Rating: Wait to rent it.                                                                      

Unfortunately for Pixar we have been spoiled by, well, Pixar.  With movies like Up, Toy Story 3 (Or 1 for that matter) and Wall-E the bar for animated features wasn’t just raised but thrust upward into the midst of every other respected genre.  Then in 2011 Pixar made the sequel to Cars, the aptly named Cars 2, and it wasn’t very good.  People freaked.  Did Pixar lose its touch?  Are they out of ideas?  What is wrong with this company?  WHOA! Slow down turbo.  They made one not brilliant movie.  Chill out!  Despite this, Pixar had to respond to the negative thoughts.  They had two options.  Blow our minds, which is quite difficult, or make an all around good, albeit safe, movie.  Brave won’t blow your mind.  It is an all around good movie though, but it just felt a bit “safe” to me.

The setting for this movie, which is beautiful, is in a pre dark ages Scotland.  At least I think this is what they were going for, it never really said specifically.  Either way, the story centers around Merida, the first born of a royal family, and daughter to Lord Fergus and Lady Elinor.  Merida has grown up to be anything but a lady herself, much to the dismay of her mother.  Instead she would rather shoot arrows and go on incredible adventures to daring places.  Her and her mother never seem to see eye to eye.  Once Merida is of age her father puts out an offer to three neighboring clans that their eldest sons may compete for her hand in marriage.  Merida is outraged that she is being forced into this fate, defiles the competition by showing up her suitors, and ends up running off to the woods.  There she meets up with a witch, and requests a spell that will change her mother, and thus change her fate.  The witch complies but I mean come on, she’s a witch.  Merida gets a spell, or more of a curse, that is more than she bargained for.  The rest of the movie follows Merida and her mother as they try to undo the spell and grow in their relationship along the way.  They enlist the help of Merida’s three little brothers.  They are mischievous triplets and offer most of the comedic relief for the movie.  They actually are quite entertaining.  While Merida works with her mother Lord Fergus attempts to quell the other three clans, who are upset at what has happened.  The interactions between Fergus and the other clan leaders are also quite humorous and entertaining.

Overall the story was solid, but like I said it just felt safe.  Instead of a cool new concept I felt like I was watching just an old folk tale turned into a beautifully animated movie.  Also the message of the movie seemed unclear to me.  They were going for “you can always change your fate” which is a solid message.  But it came across more as, “if your mom is being a b**** just curse her and all will work out in the end.”  A couple of the people I saw it with said they got a bit emotional at times, which really surprised me (and I tear up during things like Undercover Boss), but they were quick to inform me that I just didn’t understand because it really was a mother/daughter story.

The movies biggest strengths came from the animation and the voice acting.  Both were done superbly which is to be expected from Pixar.  The attention to detail with regards the animation was flawless.  The voice actors all did a good job adding true dimensions to their respectful characters.  Overall it was good fun, but waiting to see it won’t do anyone any harm.


  1. Yep…I got busy again. « gishreviews

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