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Brave (2012)


Ah, the magical land of Scotland. Here I would normally insert some attempting clever pun about Scotland or some such noise but, alas, being supremely ignorant when it comes to Scottish lore, I will simply go forth with my review and assessment of Pixar’s latest pixilated adventure, Brave.

Going in I had some slight reservations about this flick but, as I christened myself Pixar’s greatest defender in my own mind, needless to say I REALLY wanted this film to work. The story was simple enough being an interesting twist on the age old “stuck together/role reversal” type formula. Once I got past the large chunk of story that was given away in the ads, I was intrigued at seeing how the remainder of the film would play out. Pixar’s continual and ardent attention to detail was clear but, sadly, I felt was a little wasted on me as I didn’t get enough exposition regarding the prominent Scottish heritage throughout the film. Unfortunately, due to the formula of the story, the outcome was a bit predictable but the journey toward the end was still entertaining.

It was abundantly clear, through the ad campaign and the movie itself, that this was a story about Pixar’s first female lead, Merida. But it was the secondary characters that shine through the most here. Merida’s father Fergus, wonderfully voiced by Billy Connolly, provided a perfect comedic relief to his scenes. And the Merida’s three brothers were really funny and, honestly, cute. Yet, while I was sympathetic toward Merida’s plight, I felt very little for the character herself. Kelly Macdonald did an excellent job of voicing her but I fear it was the way the character was written that made her somewhat un-appealing and un-relateable for me.

One of the best things about this film is just how beautifully rendered it is. It’s amazing to think back and then to see just how far Pixar has come since their old Toy Story days. It only makes sense that as time goes on, and technology grows, the films look cleaner and sharper and more believable. While it never looked completely real (which in my opinion defeats the purpose) I sometimes simply forget or take for granted that absolutely nothing I’m looking at on the screen is real. As beautifully rendered and this picture is, with a lack-lusted story that only just works, it pangs me a great deal to say this of any Pixar film but

  • for Brave, “That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.”
  • -DStarB

    Check out RAMARS!!! to understand why its so hard for me to say this about a Pixar film.


    One response

    1. aquisha

      Everything that Dexter says in the review above is exactly how I felt about Brave: Beautiful graphics but sorely disappointing plot execution. The only difference in our reactions was that I was actually a little mad about it, thus it’s taken me this long to comment. I was really excited for Disney/Pixar to bring something out of left field in this movie and that just did not happen. I think what was so upsetting was the fact that here they were touting this “first female lead” and then instead of doing something original with her they present another pouty princess. I found myself in the movie theater going, “This is really the plot? Oh. Ok.” It was kind of a Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls, “It really is just aliens” moment. Maybe it’s on me for expecting so much, but I don’t think I’m unjustified in having high expectations. These are the people who made Woody into a Howdy-Doody-esque collectable, made openly weep in the first fifteen minutes of Up, and made me emotionally invested in a silent garbage disposal. I think I deserve to expect more than just a The Little Mermaid/Aladdin in Scotland.

      And yes, the secondary and even tertiary characters were more interesting than Merida. I would pay to see a whole movie about the triplets just giving that nursemaid a run for her money. I wanted to see more of Fergus telling tales of defeating ridiculous foes. Any of these things would have made me happier than Merida complaining about riding her horse.

      If you wanted to see an entertaining family movie, Brave will do. If you were expecting that Disney/Pixar ingenuity and a movie worthy of having a trailer for The Hobbit preceding it, prepare to be underwhelmed.

      17/07/2012 at 13:29

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