Review of Pixar’s ‘Brave’, and ‘La Luna’ Short

On Friday 3rd August Pixar’s new film, Brave, was released into cinemas across the United Kingdom. It’s a brilliant tale of a Scottish princess, full of myths, legends, haggis and bagpipes. Before the film started there was a new short, also created by Pixar, called La Luna. Here’s a preview:

The short is based around three Italians, all from different generations: a papa, son, and grandfather trio. Their job is to go up to the moon and move around all the little stars that land on it to dictate how much of the moon is lit up every night. It appears to be the little boys first night on the moon (he reminded me so much of young Toto from Cinema Paradiso) and he shows the two older men, after they try to argue about it in this great stereotypical Italian way, how to break an absolutely massive star that lands on the moon while they’re up there, before they get to work on moving the stars around. You can tell that Pixar put so much effort into everything they do, as this short even had a beautiful little score playing throughout.

However, Brave is what I had gone to the cinema for and it didn’t let me down. After having lived in Scotland for four years I was almost ready to criticise the American’s take on what I feel is my home, but they didn’t actually make too many mistakes. They captured the Scottish Highlands beautifully, and even managed to get in some of the Scottish dialect (“ken?” being the one that stood out most). They did, however, imply that eating a haggis is eating a sheep’s stomach; they couldn’t be more wrong: it’s only cooked in the stomach! But I think I can let that slide, as the rest of the film was absolutely stunning.

The cast was a mix of Scottish and English actors, with main characters Merida and Fergus being voiced by Scots, Kelly McDonald and Billy Connolly, so overall the accents were pretty good. Americans doing bad Scottish accents can get slightly tiresome so it was great to know that they had cast people who actually knew what they were doing.

Pixar did well with this film in that the trailer didn’t actually give the main story away. Sometimes I find that once you’ve seen the trailer for a lot of films you know exactly what you’re about to sit down and watch and, if it’s a comedy, you tend to have already seen all the funny parts. I considered telling you all what the plot is but I’d rather let you see for yourselves, as this is exactly what made the film so exciting for me.

The score was written by Patrick Doyle and is full of Scottish themes, with many different pipes featuring strongly and strings and drums keeping up the pace of traditional Scottish music. It reminded me of the sheer passion and patriotism of the Scots; the cold winds may blow across the mountains covered in bright heather, but they will always stand firm in their identity. The soundtrack also features songs from Scotland’s own Julie Fowlis, as well as a collaboration between Mumford & Sons and Birdy on track ‘Learn Me Right’. The music was chosen perfectly and doesn’t deviate from the Scottish themes at any point.

Overall, Brave is a brilliant piece of artwork and definitely worth a watch. I hope that the Scots love it as much as I did, and that it gives those of you who’ve never been to the beautiful land an idea of just how stunning it is.

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