12:08 AM EDT 10/17/2013

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Kelly Macdonald

Credit: Disney/Pixar
REVIEW: Brave Is Not One of Pixar's Greatest Hits

Brave Is Not One of Pixar's Greatest Hits: Review

Originally posted 06/26/2012 01:45PM

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A lead character who's not all that likeable until the movie's almost over? Well now, that is brave. It's also not a terrific idea.

Merida (Kelly Macdonald) is petulant, snotty and irresponsible – in other words, a teenager. But the archery-loving Scottish princess also lacks empathy and is cruel to her fiercely traditional mother, Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), and that's harder to swallow. Worse, though, is Brave's nutty central plot twist.

The spoiler-lite gist is that after visiting a witch (a kicky Julie Walters) in hopes of avoiding marriage to one of the dorky sons of a nearby clan, Merida leaves with a darkly magical charm that sends her on a life-altering quest.

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