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Set in Scotland in a rugged and mythical time, "Brave" features Merida, 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. Written by
Walt Disney Pictures
In the witch's hut, when the broom flies across the room after attempting to sweep the bird, Sulley from the Monster's Inc. franchise can be seen. He is carved into a piece of wood. See more »
In the falconry scene, one of the birds is a Harris's Hawk which is native to the Americas. See more »
Where are you? Come out! Come out! Come on out! I'm coming to get you!
[young Merida laughs as she hides under the table]
Where are you, you little rascal? I'm coming to get you!
[Elinor looks under the table but Merida quickly moves to hide somewhere else]
Hmm. Where is my little Birthday girl, hm? I'm going to gobble her up when I find her!
[Merida comes up behind Elinor and goes to run away but Elinor catches her]
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After the credits, the crow arrives to deliver all the wood carvings Merida bought. See more »
Pixar's latest effort enchants us with stunning visuals, and charismatic characters, but misses the X factor that makes Pixar film's great
This should have been an easy review to write. Brave should have been a film that cemented itself as one of the all time greats, a necessary addition to any Top Films list. It should have been a film that claimed a place in our hearts as so many other Pixar films have in the past. But it's not. And writing this review is proving anything but easy. It's hard because I'm sitting at my Dell Latitude feeling bewildered at how a film from the best animation studio in the world left me feeling lukewarm at best.
A bit of background on the film first; this film went through two directors. After Brenda Chapman left the film for reasons I don't know, Mark Andrews was hired as a shoe in. This wasn't the first Pixar film to have multiple directors, just unplanned multiple directors. This is where my major problem with this film stems. Everything from Brenda Chapman is textbook Pixar class and charisma, but once Mark Andrews gets the reins (and you WILL know when it happens), the film takes an abrupt and uncomfortable shift towards the dark, and really challenges the boundaries of PG. It feels like two different films tacked on to one another with Gorilla Glue, it's as if the directors had no collaboration with each other. A real shame because up until it takes this dark turn, the rest of this film is a class act bursting with potential.
However to lament on the pitfalls is to ignore the positives. Pixar created two characters with copybook classic credentials in Princess Merida, and her father Fergus. Merida as the independent, self-confident, inurbane princess has a tongue-in-cheek charm and a personality that brings a genuine smile to your face. The other hero of character is Fergus, his character of a bumbling king with an overpowering queen is cliché, but he's executed brilliantly and is the provider of the majority of humor on Brave. Another immensely impressive aspect is its supremely dazzling animation aesthetics, the resplendent beauty of the Scottish countryside sometimes stealing scenes from its characters. Whether or not you agree that's brilliant is more subjective.
Now this may seem like the ranting of a spoilt wannabe movie critic weaned on delusions of grandeur, and hollow satisfaction from demeaning films with hype behind them, but I can assure you my size 10.5s remain firmly on the ground. This film is still a damn sight better than a majority of animated films out there, and it no doubt sets a new bar for animation quality other films won't be able to reach without a pole vault. I generally like this film and its good moments are plentiful and remind you why we love these films so much. Pixar films are utterly infectious when done correctly, Brave isn't up to the standards of their best, you won't fall in love with it, but forget the scale of its predecessors and you'll definitely be impressed by it.
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