Pixar seem to have worked their magic once more with the release of their latest animated adventure, Brave. Although a few of the US media's biggest outlets have given it a thumbs-down, it's largely secured a positive response. Featuring the voices of Kelly MacDonald, Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson, the film tells the story of the brave Princess Merida who turns to her skills of archery to undo a beastly curse that threatens her kingdom.

USA Today's Claudia Puig is full of praise for Pixar's latest venture, describing it as "a lively, psychologically astute tale filled with humanity, wit and charming performances." Roger Ebert, writing for the Chicago Sun-Times sat on the fence a little, saying that whilst it will no doubt win over the kids' market, Pixar may have dropped the ball on this one when it comes to impressing the grown-ups, too: "The good news is that the kids will probably love it, and the bad news is that parents will be disappointed if they're hoping for another Pixar groundbreaker," wrote the respected critic. Peter Debruge plants the success of the movie firmly in the lap of its female director, Brenda Chapman, saying "Adding a female director to its creative boys' club, the studio has fashioned a resonant tribute to mother-daughter relationships that packs a level of poignancy on par with such beloved male-bonding classics as Finding Nemo."

Hollywood Reporter's Todd MCCarthy was less impressed though, arguing that in the end, the movie fails to deliver what it promises: "A film that starts off big and promising but diminishes into a rather wee thing as it chugs along." Still, this weekend promises to be a lucrative one for Pixar, with Brave expected to topple 'Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted' from the top of the box office chart.