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Entries in Brave (3)

Tuesday
Dec042012

Disney Tops Best Animated Feature Nominations

Disney/Pixar(NEW YORK) -- Disney/Pixar’s Brave, the Walt Disney Studios’ Frankenweenie and the Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Wreck-It Ralph have all earned nominations for the upcoming 40th Annual Annie Awards for animation.

Each Disney film has earned a total of 10 nominations in the feature categories for the animation awards.  Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania and Focus Features’ ParaNorman earned eight Annie Award nominations each.

The winners will be announced during the 40th Annual Annie Awards ceremony on Feb. 2 in Los Angeles.  Here are the nominees in two major categories:

Best Animated Feature:

  • Brave – Pixar Animation Studios
  • Frankenweenie – The Walt Disney Studios
  • Hotel Transylvania – Sony Pictures Animation
  • ParaNorman – Focus Features
  • Rise of the Guardians – DreamWorks Animation
  • The Pirates! Band of Misfits – Aardman Animations
  • The Rabbi’s Cat – GKIDS
  • Wreck-It Ralph – Walt Disney Animation Studios

Best Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production:

  • Adam Sandler as Dracula - Hotel Transylvania
  • Alan Tudyk as King Candy - Wreck-It Ralph
  • Atticus Shaffer as “E”Gore – Frankenweenie
  • Catherine O’Hara as Weird Girl – Frankenweenie
  • Imelda Staunton as Queen Victoria - The Pirates! Band of Misfits
  • Jim Cummings as Budzo - Adventures in Zambezia
  • Jude Law as Pitch - Rise of the Guardians
  • Kelly MacDonald as Merida – Brave

For a complete list of nominees, go to Annieawards.org.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun222012

"Brave," "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" and More Open Friday

iStockphoto/ThinkstockHere's a look at the new movies opening nationwide Friday:

-- Brave: Disney-Pixar's latest animated film is set in Scotland and follows Merida, the young daughter of a king and queen who must reverse a curse unleashed upon her kingdom.  The voice cast for the movie, which is screening in 3D, includes Kelly MacDonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly, Craig Ferguson and Kevin McKidd.  Rated PG.  [Click here to read a review]

-- Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: The 16th U.S. president is re-imagined as a vampire killer seeking revenge for the death of his mother at the hands of a supernatural creature.  Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Rufus Sewell star in this Tim Burton-produced thriller.  Rated R.

-- Seeking a Friend for the End of the World: Steve Carell is an insurance salesman who, with his more spontaneous neighbor, played by Keira Knightley, goes on a road trip in search of his high school sweetheart before an asteroid strikes.  Rated R.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun192012

Movie Review: "Brave"

Disney/Pixar(NEW YORK) -- Brave marks the first time Pixar has given us a female protagonist. At first, Merida, a feisty Scottish teen who happens to be a princess, seems like a great character.  As the father of a two-year-old who has adorable yet hopelessly curly hair, Merida’s beautiful red locks, along with her fierce independent streak and beguiling intelligence, made her seem like a future role model for my little girl.  

Then the second act of Brave unfolds and suddenly, Merida isn’t who I thought she was.  But we'll get to that.

Brave takes place in mythological Scotland. Under the watchful eye of her mother Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), Merida, voiced by Boardwalk Empire’s Kelly Macdonald, is being trained to be a princess -- and if she can’t be a princess, then at least to act like one. The rebellious teen spends her lessons longing for her day off when she can hop on her trusted steed and practice archery with a bow given to her by her father the king when she was a wee lass.

Let’s talk about the king, Fergus (Billy Connelly). The day he gave Merida the bow, he fought with and lost his leg to a demon bear.  The story became the stuff of legend and King Fergus has apparently spent his waking hours since fantasizing about the day he can exact his revenge on the creature. It’s not just his fantasy alone -- he’s forced it on the clans that make up his kingdom.  Let’s face it, exacting revenge by violently killing a bear are always important lessons we want to impart to our kids.

Back to Merida.  She’s 17 and the queen thinks it’s time for her to get married. To that end, she’s invited the heads of the three clans to present their sons to her daughter, at which time Merida will decide which of the suitors she wants to spend the rest of her life with. Our little renegade disagrees with that tradition and finds a loophole to buy herself some time.  An epic mother-teenage daughter disagreement ensues.  Merida runs to the forest to cool her clogs, where she ultimately encounters a witch who gives her a potion to help change her mother’s mind.  Instead, it changes her mother into a bear -- seriously -- and it’s all downhill (down highlands?) from there.

I’m almost convinced this movie's title is a statement about the courage it took to make a film that completely flies in the face of the great storytelling we’re used to enjoying from Pixar.  With Brave, the studio once again gives us incredible visuals -- creating something gorgeous for moviegoers has apparently become for them as natural as breathing.  However, when it comes to telling this particular story, I think everybody’s favorite animation factory developed a bad case of asthma.  It’s hard to believe these are the same people who gave us Wall-E, Up, and Toy Story 3.  Fortunately, if you can re-suspend your disbelief for the last five minutes of the movie, there’s sort of a cathartic payoff to remind us that if Pixar had kept it simple, Brave could have been more accessible, kid-friendly and just plain better than it is.

Rating: Two-and-a-half out of five stars.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio