Movie Review: Brave

Title: Brave
Directors: Mark Andrews & Brenda Chapman
Cast: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson
Genre: Animation
Running Time: 93 minutes
Accolades: Oscar & Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature
Purchase Brave: DVD

Plot
Brave attempts to examine the relationship between a mother and daughter within the context of traditionalism, individuality, and feminism.

He Said
Pixar is known for its emotionally riveting stories that can make grown men cry (ala Toy Story 3) and entertain audience of all ages with laughter, suspense, amazement, and tears. Something went awry with Brave. I’m not sure if it was because having a female lead was too “foreign” for Pixar, but the movie not only lacked heart, but it was downright a boring drag. There were a few good moments (such as Merida’s bonding moments with her mom as a bear), but overall Brave is forgettable.

She Said
The message of writing your own destiny can be delivered in a more effective manner and with more charming characters. Merida was, for the majority of the movie, a spoiled brat – hence extremely unlikable. A good chunk of the movie was wasted with filler scenes that delivered no significance and did not contribute to the plot. Overall, Brave was not a bad movie, but certainly not one to be remembered.

We Say
We are baffled that Brave won Best Animation at both the Oscar’s and Golden Globe. The movie has the polished and well-produced “look” expected of a Pixar movie, but lacks the core that makes it a great movie. There are a few noteworthy moments, but the movie as a whole is excessively drab with unlikable characters.

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4 comments

  1. Side note: We didn’t plan on this Disney marathon. In fact, we were attempting to watch “Her” since the storyline intrigued us. But the excessive (and in our opinion – unnecessary) profanity just nauseated us (me). I couldn’t stomach it and we switched to something I used to wave off as too unrealistic/fantastical – Disney. :)

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  2. Aw, I’m sad you didn’t end up liking this one! I loved that this had a “nontraditional” princess. Merida doesn’t look like most of the others (who, sadly, could easily be mistaken for each other with a simple change in colors, clothes, and hairdos)…she has big, curly hair, a round face, a more normal-sized waist, and it doesn’t look like she as 20 applications of mascara on. This alone I call a win for Disney.
    I also liked that she seemed to have a realistic relationship with her parents since I’ve had a similar experience–identifying with one parent while struggling to build a relationship with another because your views are so different. I think of her as more strong-willed rather than a brat. I feel like yes, sometimes we may put on a show–acting a certain way to please the ones we care about (hopefully more just for an event or something), but when you’re asked to NEVER be yourself, I don’t think that’s something anyone should stand for.

    Also, I hope you add Brother Bear to your “Disney to Review” list! Another animated film I loved was Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron although I believe this was done by Dreamworks.

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    1. Didn’t Disney cause an uproar when they introduced Merida as a Disney princess doll and her body figure was completely different than how she was portrayed in the movie? She became slender and essentially an hourglass figure.

      As for the parental relationship, I don’t know… I mean I was a rebellious child, often argued with my parents (mostly my father), etc., but I still can’t relate to Merida. I hated that her first instinct was to blame it on the witch for turning her mom into a bear. She just evades all sense of responsibility, which is inappropriate for a girl of marriage age.

      I’ve never heard of the titles you mentioned. Would you like to write a review for us? We’re looking for guest entries to diversify our blog. Give it some thought. :)

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      1. Haha, they certainly did! They shrunk her waist, filled out her lips, and gave her that 20 applications of mascara I had mentioned. xD Oh, I had forgot to mention that it was pretty awesome she/the cast got to keep their accent when some others from different countries (like Belle/cast is French but didn’t get to keep theirs, making it just a bit less authentic in my opinion).

        You’re saying the witch isn’t to blame for her transformation into a bear? Haha, well, even if it may not have been the optimal reaction, I think it’s at least a pretty natural one. I mean, when she asked for something to “change” her mom she obviously meant something that would truly help her mom understand how she feels (because if she did actually understand, then there’s no way she would continue to force a marriage upon her….which is ultimately accomplished with this spell but it is also obvious that she never wanted to actually put her mom in danger, something less than true about the spell she received). Playing the blame game is never going to really be helpful in solving a problem…I believe that to be true even when blaming oneself. Outcomes are really multifactorial, I’d say it’s often best to move past it and just address the problem directly. Hmm, I think that didn’t come across right. I mean, yeah it’s good to realize and accept one’s own part in the outcomes, but to focus on that will take away from your problem-solving capacity and it can eat away at you if you let it (although moving past blame can be easier said than done). She may have been considered “marriage age” back then, if you think about it she’s only 16–a sophomore in high school nowadays–she’s still got a LOT of personal development to do. While she may not have taken responsibility for her part at first, I think by the conclusion she does.

        Hmm, I don’t know…I feel like I’m mostly better at playing off of others’ comments but maybe. If I do write a review, I think I’d have to go re-watch them first so it’ll be fresh in my mind.

        *sorry for such a late reply…I must’ve forgotten to check to receive e-mail updates from the comments because I just saw your reply from the first time today when I decided to click on this post at the end of reading your Wreck-it-Ralph/Frozen/Tangled themes tie-in.

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