Merida is a skilled archer and impetuous daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor. Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an ...
Rating: PG for some scary action and rude humor
Length: 100 minutes
Released: June 22, 2012 Nationwide
Cast: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Kevin McKidd
Director: Brenda Chapman, Mark Andrews
Writer: Brenda Chapman
Some of Disney’s animated movies have produced classic songs to help etch the films into legend.
“Brave” is not one of them.
Although the new Disney-Pixar film is destined to be a summer blockbuster as it introduces Merida, a rebellious daughter of Scottish royalty, it’s unlikely the masses will be singing along to the “Brave” songs.
The soundtrack opens with two tracks representing Merida’s perspective, both vocalized by Scottish singer Julie Fowlis (Scottish actress Kelly Macdonald gives the character her speaking voice). And although “Touch the Sky” and “Into the Open Air” are imbued with a mix of Scottish nuance and Disney timelessness, they have more hokum than hook.
A more notable cut, “Learn Me Right,” features U.K. teen sensation Birdy supported by hot British folk-rock band Mumford & Sons as well as the London Symphony Orchestra. It’s rousing, but there’s too much humdrum in the hum.
The soundtrack’s two other vocal tracks include one each by Merida’s parents, King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson). The former is a romping “Song of Mor’du” with Connolly and other cast members dishing out charismatic, pub-worthy gusto, while the latter finds Thompson and Peigi Barker delivering a stately lament, “Noble Maiden Fair (A Mhaighdean Bhan Uasal),” in Gaelic.
What the soundtrack lacks in noteworthy vocal songs, it makes up for with ample tracks of score. Scottish-born composer Patrick Doyle spikes the symphonic instrumentation with homeland flavors such as bagpipes, flute, fiddles and Celtic harp. Jigs are pitted against ominous fill, dramatic outbursts are tempered by cinematic sprawl. And almost every score track takes its own decisive, commanding journey, creating mini-soundtracks within the soundtrack.
Yet you won’t likely remember much of it.
Rating: 3 stars (out of five)
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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