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January 28, 2013


For some reason when Pixar’s Brave was released last year I had little to no interest in seeing it despite my love for all most things Pixar. A redheaded Princess trying to change her fate just seemed like a snoozefest that was trying too hard. Regardless, curiosity got the best of me when the opportunity to watch it without paying my hard-earned money came up. Brave did something I forgot a Pixar movie could do, disappoint me. Brave looks like a Pixar film, smells like one,  even has all the familiar symptoms of a Pixar film, but it damn sure doesn’t feel like one. I didn’t just think Brave was mediocre, I downright did not like it and finishing it was a difficult task.

Brave’s beginning is respectable; it starts off introducing audiences to Scottish Princess, Merida. Here’s where Pixar admirably inserts a bit of feminism into their film making Merida an antagonist to the princess stereotype, as she instead is a tomboy who’d rather spend her days shooting arrows and riding off on horseback adventures rather than staying home with her prim and proper mother learning etiquette.

Like your average Pixar film, Brave full of rich detail and impressive imagery. Long shots of landscapes look real, as though the directors actually flew over icy snow-capped fog infested mountains and rushing streams of water on cameras that possess exceptional high quality. Merida’ hair even becomes a character in itself as it zig-zags and curls wildly like a lion’s mane. Brave’s colors are beautiful capturing the bright vibrancy of medieval nobility. Brave physically does everything right that makes Pixar an exceptional studio that creates beautiful images.


What Brave doesn’t do is capture the heart and humor of Pixar, at all. Pixar isn’t acclaimed simply because of its advanced ways of creating a world, it’s their storytelling methods and ability to relate to true human qualities realistically, yet hold enough imagination that they capture childlike qualities. With the exception of the Cars franchise and Toy Story 2, Pixar’s films tell realistic situations with relatable themes through animated characters. Brave fails at doing this by losing its focus in a ridiculous nonsensical plot twist that makes the rest of the film so cartoonish that it doesn’t feel like Pixar. Hell, it doesn’t even feel like Dreamworks.

Merida soon becomes adamant about breaking tradition to avoid being married off to a suitor, which of course none of the men have even the slightest hint of redeeming qualities. Instead Merida nearly incites civil war in her decision and runs away. In the woods she stumbles upon a witch whom gives her a potion that will “change her fate for good.” The plot twist comes when her mother drinks the potion, and what a ridiculous plot twist it is! What follows is a baffoonish slap stick romp that is so outlandish it feels like a film that should feature Goofy and Donald duck. The style of humor fails mostly because it simply doesn’t match the look of the film. It’s like if Citizen Kane had pies in the face and poop jokes.

Overall, I found Brave to be void of genuine humor, it recycles old humor from decades of animated films of the past and fails to have characters reach a true moment of cathartic understanding or complexity. Every person is just a stock character with no complexity involved. And can we just talk about how Merida’s father is virtually the same character from Dreamwork’s How to Train a Dragon. I mean come on!

I was very disappointed by Brave despite already having low expectations going in. I felt jipped after it ended, I didn’t even pay money for it and I still wanted payback. It sets up the question if you could change your fate would you? If you were born in nobility and had to be married off to someone else would you change that? Most people would say yes. Ok, now how would you go about doing that? Brave wasn’t really sure how to answer that either. If I could stumble upon a witch who would grant me a spell, I’d give all my the cash in my pockets to un-see Brave.

AVOID IT. It’s now tied with Toy Story 2 as my least favorite Pixar film.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 25, 2013 8:36 PM

    Please let me know if you’re looking for a writer for your blog. You have some really good posts and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some material for your blog in exchange for
    a link back to mine. Please send me an email if interested.

    Thank you!

    • March 9, 2013 4:55 PM

      Thanks for the offer and compliment! I appreciate it, however, I’m currently keeping the Cinephiliac a solo project for now. But in the future if I decide to accept contributors I will gladly let you know!

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