Walt Disney Pictures Brave

Last updated date: August 19, 2019

DWYM Score
8.1

Walt Disney Pictures Brave

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is your trusted product review source. Along with our in-house experts, our team analyzes thousands of product reviews from the most trusted websites. We then create one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in the category.

We looked at the top Children's Movies and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Children's Movis you should buy.

Overall Take

Pixar's first film with a female lead knocked it out of the park. It brings the wild beauty of Scotland to life with breathtaking 3D animation. Merida's strong sense of self-worth is a welcome change of pace from the standard Disney Princess character. In our analysis of 82 expert reviews, the Walt Disney Pictures Walt Disney Pictures Brave placed 2nd when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note August 20, 2019:
Checkout The Best Children’s Movie for a detailed review of all the top children's movies.

Expert Summarized Score
6.4
8 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
7.1
344,962 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
This is a great-looking movie, much enlivened by the inspiration of giving Merida three small brothers, little redheaded triplets. The Scottish Highlands are thrillingly painted in astonishing detail, and some action shows Merida's archery more than equal in assorted emergencies.
- Roger Ebert
June 20, 2012 | Full review
- The Guardian
August 9, 2012 | Full review
- Metacritic
Brave is almost entirely a delight. The wild beauty of Scotland, of the verdant forests and the craggy peaks, is lovingly rendered with a gorgeous palette of painterly colors and in very agreeable 3D. Even better, the voicings here are among the most exceptional and pleasurable of any animated film you might care to name.
- The Hollywood Reporter
June 10, 2012 | Full review
Brave is an enthralling entertainment, sure to make you laugh. But it’s also a journey of self-discovery readily apparent to anyone weaned on Disney. Even then, the moral is a bit of a fudge — follow your heart and listen to your parents.
- Empire
December 9, 2015 | Full review
From the moment we first meet Merida, there's a sense of familiarity about the character that’s thoroughly endearing. The archetype of the headstrong princess determined to forge her own path has been permanently branded into our collective psyche courtesy of Disney. But unlike many Disney princesses, Merida has a strong sense of self-worth from the very beginning.
- TV Guide
Fortunately, Brave is a return to form for the studio and delivers plenty of fun for moviegoers from all walks of life.
- Screen Rant
June 22, 2012 | Full review
In addition to being fast, funny, and unpretentious, Brave is a happy antidote to all the recent films in which women triumph by besting men at their own macho games, as if the history of male dominance is one of patriarchs suppressing females’ essential warlike nature.
- Vulture
June 22, 2012 | Full review
What experts didn't like
"Brave" seems at a loss to deal with her as a girl and makes her a sort of honorary boy.
- Roger Ebert
June 20, 2012 | Full review
It looks as if their script has been reworked pretty often, though perhaps not quite often enough. It is eerily bland, with none of the zingingly funny lines and smart self-awareness we've come to expect from Pixar; yet it doesn't obviously appear to be pitched at very young kids, either, and doesn't quite have the necessary unforced simplicity. It feels like a standard issue super-sophisticated Pixar movie with the super-sophistication removed. Even the short film that precedes the feature – traditionally a tiny delicious treat in any Pixar programme – is treacly and dull. Brave has a certain inoffensive charm, sometimes, but it is often bafflingly uninteresting as a story.
- The Guardian
August 9, 2012 | Full review
What results is a film that starts off big and promising but diminishes into a rather wee thing as it chugs along, with climactic drama that is both too conveniently wrapped up and hinges on magical elements that are somewhat confusing to boot. Not only is the tale laden with standard-issue fairy tale and familiar girl-empowerment tropes, but the entire project lacks the imaginative leaps, unexpected jokes and sense of fun and wonder that habitually set Pixar productions apart from the pack. Its ideas seem earthbound.
- The Hollywood Reporter
June 10, 2012 | Full review
However, this movie lacks in attention to details and social conciousness.
- TV Guide
This isn't to say that the film fails to deliver a competent narrative or charming characters - but, for some, the studio may not have provided as many memorable or thought-provoking story beats this round.
- Screen Rant
June 22, 2012 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

An adventure into an ancient land full of mystery and tradition-BRAVE.

Overall Product Rankings

Magic Light Pictures Room on the Broom
1. Magic Light Pictures Room on the Broom
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 4
Walt Disney Pictures Brave
2. Walt Disney Pictures Brave
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 8
Magic Light Pictures The Gruffalo
3. Magic Light Pictures The Gruffalo
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 4
Disney – Pixar Monsters Inc
4. Disney – Pixar Monsters Inc
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 13
Magic Light Pictures The Gruffalo’s Child
5. Magic Light Pictures The Gruffalo’s Child
Overall Score: 7.8
Expert Reviews: 4
PARAMOUNT PICTURES Charlotte’s Web
6. PARAMOUNT PICTURES Charlotte’s Web
Overall Score: 6.9
Expert Reviews: 9
Fox The Peanuts Movie
7. Fox The Peanuts Movie
Overall Score: 6.7
Expert Reviews: 10
Walt Disney Pictures Honey, I Shrunk The Kids
8. Walt Disney Pictures Honey, I Shrunk The Kids
Overall Score: 6.3
Expert Reviews: 7
Walt Disney Pictures A Goofy Movie
9. Walt Disney Pictures A Goofy Movie
Overall Score: 6.0
Expert Reviews: 5
Shout! Factory Maya The Bee
10. Shout! Factory Maya The Bee
Overall Score: 5.8
Expert Reviews: 10

An Overview On Children's Movies

As a parent, you’ve got tons of choices to make about what your child listens to, watches and reads. Are they old enough to handle the language of that song? Will they get something worthwhile out of that book? Is this movie’s message something they’ll pick up on?

That’s enough to make anyone exhausted, especially in a time when you’ve got endless content to choose from. Luckily, a great movie can teach them a lot (and give you a little time to put your feet up).

Storytelling is inherently valuable. A great story teaches your children how to tell their own stories. It also encourages them to empathize with characters who are different from them and shows them that there are many different ways to look at and experience the world. Finding that perfect movie for this moment in your kid’s life is a gift for both you and your child. 

The best children’s movies combine a compelling plot with relatable characters and exciting visuals. We’ve done the research for you and picked the best kid flicks around. Take a look at our Tips & Advice for specific info on these fantastic films. 

DWYM Fun Fact

Many childhood favorites are fully animated, but early animated films bear little resemblance to the CGI-heavy flicks of today.  Many people think of the 1928 short “Steamboat Willie” when they think about early animation, but the first animated film was released two decades earlier. 

“Fantasmagorie” by French artist Émile Cohl was the first animated film. It debuted in 1908, and it was about a stick figure interacting with various objects that transformed before your eyes (like a flower stalk turning into an elephant’s trunk). The animator’s hands were purposely featured in several frames. It clocked in at a minute and 17 seconds, and it was part of the Silent Era of animated films.

Synchronized sound came about in animated films around 1924. This was the “Steamboat Willie” era, and most of the action in that short movie revolves around Willie making sounds. The steamboat sounds and Willie’s whistling made this flick stand out. 

Color was finally featured in animated films in 1930. Steamboat Willie was rebranded as Mickey Mouse. His universe rapidly expanded with the addition of Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck. Popeye, Betty Boop and Superman began dominating screens during this time, and Warner Bros. also launched Looney Tunes. 

Technology kept moving forward, improving the quality and realism of animated films.  “The Rescuers Down Under” was the first film that used digital ink and paint in 1990, and “Toy Story” made history in 1995 — it was the first feature film fully animated with computers. 

Today’s animated films can combine different styles, like cutouts, Claymation and old-fashioned hand drawings, to bring unforgettable stories to life. We’ve come a long way since stick figures and steamboats.

The Children's Movis Buying Guide

  • The most obvious feature you’ll want in a children’s movie is an engaging story. There are plenty of kids’ movies that are just slapped together, but even young children can tell the difference between a movie with heart and a storyline that falls apart. “Room on the Broom” is only 30 minutes long, but the story about a generous witch who teams up with her friends to fight a dragon is bewitching. The movie was even nominated for Best Animated Short Film at the 2014 Academy Awards.
  • Many kids’ movies are animated, and the best animated flicks are thoughtful about the medium and how it relates to the movie’s story. Great visuals add oomph to any kids’ movie. “The Gruffalo” uses a combination of Claymation and CGI to bring its story to life. It’s based on the children’s book of the same title, and the animation matches the book’s illustrations to help the story translate to the big screen. Pixar favorite “Monsters, Inc.” uses digital animation to capture every strand of Sulley’s teal fur. 
  • You can find a film with a great story and breathtaking animation, but it won’t matter if it’s not age-friendly for your kid. The length of the film, the complexity of the plot and the movie’s themes all play a role in determining whether it’s appropriate for your child’s age group. “Room on the Broom” and “The Gruffalo” are both ideal for the youngest viewers. They both have a runtime of 40 minutes or less, and the stories combine simple themes with novel animation to keep very young children (ages 5 and under) interested. Pixar’s “Brave” runs for an hour and 40 minutes. It has more complex themes, like promoting independence and standing up for your beliefs. (It’s also Pixar’s first film starring a female protagonist.) It’s rated PG, and it’s probably best for children ages 8 and up. 
  • Speaking of themes, movies can be a fun way to emphasize lessons you’re trying to teach your children in real life. It never hurts to have a fun movie with a great message in your home. “Room on the Broom”  speaks to the power of friendship in the face of adversity. “Monsters, Inc.” demonstrates how teamwork can get the job done, and it encourages the audience to give new people a chance. Seeing life lessons play out with fun characters can help kids connect with new ideas more easily.
  • No one knows your kid’s interests better than you. Many children love repetition, and they’ll watch the same film over and over again. If you’re going to invest in a movie to watch at home, you may as well get the most out of your money and make sure it’s something your little one will enjoy watching on repeat. “Monsters, Inc.” has a multilayered story with plenty of Pixar Easter eggs that make every viewing a little bit different. 
  • Obviously, your child will be the one watching their movie, but you’ll be around the house when the TV is on. It doesn’t hurt to pick a children’s film that you’ll also enjoy. You can watch it together for some family bonding time, and the movie won’t drive you crazy if you’re just trying to work at home. Pixar’s films, like “Brave” and “Monsters, Inc.” both include sly jokes for adults that will fly over younger children’s heads. “Room on the Broom” and “The Gruffalo” are both beautifully animated — it will feel like you’re watching art, not patiently waiting through a movie for kids. Plus, both of those films have famous adult actors as part of the cast (Helena Bonham Carter narrates “The Gruffalo” and Gillian Anderson’s voice makes a cameo in “Room on the Broom”).