At Leakycon we don’t say “I love you” we say “WE’RE WIZARDS WE’LL PARTY FOREVER TURN AROUND BRIGHT EYES HARRY I’M COMING HOME I...
I have a request
related to a post I just saw about cashiers asking “Did you get everything you need today” or somesuch
my request is this: when...
The stakes are high for Pixar’s new movie Brave. After Cars 2 didn’t even make back its budget, another lackluster film could mean disaster, and would certainly start critics pondering whether the studio already hit its peak. Also, Brave features Pixar’s first female protagonist, and in a princess movie, no less. From the film’s marketing campaign, it’s obvious that Pixar is worried that it won’t be able to coax little boys, one of its largest demographics, out to see the film. So the questions are: first, is the film good? And even if it is, will it sell?
However, these questions aren’t easy to answer. Yes, I think Brave is very good. However negative reviews are already coming in, and everyone I went to the screening with seemed very lukewarm about it.
As I left the theater, I heard several people say that Brave “just doesn’t feel like a Pixar movie,” and I can agree to an extent. We don’t expect princesses, epic battles, and discussions of fate in Pixar movies; we expect to see talking toys or animals or cars and to leave feeling like our heart just got a hug. This film is definitely out of Pixar’s comfort zone. It’s darker at points, and it doesn’t have the same the same fantastical feel. You would be served very well by going into Brave expecting it to deliver more Disney than Pixar.
However, there is still Pixar magic to be found. The animation breathtaking, especially on the landscapes and Merida’s hair. I’ve never seen an animated film as visually stunning. The soundtrack is beautiful, sprinkling well-timed vocal tracks into the score in the studio’s signature style. The quality of the writing is also definitely a credit to the studio; they’ve always created complex characters that we grow to love and care about, and they deliver again in Brave. Also, while the overall tone is more serious than we’re used to, the movie still has a lot of laughs. (Also, make sure you get to the theater on time, because of course there’s a short preceding the movie, and it’s adorable and stunning.)
As I think we all expected from the previews, Merida is a strong princess. Her story doesn’t revolve around her finding her Prince Charming; instead, she is actively against being thrown into a love story that she doesn’t have a hand in writing, which I found ridiculously refreshing. Merida is badass and strong-willed and quite endearing. However, I think my favorite thing about Merida is that she is flawed. She’s selfish, she’s immature, and she messes up. I’m sure many will dislike her for these reasons, but they are what made Merida resonate with me. She felt real.
The film also makes smart use of the Disney Princess archetype—it uses it enough to keep us comfortable and make us realize that we’re watching a Princess movie, but also manages to blow some of the dust off of it and make something new. This variety, as well as the movie’s abundance of action scenes and and Merida’s little triplet brothers, should keep little boys entertained.
Brave is not what you expect from a Pixar film, which will undoubtedly cause some to have a negative knee-jerk reaction. However, I urge you to resist comparing it to the studio’s other films, as they bear few similarities, and let it stand on its own. Pixar has gone out on a limb with this one, and I think it’s a steady one, if audiences give it a fair shot.
Girls, go see this with your moms. You’re going to want to give her a huge hug after the credits roll. Boys, just go see it. Hollywood thinks that you won’t see movies with girl leads. Prove them wrong.
Overall rating: 4.5/5 nerds