Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"Brave" Review

    In this movie, a princess gets to marry... herself? This is Brave!


    Brave marks the first time a Pixar film has a female protagonist. She's Merida (Kelly McDonald), who is upset with the mother the Queen (Emma Thompson) after she learns that a contest will be held to find Merida a husband. Merida doesn't want to get married, so she gets a spell from an old witch (Julie Waters) and gets that spell to her mother.
    The thing with Brave is that all the ads that have played have left out a huge part of the story. I won't spoil exactly what that is, but let's just say that Brave is less the sweeping epic that the trailers seem to be showing, but rather a simpler mother/daughter bonding film. And you know what? It works. The film's characters follow in the Pixar tradition of be absolutely lovable. The whole royal family seems like people you would want to hang out with, especially the king (Billy Connolly). Merida definitely holds her own among the other protagonist of Pixar's past.

Pixar's animation is just as good as ever.
    That being said, Brave stands out among Pixar's films as the most, well... un-Pixar like film. Other than the    new and slightly improved Pixar logo at the film's beginning, the rest of the film feels nothing like the traditional Pixar affair. While I know they were in the movie, the setting made Pixar mainstays like John Ratzenberger and the Pizza Planet truck harder to find. The normal Pixar humor is here, but the Pixar level storytelling seems to be lacking.
    An what's the most unfortunate thing about Brave is that if it weren't for the Pixar name, this would have been a highly-above average film for other animation studios. Don't misinterpret anything I am saying. This is a very good movie. Kids will adore this film and adults will appreciate it as well. But, unfortunately, by now we expect more from Pixar. It's a good movie, but it's not Pixar-good.

There's a bear behind you. Just a heads up.
    Brave is nowhere near Pixar's worst film (I refuse to divulge which one I think that is). But, it neither feels like a Pixar film nor has the normal level of Pixar storytelling. The characters are all fantastic, the humor is there, the animation is great and it, like every Pixar movie, packs an emotional punch. Brave isn't great, but it is pretty damn good. Brave gets 5 stars out of 6. 

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