Why we love Angus, the horse from Disney’s Brave

  • As far as animated equines go, the horse from Brave is one of the most loveable. But have you heard of him?

    When we ran a straw poll among Horse & Hound staff, few had heard of Disney’s animated movie Brave. However, it really is worth a watch, whether you’re five or 95. Produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released in 2012, Brave is set in 10th Century Scotland. Its plot is centred around a royal mother and daughter – princess Merida, a wild and fierce heroine determined to forge her own destiny, and her mother Queen Elinor.

    As she sees it, Elinor’s task is to prepare her 16-year-old daughter for an eligible marriage to the first-born son of a neighbouring clan. As you might imagine, the two women don’t quite see eye to eye.

    Angus, the horse from Brave: what you need to know

    It is only right that Merida’s animal sidekick is as feisty, stubborn and adventurous as she is. Angus the Shire fits the bill perfectly. He’s a towering black horse with a white blaze and feather for days, and is fiercely loyal to Merida.

    We first meet Angus on one of Merida’s rare days off. Dismissed from her lessons in how to be ladylike by Queen Elinor, Merida bursts from her castle home to the stables, where Angus waits for her. They spend the day galloping through the Scottish glens, Merida loosing arrows from her bow at every opportunity. This scene establishes Merida as an archer, and a woman who values her freedom with a passion for adventure.

    Angus is an important confidante to Merida. Following an argument with Elinor about her forthcoming betrothal, Merida vents her feelings to Angus while mucking out his stall. We love a royal heroine who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty!

    When Merida refuses to comply with the clans’ betrothal traditions, Merida and Elinor’s relationship reaches boiling point. In a heated altercation, Merida slashes an important family tapestry and Elinor throws her daughter’s bow in the fire. A distraught Merida flees the castle on board her faithful equine companion – this journey will set Merida’s life on an altogether different course.

    The plot of Brave: what you need to know

    Without giving too much away, the film is about taking control of your own destiny while understanding the points of view of those closest to you, and the effect your decisions may have on them. Throughout the film, Merida is lead to important places, people and decisions by blue forest spirits called will o’ the wisps. It’s these same wisps that guide her to a witch’s cottage. Merida swaps a valuable necklace for a spell to “change her mother” in the hope that Elinor will relent and call off Merida’s betrothal. Little could Elinor anticipate how literal the spell would prove to be.

    The ensuing chaos takes Merida and her mother on a journey of discovery, where they come to understand one another better than ever before and each learn important life lessons. The rest of the film is a race against time – can Elinor and Merida find the answers they need before the spell is fixed forever?

    Where to watch Brave

    You can watch Brave with a subscription to Disney+. The platform’s prices start at £4.99 per month.

    Brave is also available to rent or buy here on Amazon Prime Video from £3.49.

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