In a lively commentary, the creatives behind Pixar’s flawed but robust 13th feature talk about how tough it was to squeeze their wee heroine and her magically enlarged mum into shot together.
Worth the effort, though.
Targeting tensions between Highland Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson) and her wildcat lassie Merida (Kelly MacDonald), Brave’s portrait of a loving mum struggling with a tempestuous teenager shows real nuance: with genuine truth in her swings from rage to regret.
Granted, off-screen fall-outs - writer/director Brenda Chapman was ‘dropped’ - are felt: a castle dust-up is as messy as the end is tidy. Yet the details stay on-target despite the arc’s wayward swerves, especially when mum’s mid-film transformation sparks shifts in filial relations.
Pixar’s textural triumphs dazzle duly: cloth on a target, sun-kissed hair… But the expressivity impresses most, with Merida and Elinor’s glances during the uplift scene suggesting that, like the wisps leading Merida to her destiny, Pixar can light the ani-movie way even on an off-day.