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(Mark Andrews; Brenda Chapman; Steve Purcell)
PG, 100 minutes
Kelly McDonald; Emma Thompson; Billy Connolly
The story — of a rebellious princess who battles an imperious queen and is beset by magic spells — is a twist for Pixar but as familiar to its parent company Disney as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast and The Princess and the Frog. One big difference: the woman who makes the heroine’s life miserable is not her stepmother but her own mom.
In ancient Scotland, Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald) is a lass as wild as her curly red mane. An expert in archery, Merida feels closer to the bear-hunting machismo of her father, King Fergus (Billy Connolly), than to the civilizing demands of her mother Elinor (Emma Thompson). She snorts when she laughs, filches food from the pantry, just because she can, and runs free through the bear-infested woods.
When the Queen imports three unsuitable suitors as prospective husbands, Merida causes havoc in the realm by declaring she’ll marry no one but herself. “I hope you die!” she screams at the woman who gave her life. In a rage, Merida visits a witch (Julie Walters), hoping for a magic spell that will change her mother. It does.