus tries to fend off the bird]
Elinor: A princess does not chortle!
[then we see Merida trying to stuff a big bite of chicken in her mouth at the dinner table]
Elinor: Doesn’t stuff her gob!
[then we see Elinor opening the curtains in Merida’s room to wake Merida]
Elinor: Rises early…
[then in the kitchen]
Elinor: Is compassionate…
[then at the King’s throne]
[at the dining hall]
[in Merida’s room]
[then we see Elinor with Fergus walking passed Merida]
Elinor: And above all, a princess strives for, well, perfection!
[we see Merida waking up, getting dressed, taking her bow and arrows, running downstairs to her horse, Angus, and riding off]
Merida: [voice over] But every once in a while, there’s a day when I don’t have to be a princess. No lessons, no expectations. A day where anything can happen. A day when I can change my fate.
[we see Merida as she riding into the forest, shooting her arrows at different targets, then sitting near the cliff’s edge and carves on her bow, then see climbs a rock and when she reaches the top she drinks from the waterfall nearby and the screams and jumps up and down in excitement]
[as Merida finally returns to the castle, she jumps off Angus]
Merida: I’m starving. You’re hungry too, I guess.
[Merida pats Angus and he strikes her with his tail]
[then Merida enters the kitchen and is greeted by the kitchen staff, Merida then sneaks some food from the table and enters the dining hall, she goes and hears her father reciting his tale of his fight with Mor’du]
Fergus: From nowhere, the biggest bear you’ve ever seen! Its hide littered with the weapons of fallen warriors. Its face scarred with one dead eye. I threw my sword and…
Merida: Whoosh! One swipe, his sword shattered, then, chomp! Dad’s leg was clean off! Down that monster’s throat it went.
Fergus: Awwwwww! That’s my favorite part!
Merida: Mor’du has never been seen since. And he’s roaming the wild, awaiting his chance for revenge.
Fergus: Let him return, I’ll finish what I gobbled in the first place.
[Merida places her bow on the table]
Elinor: Merida, a princess does not place her weapons on the table.
Merida: Mom! It’s just my bow.
Elinor: A princess should not have weaponry in my opinion.
Fergus: Leave her be! Princess or not, learning to fight is essential.
Merida: Mom, you’ll never guess what I did today.
Merida: I climbed the Crone’s Tooth and drank from the Fire Falls.
Fergus: Fire Falls? They say only the ancient kings were brave enough to drink the fire.
[Fergus laughs and winks at Merida, Elinor is distracted as she’s reading a letter]
Elinor: What did you do, dear?
[Merida is disappointed as Elinor hadn’t heard her story]
Merida: Nothing, mom.
[referring to Merida’s plate of desserts she’s brought to the dinner table]
Elinor: Hungry aren’t we?
Elinor: You’ll get dreadful collywobbles. Oh, Fergus! Will you look at your daughter’s plate?
[Fergus looks as he’s about to take a bite from his large pile of food on his plate]
[referring to the letters that have just arrived]
Elinor: Fergus, they’ve all accepted.
Merida: Who’s accepted what, mother?
[Elinor turns to the triplets]
Elinor: Boys, you are excused.
[the triplets quickly make their exit]
Merida: What did I do now?
Elinor: Your father has something to discuss with you.
[surprised by this, Fergus suddenly spits out what he was drinking]
[Fergus nervously clears his throat]
[Fergus hesitates, not knowing what to say]
Elinor: The lords are presenting their sons as suitors for your betrothal.
Elinor: The clans have accepted!
Fergus: What? I, you, she, Elinor!
Elinor: Honestly, Merida! I don’t know why you’re acting this way. This year each clan will present a suitor to compete in the games for your hand.
Merida: I’m the only princess that just does what she’s told!
Elinor: A princess does not raise her voice. Merida, this is what you’ve been preparing for your whole life.
Merida: No! What you’ve been preparing me for my whole life!
[Merida gets up in anger and starts to walk off]
Merida: I won’t go through with it! You can’t me!
[Merida angrily storms out of the Great Hall to her bedroom]
[Fergus gets up to go after her but knocks down the entire dinner table instead making the dogs attack the food]
[as Merida is striking her bedposts with her sword, Elinor enters]
Merida: Mother! Suitors! Marriage!
Elinor: Once there was an ancient kingdom.
Merida: Aah! Mom! Ancient kingdom!
Elinor: Its name long forgotten, ruled by a wise and fair king who was much beloved. And when he grew old he divided the kingdom among his four sons. That they should be the pillars on which their piece of land rested. But the oldest prince wanted to rule the land for himself, he followed his own path and the kingdom fell, from war and chaos and ruin.
Merida: [sarcastically] That’s a nice story.
Elinor: It’s not just a story, Merida. Legends are lessons and they ring with truths.
Merida: Ach, mom!
Elinor: I would advise you to make your peace with this. The clans are coming to present their suitors.
Merida: It’s not fair!
Elinor: Oh, Merida! It’s marriage, it’s not the end of the world.
[Elinor walks out of Merida’s room and Merida slams the door shut in anger]
[Elinor mutters to herself as she works on embroidering a tapestry of their family when Fergus walks in]
Fergus: You’re muttering.
Elinor: I don’t mutter.
Fergus: Aye, you do. You mutter, lass, when something’s troubling you.
Elinor: I blame you. Stubbornness is entirely from your side of the family.
Fergus: I take it the talk didn’t go too well.
Elinor: I don’t know what to do.
Fergus: Speak to her, dear.
Elinor: I do speak to her, she just doesn’t listen!
Fergus: Come on, now. Pretend I’m Merida. Speak to me. What would you say?
Elinor: I can’t do this!
Fergus: Sure you can.
[Elinor makes a face at him]
Fergus: There! There! That’s my queen! Right, here we go.
[he starts talking in a high pitched girlie voice, pretending to be Merida]
Fergus: I don’t want to get married! I want to stay single and let my hair flow in the wind as I ride through the glen, firing arrows into the sunset.
[Elinor decides to explain to Fergus what she wishes she could explain to Merida]
Elinor: Merida, all this work, all the time spent preparing you, schooling you, giving you everything we never had, I ask you, what do you expect us to do?
[we see that Merida is now talking to her horse, telling him everything she wishes she could tell her mother]
Merida: Call off the gathering! Would that kill them? You’re the queen, you can just tell the lords, the princess is not ready for this. In fact, she might not be ever ready for this! So that’s that!
[Elinor continues to tell Fergus what she wishes to tell Merida]
Elinor: I understand this must all seem unfair, even I have reservations when I faced betrothal.
Elinor: We can’t just run away from who we are.
[we go back to Merida, talking to her horse telling it what she wants to tell her mother]
Merida: I don’t want my life to be over. I want my freedom!
[the scene then goes back and forth between Elinor talking to Fergus and Merida talking to her horse, but it seems like they are talking to each other]
Elinor: But are you willing to pay the price your freedom will cost?
Merida: I’m not doing any of this to hurt you!
Elinor: If you could just try to see what I do, I do out of love.
Merida: But it’s my life! I’m just not ready!
Elinor: I think you’d see, if you could just…
Merida: I think I could make you understand, if you would just…
[Merida’s horse neighs in response]
Merida: I swear, Angus, this isn’t going to happen. Not if I can help it.
[Elinor dresses Merida in a horribly uncomfortable and tight formal dress]
Elinor: You look absolutely beautiful.
Merida: I can’t breathe!
Elinor: Give us a twirl.
[stiffly Merida twirls]
Merida: I can’t move! It’s too tight!
Elinor: It’s perfect.
[Elinor looks at Merida in compassion]
Elinor: Just remember to smile.
[she turns and walks off]
[to the crowd, as the clans gather to present their sons]
Fergus: So, here we are! The four clans! Uh, gathering, uh, for…
[Elinor exasperated by Fergus’ slowness gets up and finishes his sentence]
Elinor: The presentation of the suitors!
[Fergus quickly follows on from his wife]
Fergus: The presentation of the suitors!
[the crowd cheers]
Fergus: Clan Macintosh!
Lord Macintosh: Your majesty, I present my heir and sire, who defended our land from the northern invaders and, with his own sword, stabbed and vanquished thousands more!
[the clan cheers as young Macintosh steps forward to display his sword skills looking obviously vain and spoiled, Merida looks unimpressed]
Fergus: Clan MacGuffin!
Lord MacGuffin: Your majesty, I present my eldest son, who scuttled the Viking war ships with his bare hands. Vanquished two thousand more.
[Lord MacGuffin’s son breaks a thick plank of wood in half to show his strength and the crowd cheers]
Fergus: Clan Dingwall!
[we see Dingwall standing next to a very tall muscular looking young warrior]
Lord Dingwall: I present my only son, who was besieged by ten thousand romans and he took out their whole armor single handedly, with one arm. He was…
[suddenly we see Dingwall pull his son, who is small and weedy looking from behind the tall young warrior]
Lord Dingwall: With one arm, he was steering the ship, and with the other he held his mighty sword and struck down a whole attacking fleet.
[suddenly a voice in the crowd shouts]
Voice in the Crowd: Lies!
Lord Dingwall: What? I heard that! Aye! Say it to my face! Or are you a scared sniffling jackanape? Afraid to muss your pretty hair?
Lord Macintosh: At least we have hair!
Lord MacGuffin: And all our teeth!
[MacGuffin’s son speaks but his accent is so thick that no one can understand him]
Lord Macintosh: And we don’t hide under breeches, you grumpy old troll!
Lord Dingwall: You want to laugh, huh?
[he shouts to his son]
Lord Dingwall: Wee Dingwall!
[suddenly young Dingwall jumps onto Lord Macintosh and with his big teeth bites into his arm and with that a brawl breaks out, with everyone fighting each other]
[Fergus stops the clans fighting]
Fergus: Now, that’s all done! You’ve had your go at each other, show a little decorum. But no more fighting!
[the triplets sneak up and smash Lord Dingwall’s toe, as he shouts in pain he gets hit in the face and the fighting starts all over again, with Fergus jumping in to join the fight, Elinor then gets up walks through the crowd and brings back Fergus and the clan leaders]
Lord Macintosh: Sorry, me queen. I feel terrible. My humblest apologies.
Lord Dingwall: Sorry.
Lord MacGuffin: No disrespect.
Fergus: Sorry, love. I didn’t…
[she looks away from him in silence]
Fergus: Yes, dear.
[Fergus goes back and takes his seat]
Elinor: Now then, where were we? Ah, yes. In accordance with our laws, by the rights of our heritage, only the first born of each of the great leaders may be presented as champion.
[to herself on hearing this]
Merida: First born?
Elinor: And thus, compete for the hand of the princess of DunBroch. To win the fair maiden, they must prove their worth by feats of strength or arms in the games. It is customary for the challenge be determined by the princess herself.
[Merida quickly shouts out]
Merida: Archery! Archery!
[Elinor looks at Merida and Merida then says gracefully]
Merida: I choose archery.
[Elinor turns to the crowd]
Elinor: Let the games begin!
[as the games commences and the archery targets are arranged]
Fergus: It’s time!
Elinor: Archers, to your marks!
Fergus: Aye! Archers, to your marks!
Elinor: And may the lucky arrow find its target!
[the crowd cheers as the young clan’s sons get ready to shoot their arrows]
Fergus: Oi! Get on with it!
[young MacGuffin shoots first but hits the edge of the target, Merida feeling pleased turns to her father]
Merida: I bet he wishes he was tossing cabers.
Fergus: Holding up bridges!
[Fergus and Merida laugh and Elinor scoffs at them]
[after young Macintosh hits his bow and just misses the center of the target]
Young Macintosh: Nooo! Aaahh!
Lord Macintosh: At least you hit the target!
[young Macintosh starts throwing a tantrum]
Merida: Oh, that’s attractive.
[in anger young Macintosh throws his bow, someone in the crowd catches it and shouts]
Voice in the Crowd: I got it!
[Merida turns to her father]
Merida: Good arm!
Fergus: And such lovely flowing locks.
[when it’s young Dingwall’s turn at the archery, he struggles to hold the bow]
Merida: Oh, wee lamb.
[frustrated as Dingwall can barely hold on to the bow, Fergus shouts]
Fergus: Oh, come on! Shoot, boy!
[this startles young Dingwall and he accidentally shoots the center of the target, everyone cheers]
Lord Dingwall: Well done! Well done!
[Lord Dingwall does a little victory dance and then bends and lifts his kilt up at Lord Macintosh and MacGuffin]
Lord Dingwall: Feast your eyes!
[Macintosh and MacGuffin look away in disgust and start making gagging noises]
[after young Dingwall has won the archery, in shock Fergus turns to Elinor]
Fergus: Well, that’s just grand now, isn’t it? Guess who’s coming to dinner?
Fergus: By the way, hope you don’t mind being called lady Ding…
[Fergus turns to face his daughter but sees a dog in her seat instead, then we see Merida has gone onto the field, she addresses the crowd]
Merida: I am Merida, first born descendant of Clan DunBroch. And I’ll be shooting for my own hand!
[to herself as she sees]
Elinor: What are you doing?
[just as Merida is getting ready to shoot her arrow]
[as Merida prepares to take aim she finds moving difficult as her dress is too tight]
Merida: This dress!
[she bends and her dress rips at the back and arms allowing her to move freely, she aims and hits the first target dead on center]
Elinor: Merida, stop this!
[Merida moves to the second target, aims and shoots center again]
Elinor: Don’t you dare release another arrow!
[Merida takes another arrow and prepares to shoot the third target]
Elinor: Merida, I forbid it!
[at that moment Merida shoot the arrow and hits the center of the target, splitting young Dingwall’s arrow in half]
[after Merida’s actions at the clan gathering, Elinor drags and throws Merida into the tapestry room]
Elinor: I don’t believe you! I’ve just about had enough of you, lass!
Merida: You’re the one that want me to…!
Elinor: You just embarrassed them! You embarrassed me!
Merida: I followed the rules!
Elinor: You don’t know what you’ve done!
Merida: I don’t care how…
Elinor: They’ll be fire and sword if it’s not set right.
Merida: Just listen!
Elinor: I am the queen! You listen to me!
Merida: Oh! This is so unfair!
Elinor: Huh! Unfair?
Merida: You were never there for me! This whole marriage is what you want! Do you ever bother to ask what I want? No! You walk around telling me what to do, what not to do! Trying to make me be like you! Well, I’m not going to be like you!
Elinor: Ach! You’re acting like a child!
Merida: And you’re a beast! That’s what you are!
[Merida points her sword at the family tapestry that Elinor had been working on]
Merida: I will never be like you!
[Merida sticks the tip of her sword into the tapestry]
Elinor: No! Stop that!
Merida: I’d rather die than be like you!
[suddenly Merida slashes the tapestry, Elinor is so upset that she takes Merida’s bow]
Elinor: You are a princess! I expect you to act line one!
[Elinor throws Merida’s bow the fire, shocked at her mother, Merida runs out of the room]
Elinor: Merida! Merida!
[Elinor immediately regrets her actions and pulls the bow out of the fire before it burns]
Elinor: Oh, no! What have I done?
[she begins to weep]
[after tearfully running away from the castle, Merida rides Angus until they come across the Ring of Stones and a trail of will o’ the wisps leads them to a cottage where an old woman is making wood carvings of bears]
The Witch: Oh, look around. You holler if you see anything you like. Everything is half off.
Merida: Uh, who are you?
The Witch: Just a humble woodcarver.
Merida: Um, I don’t understand.
[as the old woman is showing her bear woodcarvings, Merida notices the old woman’s broom is sweeping the floor by itself]
Merida: Your broom!
[the old woman snaps her finger and the broom falls to the ground]
Merida: It was sweeping by itself!
The Witch: That’s ridiculous! Wood cannot be imbued with magical property. I should know, I’m a wi…whistler of wood!
[as Merida goes to touch the witch’s crow]
The Witch: That’s stuffed.
[as Merida slowly extends her hand to touch the crow it suddenly snaps its beak and speaks]
The Crow: Stay off the crow!
Merida: Aah! The crow’s talking!
The Crow: See what else I can do! La-la-la-la-la…
[suddenly the old woman snaps her finger and the broom lifts by itself and knocks the crow out and sweeps it across the floor]
Merida: You’re a witch!
The Witch: Woodcarver!
Merida: That’s why the wisp led me to you!
The Witch: Woodcarver!
Merida: You’ll change my fate!
The Witch: Woodcarver!
Merida: You see, it’s my mother.
The Witch: I’m not a witch! Too many unsatisfied customers!
The Witch: If you’re not going to buy anything, get out!
Merida: No, the wisp led me here!
The Witch: I don’t care! Get out! Shoo! Get! Be gone with you!
[the witch uses her powers to float knives towards Merida forcing her out of the cottage]
Merida: I’ll buy it all!
[suddenly the floating knives stop in mid-air]
The Witch: What’s that?
Merida: Every carving.
[the floating knives suddenly point away from Merida]
The Witch: And how are you going to pay for that?
Merida: With this.
[Merida takes off her necklace]
The Witch: Oh, my! Lovely, that is!
The Crow: That’ll set up for months.
[the floating knives fall as the witch tries grabs Merida’s necklace, but Merida pulls it away]
Merida: Every carving, and one spell.
The Witch: Are you sure you know what you’re doing?
Merida: I want a spell to change my mom. That will change my fate.
The Witch: Done!
[the witch quickly grabs the necklace]
[after agreeing to give Merida a spell the witch walks out of her cottage and then walks back towards her cottage]
Merida: Where are you going? What are you doing?
The Witch: Never conjure where you carve, very important.
[she opens her cottage door and inside the cottage everything has changed]
The Witch: The last time I did this was for a prince.
The Crow: Easy on the eye. Fantastic.
The Witch: He demanded I give him the strength of ten men, and he gave me this.
[she shows Merida a coin bearing the symbol of two crossed axes]
The Witch: For a spell. A spell that would change his fate.
Merida: And did he get what he was after?
The Witch: Oh! Yes! And made off with an especially attractive mahogany cheese board.
Total Quotes: 62