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Preview: Disney Pixar’s Brave

Preview: Disney Pixar’s Brave

A friend of the TMF wrote this review after attending the much-anticipated premier. “Brave” opens in Scotland on 3rd August, and goes on general release in the UK on 13th August. It features some of Scotland’s finest traditional musicians and Alex Salmond says it will give a massive boost to the Scottish tourist industry, but what do you think of it? Tell us in the comments section below and let’s get some debate!

A friend of the TMF wrote this review after attending the much-anticipated premier. “Brave” opens in Scotland on 3rd August, and goes on general release in the UK on 13th August. It features some of Scotland’s finest traditional musicians and Alex Salmond says it will give a massive boost to the Scottish tourist industry, but what do you think of it? Tell us in the comments section below and let’s get some debate!

I was offered a ticket to the European 3D launch of the film at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh on 30th June. Julie Fowlis was exceptional with her quartet, singing two songs to open proceedings. Her Gaelic lilt is like a warm blanket you can snuggle into and the audience went wild. She then sang ‘Touch the Sky’ written for the film which was nowhere near as vibrant in sound as her Gaelic material. I was disappointed to hear her singing in English. For some reason I thought she would sing all the way through in Gaelic. The melodies are shmaltzy and in no way related to the Gaelic melodies which have stood the test of time. I doubt any of these new tunes written for the film will be remembered.

And in fact, the storyline isn’t anything to write home about either. It’s a female-lead which is new for Pixar, and the themes involved I find rather disturbingly unresolved (mother and teenage daughter conflict with daughter to be married off with no choice in the matter, mother saying “it’s tradition” with a melancholy look in her eye) and the ensuing adventure which actually never resolves. The final scenes of the film feels like a rushed “let’s get this over with” rather than a satisfactory conclusion.

Pixar have created some astonishing animation, glorious in 3D with the opening act a feast for the eyes. Merida’s character (and Kelly Macdonald as the voice) are the sparkle in this otherwise mediocre film. It is in no way on a par with Pixar’s previous work. And the only thing throughout this film which made me proud to be Scottish, and made the whole audience belly-laugh, was the accents; the wholesome language and turn of phrase which only the Scots (in particular, Glaswegians) can do.

I am sure children everywhere are going to love it. Of course they will – it’s an adventure with a lass with big orange hair and a few bears, some scary, some lovely. My wee one is already fascinated with the book (this WILL be a merchandise extravaganza). Will it promote Scotland? It may bring more people here. So yes, it promotes Scotland. In a “could be anywhere but hey – they all wear kilts!” type of way.

What WAS exceptional was the Pixar ‘short’ which came on before ‘Brave’. It was Pixar at its best, their unusual take on the world coming through loud and clear.

The views expressed are the blogger’s own and do not  necessarily represent the views of the Traditional Music Forum members and Board