Animation distinguishes Disney's 'Brave'

Pixar/Disney's Brave tells the story of a young spirited Scottish princess named Merida who balks at an arranged marriage. The film is a marvel of computer animation — Merida's flaming red hair is as free as she wants to be.

Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald of HBO's Boardwalk Empire) loves to ride her horse and is handy with a bow, but her mother, Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), wants her to be a lady and tries to rein her in. When her father, King Fergus (Billy Connolly), offers her hand in marriage to prevent a war, Merida flees. She, unlike so many princesses before her in animated films, doesn't dream of a prince to save her. But asking for help from a witch (Julie Walters) proves a bad idea. When a spell backfires, Merida's mother is imperiled.

Brave's story seems stretched a bit, but the film never stops being lively, and the animation is a joy.

Brave retails for $29.99 or $39.99 Blu-ray.