Peter Travers' 2012 Summer Movie Preview

From 'The Avengers' to 'The Campaign,' the season's 10 must-see flicks

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©2012 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved6/10


In Theaters: June 22nd

"It was kind of scary being the first female lead in a Pixar film." So says Scottish actress Kelly Macdonald, of Boardwalk Empire, who voices the role of Merida in Brave, an animated 3D fantasy set in medieval Scotland. The thinking is that boys will only accept boys as action heroes. Wake up, you dumb jocks. Merida is a firecracker, and Pixar has outdone itself in visual magic and vivid storytelling. Merida is a teen redhead whose skill with a bow and arrow could knock the stuffing out of Katniss Everdeen. But she isn't playing any hunger games. She's rebelling against her parents, King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), who want her to marry some royal dude. Sheesh! That's when she asks for help from a witch (Julie Walters), sparking funny and scary twists you won't see coming. Heads up, superheroes, there's a new kid in town, and Merida's out to beat you at your own game.

• The Travers Take: Reviews and Interviews From Peter Travers 

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