Pixar Makes “Brave” Sexy – Lightly Braised Turnip

Pixar Takes An Old Formula In “Brave” – And Sexy – New Direction

Direction: Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman 
Voices: Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson 

In 1995 animation stalwart Pixar debuted its groundbreaking Toy Story.  Since then it has been a consistent performer delivering contemporary classic after classic.

Pixar’s latest – titled Brave – surely will rank alongside The Incredibles, WALL-E, and Up in the Air in the Pixar pantheon.  Brave is every bit as visually sumptuous and emotionally resonant as one would expect from Pixar.

Brave does not have any scenes that will scare the little ‘uns, although there is a scene with mild sexual overtones – a nod to older audiences.  When Merida needs to cross a bridge to return to her kingdom, it is implied that she performs sexual favors for an ogre.  There are no graphic nude depictions, but parents and older children will undoubtedly understand why Merida is suddenly disheveled and the ogre waddling away with his pants down before she is finally allowed to cross.

The fantasy was conceived by storyboard artist Brenda Chapman and takes an refreshing twist on recent popular films featuring female protagonists.  Set in medieval Scotland, the protagonist, Princess Merida, is an impetuous teenage princess (voiced by Macdonald).  She is determined to control her own destiny, never mind if her parents (Thompson-Billy Connolly) have other plans.  Faced with the prospect of an arranged marriage to one of three lords from rival clans, the rebellious youngster flees into the surrounding forest.

The plot thickens after the headstrong princess seeks help from a wily witch (Julie Walters). The witch curses the kingdom, and an adventure ensues.

The story now takes a novel turn that lends a dose of irony to the film’s title.  The princess realizes that little girls should not venture too far from home and hearth.  She yearns to be with her parents and sheds her dreams of adventure.  In a moment of epiphany she sighs to her omnipresent companion, a plucky Yorkshire terrier, “I suppose a girl can do anything a boy can do, but that doesn’t mean she needs to try.”

The heroic final act underscores that female humility and devotion to family are more important than unrealistic dreams or trying to emulate masculine qualities.

Eduardo Lopez Larmo writes reviews for the LBT each Friday.

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