" A lot of my disappointment hinges on the film's inability to meet my expectations, and that fault rests on the shoulders of the marketing department. Whoever put together the trailer needs a lesson on false advertisement. "
Tagline: Change your fate.
Release Date: June 22, 2012
Set in Scotland in a rugged and mythical time, Brave"features Merida (Kelly Macdonald), an aspiring archer and impetuous daughter of royalty. Merida makes a reckless choice that unleashes unintended peril and forces her to spring into action to set things right.MY TAKE
Visually stunning, but substantially lacking, Brave checks in near the bottom of my favorite Pixar movies list, right next to Ratatouille. Sure, the cinematography is beautiful and the effects are top-notch. But this is Pixar. I don’t expect anything less. There are simply some parts of the job that you should always do well. Don’t fix me a beautifully garnished barbecue platter and then expect a pat on the back when it turns out the plate actually has very little barbecue on it. Brave contains several nice elements, but the “Pixar magic” is, much like Tom Cruise’s sanity, lacking.
A lot of my disappointment hinges on the film’s inability to meet my expectations, and that fault rests on the shoulders of the marketing department. Whoever put together the trailer needs a lesson on “false advertisement.” After I initially saw the trailer for Brave I thought, “Cool. Looks like Pixar is taking the concept of Braveheart, animating it, creating a female protagonist, and making it fun for the whole family. I’m on board! They’ll never take OUR FREEDOM!”
Unfortunately, the film takes a weird turn about halfway through and puts its own twist on the ol’ “mother and daughter trying to repair their relationship” dynamic. Now before you skewer me and throw me on the grill, please keep in mind that I did enjoy the film. I just never could get excited about it. It starts off slowly, delivers a twist I neither expected nor wanted, and fails to deliver the charm we’ve come to expect from films such as Toy Story, The Incredibles, Cars, etc. It’s a prime example of a one-and-doner – once you’ve seen it, there really isn’t much to warrant an encore viewing.
And one warning to parents – there are quite a few moments that will be too scary and intense for the wee ones. If there is a chance that storms, witches, darkness, and bears trying to maul children could frighten your child then you might want to think twice before taking them to see this. At least a couple of kids started crying at the screening I attended, and one other asked her mom to let her leave the theater.
Anyway, I know good and well that reviewing a Pixar film is about as pointless as carving Jell-O with a Ginsu knife. I could tell you it was the movie equivalent of a shirtless Michael Moore and you’d still go see it. So be it. Thus are the limitations of my influence.
ODDS & ENDS
- This is the first Pixar film that contains a female protagonist.
- Kelly Macdonald is in No Country for Old Men with Josh Brolin who is in Hollow Man with Kevin Bacon.
Rated PG for some scary action and rude humor, Brave might be a little too scary and intense for children under 6 years old. There's also a scene featuring cartoon nudity that parents need to be aware of.