Here's what I didn't expect would happen when I saw Brave this summer: that I would bawl like a damn baby. This is not to say that Pixar movies haven't made me cry before — I saw Up and Finding Nemo, and the look on Sully's face at the very end of Monsters, Inc. might set me off just remembering it ... yep, there I go. But I thought I'd be impervious to Brave. Between How to Train Your Dragon and the continuing existence of Gerard Butler, I thought that Scottish stuff was all played out.
If I'm being perfectly honest, the Scottish stuff is a bit played out. Kilts, bare bums, haggis, Braveheart face-painting references ... we get it. But I didn't worry about that stuff too much because I was so engrossed by the mother-daughter stuff played out by Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson) and Princess Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald). I just didn't expect Nicole Holofcener-level psychological realism in a CG-animated kids' movie, but it's very effective and very true — and will, I hope, go completely over the heads of its juvenile target audience! (Speaking of kids: I advised a lot of my friends with young children not to see the film in theaters due to bear-related scariness. Now that it's on home video, so that it can be watched in full daylight and paused, if need be, for reassurance, it might be OK.)