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. Set in Medieval 10th century Scotland, Brave (2012) 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 Quotes:
Elinor: [playing hide and seek with young Merida] Where are you? Come out! Come out! Come on out! I’m coming to get you! Where are you, you little rascal? I’m coming to get you! Hmm. Where is my little Birthday girl, hm? I’m going to gobble her up when I find her!
Elinor: [as she catches Merida] I’m going to eat you!
Elinor: Ach! Fergus, no weapons on the table!
Young Merida: [as she picks up the far too large bow] Can I shoot an arrow? Can I? Can I? Can I? Can I? Please, can I?
Fergus: [as he presents Merida with a small bow] Not with that. Why not use your very own? Happy Birthday, my wee darlin’!
Elinor: A bow, Fergus? She’s a lady!
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 a dancing Tatty Bogle. Or a giant having a jigger in the bluebells.
Elinor: Your father doesn’t believe in magic.
Young Merida: Well, he should. Because it’s true.
Merida: 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: 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!
Merida: I’m the princess. I’m the example. I’ve got duties, responsibilities, expectations. My whole life is planned out, preparing for the day I become, well, my mother. She’s in charge of every single day of my life.
Elinor: Enunciate! You must be understood from anywhere in the room, or it’s all for
Merida: [mutters to herself] This is all for naught.
Elinor: I heard that! From the top.
Elinor: [to Merida] A princess must be knowledgeable about her kingdom. She doesn’t make doodle!
'We can't just run away from who we are.' - Elinor (Brave) Click To Tweet
Elinor: [to Merida] A princess does not chortle! Does not stuff her gob! Rises early. Is compassionate. Patient! Cautious! Clean! And above all, a princess strives for, well, perfection!
Merida: [as she rides into the forest] 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.
Fergus: [reciting his tale of his fight with Mor’du] And then, out of nowhere, the biggest bear you’ve ever seen! His hide littered with the weapons of fallen warriors. His face scarred with one dead eye. I drew 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: Aw! That’s my favorite part!
Merida: Mor’du has never been seen since, and is roaming the wild, awaiting his chance for revenge.
Fergus: Let him return. I’ll finish what I guddled in the first place.
Elinor: Merida, a princess does not place her weapons on the table.
Merida: Mum! 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: Mum, 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.
'Legends are lessons. They ring with truths.' - Elinor (Brave) Click To Tweet
Elinor: [referring to Merida’s plate of desserts] Hungry aren’t we?
Elinor: You’ll get dreadful collywobbles. Oh, Fergus! Will you look at your daughter’s plate?
Elinor: The lords are presenting their sons as suitors for your betrothal.
Elinor: The clans have accepted!
Fergus: What? I… You… She… Elinor!
Elinor: This year, each clan will present a suitor to compete in the games for your hand.
Merida: I suppose a princess 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! I won’t go through with it! You can’t make me!
Elinor: [as Merida angrily storms out of the Great Hall] Merida!
Fergus: Huh? Merida!
Fergus: [as he gets up to go after her, he knocks down the table] Boys!
Elinor: Once there was an ancient kingdom.
Merida: Oh! Mum! 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 to war, and chaos, and ruin.
Merida: [sarcastically] That’s a nice story.
Elinor: It’s not just a story, Merida. Legends are lessons. They ring with truths.
Merida: Och, Mum.
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: I blame you. Stubbornness. It’s entirely from your side of the family.
Fergus: I take it the talk didn’t go too well then?
Elinor: I don’t know what to do.
Fergus: Speak to her, dear.
Elinor: I do speak to her. She just doesn’t listen!
'It's marriage. It's not the end of the world.' - Elinor (Brave) Click To Tweet
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. There! There! That’s my queen! Right, here we go.
Fergus: [impersonating Merida] “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: 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?
Merida: [talking to her horse, pretending it’s Elinor] 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: [tells Fergus what she wishes to tell Merida] I understand this must all seem unfair. Even I have reservations when I faced betrothal.
Elinor: But we can’t just run away from who we are.
Merida: [back and forth between Elinor talking to Fergus and Merida talking to her horse] I don’t want my life to be over. I want my freedom!
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…
Elinor, Merida: Listen!
Merida: I swear, Angus, this isn’t going to happen. Not if I can help it.
'Fate be changed, look inside. Mend the bond torn by pride.' - The Witch (Brave) Click To Tweet
Fergus: Clan Macintosh!
Lord Macintosh: Your Majesty, I present my heir and scion, who defended our land from the northern invaders, and with his own sword, Stab Blooder, vanquished a thousands foes!
Fergus: Clan MacGuffin!
Lord MacGuffin: Your Majesty, I present my eldest son, who scuttled the Viking longships, and with his bare hands vanquished two thousand foes.
Fergus: Clan Dingwall!
Lord Dingwall: [we see him standing next to a tall muscular looking young warrior] I present my only son, who was besieged by ten thousand Romans and he took out a whole armada single-handedly. With one arm, he was…
Lord Dingwall: [brings out his son, who is small and thin, from behind the tall warrior] With one arm, he was steering the ship, and with the other he held his mighty sword and struck down a whole attacking fleet.
Voice in the Crowd: Lies!
Lord Dingwall: What? I heard that! Aye! Say it to my face! Or are you a scared, simpering jackanape, afraid to muss your pretty hair?
Lord Macintosh: At least we have hair!
Lord MacGuffin: And all our teeth!
Lord Macintosh: And we don’t hide under bridges, you grumpy old troll!
Elinor: [after the clans have stopped fighting] Now, where were we? Ah, yes. In accordance with our laws, by the rights of our heritage, only the firstborn of each of the great leaders may be presented as champion.
Merida: [to herself] Firstborn?
Elinor: And thus, compete for the hand of the Princess of Dun Broch. 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: Archery! Archery! I choose archery.
Elinor: Let the games begin!
Merida: [after young MacGuffin shoots his arrow and misses] I bet he wishes he was tossing cabers.
Fergus: Or holding up bridges!
Merida: [after young Macintosh throws his bow] Good arm!
Fergus: And such lovely flowing locks.
Fergus: [after young Dingwall wins the archery contest] 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…
[turns to see a dog sat in Merida’s seat]
Merida: I am Merid. Firstborn descendant of Clan Dun Broch. And I’ll be shooting for my own hand!
'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 (Brave) Click To Tweet
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 I…
Elinor: It’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: You’re acting like a child!
Merida: And you’re a beast! That’s what you are!
Merida: I will never be like you!
Elinor: [Merida sticks the tip of her sword into the tapestry] No! Stop that!
Merida: [as she slashes the tapestry] I’d rather die than be like you!
Elinor: [she takes Merida’s bow] You are a princess, and I expect you to act line one!
Elinor: [throws Merida’s bow the fire and Merida runs off] Merida! Merida! Oh, no! What have I done?