Bear-hunting Princess! Total hoyden, and definitely a SIKAW.
Voiceover (older man): I saw something that day…something I’ll not forget…
[credits for Disney and for Pixar swiftly display]
[a scene of rugged snow-covered mountains and steep valleys]
Voiceover (older man): …it stands twelve feet tall…
[overhead view of a thick forest through which a horse and rider are galloping]
Voiceover (older man): …razor sharp claws…
[a gap in the forest reveals a clearing in which sits a circle of standing stones]
Voiceover (older man): …its hide littered with the weapons of fallen warriors…
[the horse walks towards the circle of stones]
Voiceover (older man): …its face scarred…with one dead eye…
[as the horse and rider move into the stone circle, a dark bulky figure moves out from the shadow of one of the stones]
Voiceover (older man): …I drew my sword…
Voiceover (young woman): CHOMP!
[the scene shifts to a warmly glowing room in a castle, with flamingly red-headed children sitting around a dinner table; the older girl with wildly abundant tangled curls is gleefully finishing the story for her younger brothers]
Merida: Dad’s leg was clean off!
King Fergus: Oh! That’s my favourite part!
[film credits: from the creators of Finding Nemo, Up, Wall-E]
[wide shot of a castle beside a lake with hills behind it and mountains in the distance; longboats come into view being rowed towards the castle]
[Voiceover (older woman): In accordance with our laws, the first-born of each of the great leaders must prove their worth
[shots of young men engaging in feats of strength and martial arts]
text: IN A LAND OF TRADITION
[we see Merida sighting along her bow and letting fly an arrow]
Queen Elinor (angry): Merida! Stop!
[Merida and Elinor face off, staring hard]
[various disapproving male faces; then we see Merida flop sulky-rebellious onto her bed]
Queen Elinor: Ladies enjoy elegant pursuits.
[we see Merida galloping away from the castle on her horse]
text: A HERO WILL RISE
[back in the castle: a leader steps forward]
Lord Dingwall: May I present my only son…
[beside him a young man built like a tank slowly ripples his chest muscles; Merida (in a shiny court dress with her wild hair covered by a ladylike coif) looks surprised and a little alarmed; Fergus and Elinor share a surmising glance]
Dingwall: …he took out a whole armada singlehandledly…
[Dingwall looks at the young man and grimaces; from behind the beefcake he pulls out another young man who is far more ordinary and awkward in appearance]
Dingwall: …with one arm he was stealing the ship…
[Merida groans and tucks an errant lock of hair back under her coif, then pulls it over her eyes]
[we see the outside of the castle in daylight, then Merida in the stable with her horse]
Merida: I want my freedom!
text: A SIMPLE WISH
Elinor: But are you willing to pay the price your freedom will cost?
[Again we see Merida on her horse, galloping through the forest; she is holding her bow]
text: CAN CHANGE A KINGDOM
[Merida dismounts to follow some brightly glowing blue lights]
Merida (voiceover): Careful what you wish for, my mother would say
[a cauldron bubbles]
Fergus (voiceover): What’s the worst that could happen?
[It is dark; a band of grim-faced men on horseback hold flaming torches aloft]
[the horses gallop off, the music swells to suspenseful action-building-to-climax mode]
[daylight in the forest: Merida draws and aims her bow]
[Merida stands in the stone circle, her horse moves uneasily outside it]
[quick switch to warriors brawling in the castle; Queen Elinor walks through the centre of them disdainfully; we see the young princes also fighting]
Fergus: No more fighting! Show a little decorum!
[daylight at the tourney area: Lord Dingwall lifts his kilt to show another lord his arsecheeks]
Dingwall: Feast your eyes!
[The other lord recoils in horror]
[A dark passageway in the castle; a serving woman walks towards a lighted area where three small figures can be seen – they turn out to be bear cubs who make a great display of growling and showing their fangs – the serving woman screams and runs away]
[wide shots of a mountain landscape, we see Merida climbing a sheer cliff]
Merida (voiceover): if you had the chance to change your fate,
[back to Merida with her bow in the stone circle; an enormous bear rears up growling and raising its claws]
Merida (voiceover): …would you?
[back at the tournament: Merida sights along her arrowshaft, narrows her eyes and lets fly; we see the arrow speed toward the target]
text/logo: DISNEY * PIXAR
Since ancient times, stories of epic battles and mystical legends have been passed through the generations across the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland. In “Brave,” a new tale joins the lore when the courageous Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald) confronts tradition, destiny and the fiercest of beasts.
Merida is a skilled archer and impetuous daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson). Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane). Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Witch (voice of Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late.
I like that there doesn’t appear to be any love interest. I hope it stays that way: it looks like conversations between Merida and Queen Elinor and the Witch could pass the Bechdel test so far (the Queen might do some talking about future husbands and/or doing what the King/Daddy wants maybe, but it looks like that won’t be all she’s talking about).