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MR_Heraclius21 February 2020
A true best of both worlds for classic Disney and classic Pixar fans. It had already been many years since the acquisition, but for me this was the first time Disney's buyout felt like a positive direction for the animation pioneers. Filled with possibly Pixar's most attractive environments, character designs (Side note: Merida has my favorite character design of any animated human character. I mean seriously her hair alone is a thing of beauty.), and easily its best score, the studio does a deft send up of classic princess movies while instilling the pure feeling of magic they are known for though Scotland's rich Celtic lore and cryptic mysticism. Brave is a criminally underrated installment in the Pixar cannon that I hope grows in stature over the years. If Wreck It Ralph is Disney doing Pixar, Brave is Pixar doing Disney.
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Beautiful movie
emmathomde3228 July 2013
What a fantastic film that has gotten such a terrible backlash.

Reasons for backlash:

1)People hate princess films and according to them it is the same as the others. Well anyone with an iota of intelligence will tell you that each princess film has a different story, a different message and a different but ever so present soul. We live in a society where two characters who have the same hair color and different faces and different personalities are viewed by the masses of people to be identical and the same person because people are superficial and so this film has a princess and that one SINGLE fact makes the film the SAME as all other princess films. Oh how intelligence has plummeted.

2) This is story about tradition and myth. That is part of the core of the tale. We live in a society with no tradition or real culture other than pop culture. So obviously the turmoil of the leads will go over the heads of the masses. I have friends who have been in situations where they were forced to marry someone and refusal to do so would have ghastly consequences for their families. It is real and heart breaking. In our society however people sleep with a hundred people before and even after marriage and can marry and divorce as they please without giving a rat's ass for their families who could suffer the brunt of their decisions. We live in a selfish society so obviously putting ourselves in the shoes of or even imagining what Merida and her mother go through and their reasons will not register with millions. No one will understand how breaking tradition could have disastrous consequences. They have no idea how in other countries how tradition and culture is a backbone of societies other than ours. people cannot in our society put themselves into the shoes of others as we are too selfish. And that is the truth.

3) This story has legends and stories, myths, tales that guide our heroines. In a society without stories that date thousands of years, cautionary tales and tales of truths to guide us, i doubt the impact of that will reach the minds of the public. Though abroad many and i mean many nations have tales, legends that date back thousands of years before our country received its name. These tales would guide people and be sources of moral and brainy wisdom for the children and adults. So obviously that went over everyone's heads. People in other countries hundreds upon hundreds of years ago used these legends and myths, these tales, to grow as a people.And to this day people in such countries still tell these tales to their kids as a moral message, teaching and preventing history from occurring.

4) Apparently it has no humor and people want humor over substance. I mean anyone seen The Hangover trilogy. Well people loved it as it shows what society is all about and that is public mindset.

5) It is about a mother-daughter story, it has moral messages and a lot of deep meaning. Apparently that means it is 'cliché'. What an overused word by the pseudo intellectual pretentious idiots who lack profound sense and think substance and sweetness is cliché just because they are sick douches. Half the time they don't even know what it means. I mean these days the word cheesy is used to describe anything with substance, sweetness, kindness, soul and love. And so something with profound wisdom and sheer lovely heart is considered cheesy while on the other hand depraved psycho disgusting buffoonery is considered amazing. Oh how far moral and substance has fallen in this society and how pretentious pseudo-intellect has taken over. Wisdom and profound thought and substance is dead or according to the depraved superficial and supposedly know it all generation 'cheesy'. Our society is so egoistic and full of itself that it cannot be educated or told great messages since according to them, they know everything and no one should dare question that by putting a real message in a movie. Even if these people know nothing they still must be considered to be the greatest and smartest. People hate their families or have been so poorly raised and some in favor of pets or vice versa where pets are considered better family than people so obviously their hate for the real meaning of life and family and love which they look down upon is 'cheesy' and 'cliche'. Well that is society for you and i hope that great movies with substance don't get the boot in favor of what such people want.
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Brave the bad reviews- it's worth your time!
HenbaineAccount211 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Despite many negative views, I decided to watch this movie, mainly due to boredom but also I do love all things Celtic and mythical.I won't go into as much detail as I have with some reviews but just highlight the good, bad and in-between points as I saw them

Firstly, the good: The animation is gorgeous as is the music. I love the backdrop and can related to the freedom of climbing cliffs and standing under waterfalls etc as I have done these things and felt incredible.As someone who loves nature and freedom I felt the main character Merida was not so unbelievable. I actually can relate well to the strenuous relationship she has with her mother and her father being stuck in the middle keeping the peace. The story line starts off very well and has a nice heartwarming and resolved if not predictable ending.There is a good sense of myth, moral and culture which is rare in movies these days. The story is simple but quite clever in a way that everything does still link nicely together if you really look at the imagery. I understand the original title was not "Brave" but "The Bear and the Bow" which is more what it says on the tin but hey. There IS bravery, physical bravery in tackling ones enemies in combat-but also the emotional-to face your own misgivings and admit you are wrong, to be willing to change your close and comfortable outlook on life and take risks,and to always stand up for what you believe in no matter what. Shame some people seemed to have missed this point.

The not so good:

I felt the story line was too predictable (good for kids maybe but adults will guess it almost from the off) and things just fall into place too easily,even the end "battle" is resolved far too quickly & easily. Also, sadly as time advance it becomes a little too silly & gimmicky in parts (Did we really need the naughty siblings- and did we REALLY need them becoming bears!?)or the stock neurotic overweight maid and clumsy,easily swayed but well meaning side characters? Shame because while bringing some comedic relief,all were quite forgettable and served as a tired cliché this movie could have soared without.

It lacks the epic standing the trailers promised. Also, the men are depicted as blundering fools with no looks, sense,or charisma, the ladies- yep, the opposite.(However- it was refreshing to see this in a way as many animations have shown women as weak and feeble totally relying on men and princes- Merida not only does not rely on her version of Mr charming-she shuns the very notion of losing her freedom!)

SO,to sum up- Slightly lacking substance but still a very good family movie.Aesthetically striking,nice and light hearted but with some more moving lesson on attitudes and the value of your friends and loved ones.
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Brave has little Heart
lhh9040325 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I knew Brave was in trouble from the first few words spoken in voice over as the film began. Merida (Kelly Macdonald) uses the words "fate" and "destiny" interchangeably. This muddle is at the heart of the film's problem.

What's the difference between fate and destiny? Philosophers through the ages have distinguished the two based on choice. Fate is something that happens TO you. Destiny is something that happens BECAUSE of you.

Fate is at the root of such words as "fatal" and "fatalistic." It implies LACK of choice. Philosopher Rollo May says fate is what we are born into, something that cannot be changed and that we have no control over, such as race.

May says destiny is what we create based on what we were given. Destiny is all about CHOICE. It's what we choose to do with what we have.

Merida is born a princess. She can't change that. Her mother, Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), is grooming Merida for a role as future queen. After a long series of wars King Fergus (Billy Connolly) has united the four clans. Merida's duty is to help keep the clans unified though a judicious marriage.

Merida is a wild rebellious child with special talent as a rider and archer. The demonstrations of her skills are absolutely breathtaking. She is unique and extraordinary and initially looks very much like a Power of Idealism character.

These kinds of characters are driven by their passion. They abhor what they consider to be a mundane, boring, or mediocre life. They want to seize some grand destiny that is uniquely theirs.

Well-drawn female protagonists in this vein are: Paikea (Keisha Castle-Hughes) in Whale Rider and Jess Kaur Bhamra (Parminder Nagra) in Bend it Like Beckham. Unlike Paikea or Jess, Merida doesn't fight for what she believes is HER destiny. Merida, instead, decides to change her mother! Perhaps this is because Merida has no clue about what she is really called to do.

Now the story gets even muddier. With the help of an old witch's spell Merida does indeed change her mother — into a bear.

Instead of figuring out who she is and what she uniquely is called to do, Merida must again deal with who her mother is. In the struggle over the middle part of Brave, Queen Elinor becomes the protagonist.

The definition of a protagonist, in my book, is the person who makes the biggest emotional sacrifice in the story. It is the person who undergoes the most profound transformation. This is clearly Elinor on every front.

Queen Elinor is a Power of Conscience character. She is a strict and demanding taskmaster, a perfectionist, and is driven by a strong sense of tradition and duty. Over the course of the story she recognizes her daughter's uniqueness and fully appreciates Merida for who she is.

The first important glimpse of Elinor's change of heart is the brawl in the great hall after Merida has disappeared. When Merida strides back into the hall it is Elinor who puts words in Merida's mouth. Elinor speaks through her surrogate about going against tradition and marrying for love. It is Elinor who makes an eloquent plea for choice and following one's heart. Merida is just her passive interpreter. At the end of the film Elinor is willing to sacrifice her own life in a battle with the ancient cursed bear, who one would assume, was the monster who took off her husband's leg. Or not? Who knows?

Even more confusingly this monster turns out to be the legendary brother, it would seem, who destroyed the ancient kingdom so long ago because of his pride and selfishness. How how did he turn into a bear? Was it mother love or something else that breaks his curse?

When a legend and curse is set up so carefully it should have a pay-off having to do with Merida or her destiny– if the film is really about Merida.

And what does Merida do that is so brave? She scurries around looking for the witch's house after her mother turns into a bear. She stitches up (with big clumsy childish stitches) the tapestry she slashed separating her from her mother. She does a lot of running away and running around. She is ineffective in battling the monstrous cursed bear. And she collapses in tears remembering her mother's loving kindness as the second sunrise threatens to make her mother's bear curse permanent. In other words, she acts like a child– or worse a girl.

At the end of the film, Elinor has changed but not Merida. Merida is the same galloping wild child as she was in the beginning. It is a sinking back into carefree childhood rather than striding toward an adulthood based both on duty and and an individualistic sense of self. If you are a young woman, what is the lesson here?

Brave offers no alternative vision of how Merida might help unify the clan in some way that is uniquely hers. It provides a very unsatisfying resolution. How has Merida changed or grown? What happens when King Fergus and Queen Elinor are too old to rule? What is Merida's role going forward? What exactly is her destiny?

For the full review go to my website ETBscreenwriting.
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cjorgensen-313 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I love The Incredibles, Up, Shrek, Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Despicable Me and Megeaman. I thought I was going to see something that amazing, but with a female protagonist. But no. It was the same old Disney princess movie: a princess having problems about who she is or is not going to marry. We saw that in Snow White, Seeping Beauty, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid. Apparently, that all females ever do: fret about who they are going to marry.

Spoiler alert.

The movie starts out great: funny characters, great scenery, Scottish accents, and a promising protagonist. I'm sucked in and expecting something amazing and interesting, like the other Pixar movies. Then, of course, since it is the Dark Ages (and Disney, not "really" Pixar), the hand of the princess will be the prize in a contest. Been there, done that. Of course she doesn't want that, so she runs away and finds a witch and asks the witch to change her . . . her . . . fate? Like the trailers said? No. She wants to change her MOM. The princess does not want to grow and mature, she want's mom to quit bugging her. Mom has done everything she can to give the princess a wonderful life and educate and prepare her for a life of queen-ship. But that's not what the princess wants. The princess wants – what? She really has no viable alternative. It's not like she can go and get a career. The movie implies that if she gets married, she can't ride her horse or shoot her bow any more. Why not? So they parade out the three husband candidates and of course, even though they are the sons of great chieftains, they are all worthless. Predictable, boring plot. What if one of them was handsome, charming, and a good archer, then she might not have minded getting married and we could have seen the wedding in 3D.

Back to the witch. Well, the witch only knows ONE spell: change it into a bear. That's a big help. The last person who bucked conformity and wanted to do his own thing, he got changed into a wild, destructive bear too. Is that one of the lessons in this movie? Conform or you will become a wild, destructive, shunned animal? When her mother eats the magic cake and begins to feel sick, all the princess can think about is if she still has to get married. What if the magic cake killed her mom? The princess doesn't seem too worried. Is this one of the lessons of the movie? If your parents are trying to do the very best for you, and it's cramping your style, just drug them to get them off your back. After mom turns into a bear, there was no plot any more. It was just running around like Bugs, Daffy and Elmer in the forest and the castle until it was time for the movie to end. BORING.

Then there was the big speech the princess gave in the banquet room about "Can't we all just get along?" What was that about? Everyone was partying and getting along just fine. Lame.

So the princess cries and tells mom that she's sorry (of course she is now that everything's a mess), and mom turns back into a person. But who has the character arc? Not the princess. The princess still does not want to get married. MOM is the one who changes, and she had better! After all, she knows that if she leans too hard on her daughter to do what's best, the daughter will drug her. So is that the lesson in the movie? Don't pressure your kids to do what you know is best for them, or they could get punitive. So mom caves in and says the young people can chose by falling in love. There's a ground-breaking moral. News flash: western women have not been getting betrothed for centuries.

And why did they call the movie "Brave". The Princess didn't do anything brave in the whole movie. In fact, she had a hissy fit, ran from her responsibilities, and turned to drugs to solve the problems.

I don't care if it was 6 years in the making, or how amazing the 3D effects were: the story was a dud.
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Great Animation, not so great story
samurai108-406-70046525 June 2012
Animation is spectacular, great setting in the Scottish Highlands. Voice acting is above par. However, this movie is not among the top Pixar films, by far. I felt the sickening presence of Disney all over the film -- weird politically correct preaching, overdone action scenes, and generally random and weird plot.

The story is really disappointing. What exactly makes her 'BRAVE'?? They should have named the movie 'PETULANT'. She's selfish, and the entire plot is about how she can get out of the results of her selfishness while remaining selfish. The magic feels out of place, lots of wasted scenes, and the whole bear thing was just plain annoying after a while.

Not a lot of funny moments, and generally boring! I was really looking forward to this movie, and I did not like it.
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Beautiful looking film that doesn't match the quality of story
ryanhartford8627 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This film is very beautifully done, the artists, great job. The storyline was terrible. It was another balled up Disney movie that seemed like it was just trying to fit in every single cliché and Disney trademark as it could. It starts as it should, epic.

Then out of nowhere the epic Celtic music begins and the female vocals come in. I immediately wanted to leave. The girl I was with, also seemed exhausted with this as well. It didn't need that, it made the film go from really cool to chick flick.

Little did I know, it was going to get worst. The trailer explained the movie as a hero rising, and the changing of fate. Who doesn't like that. So she rides off mad at her mom, finds a witch and requests her fate to be changed. She is granted her wish and her mom is turned into a bear. Yes, a bear. So the entire movie, basically is the main girl trying to mend her moms relationship and turn her back into a human. Well, that's not hard, because the love is already there. She basically apologizes and is sad about everything. and obviously, in the nick of time, the sun, which could consequently keep her a bear, shines light on the two and magically she turns back into a human (which isn't as cool as I'm making it seem). The plot was a total deviation from the trailer, it made no sense, and it was more for little kids than the usual Pixar film, which for the most part is usually made for a wide audience.

After the film, I couldn't leave fast enough. I hope people enjoy the film, I just didn't. Nor would I recommend seeing it.

I was throughly disappointed, but I'm curious on what others think. So feel free to email me at
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Very disappointing
admac-442-7978925 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I felt compelled to write a review to counter all the excellent reviews that this movie has received.

It is not excellent, in fact it is dull, celebrates disobedience and feels like two completely different stories taped together to make up the time.

I can't really see the point of the movie, young girls in Scotland today (or the USA or even South Africa)are not forced to marry, in the tenth century when they were it was accepted and not the great drama made out in the movie.

The whole movie reeks of feminist fantasy- wanting to live in a romantic Scottish medieval setting, sorting out mother issues and having modern rules and standards.

I found it disturbing that every male character in the movie was portrayed as at best, big stupid and loving, (King Fergus) at worst violent and evil (the bear). They only males given any intelligence in the movie are the triplets, who are constant thieves, conniving, ruthless, destructive and very small! The basic story and message was if you are a young woman with serious mother issues, don't worry. Do something really nasty to your mother, then say you are really sorry then your mother will change her mind and you can have it all your own way! Don't worry about any men involved as they are too stupid to understand what is going on.

A lot of this I could have forgiven if the movie did not feel so disjointed, and in the second half frankly boring. This is not "How to train your dragon" with a female lead (that would have been great) this is a feminist Disney "Mother bear" done very beautifully by Pixar, with great voice acting but ultimately very unsatisfying.
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okay for a Disney movie, poor for a Pixar
work-430-81380323 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Pixar execs used to say that the story was indispensable in their filmmaking. They were right. It is too bad they didn't follow their own advice in making Brave. As a formulaic Disney movie, it would be average (though with above average visuals). But our family (kids' ages from 10 to 18) doesn't bother seeing formulaic Disney movies anymore. We saw it yesterday, and everyone was disappointed. "Cliche," one of our children said. "Easily the worst Pixar movie I've ever seen," said another (though none of us has seen Cars 2). I chuckled once.

Even though the moral of the story is that we're free to change our fate, the stock Disney characters were firmly locked into their roles and we could see the ending coming less than halfway through. I'm sorry I saw it at all.

In a wonderful documentary called "The Pixar Story," John Lasseter tells the story of how Disney suits almost ruined "Toy Story," which had to be remade radically in order to be saved. It feels like this time the Disney suits succeeded.

Is this a sign of things to come? Has Pixar been domesticated? With tickets so ridiculously priced, I'm not going to a theater next time to find out. We'll wait and rent.
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auuwws6 December 2020
Nice movie, not the best Pixar movie, but I really enjoyed watching it. Merida was a good character. Her relationship with her mother was excellent. The message of the film was excellent.
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Please: DO NOT support the decline of a once great film studio
xavygravy28 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Mix Brother Bear with almost any princess film and this is what you get. The characters (surprisingly for Pixar) were poorly developed; this is especially true for the mother, where I was expecting some kind of back story, or at least a more believable development of the mother-daughter relationship. But no, apparently you're best buddies again and the mother will just change her mind on everything she believed previously, through a single fish-catching montage. ...Really? And don't get me started on 'the bad guy'. This 'evil bear' appears in only two scenes - one in which they escape from him, and one in which he returns and then gets squashed by a rock. In fact, the story would have been almost identical had the 'bad guy' been cut out of the script entirely.

Perhaps you could blame the complete underdevelopment of the plot and characters on the relatively short runtime (100 minutes, minus the equally disappointing 'short' at the beginning). But that wouldn't make sense, as Toy Story 3, a brilliant film, had the same running time.

I suspect that they are cutting back their effort on all fronts (writing, production time) bar animation, knowing full well that people will pay for their films regardless, so 'why bother?'.

Following the equally mediocre Cars 2 with this, it's clear that Pixar really needs to step up their game.

So please, do not support the decline of a once great film studio.
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Pixar's latest effort enchants us with stunning visuals, and charismatic characters, but misses the X factor that makes Pixar film's great
Joe_Chadowski25 June 2012
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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A Visual Feast and a Solid Pixar Film
Loving_Silence20 June 2012
Brave is a beautiful and moving new fairy tale that fits seamlessly into the genre; Princess Merida is a wonderfully multi-facted heroine; the film shapes itself around problems that are familiar and understandable and will be well-understood and appreciated by kiddos and parents alike; the supporting characters that are given the most attention are well-crafted (but too bad for those others that fall by the wayside). The visual effects are flawless, in my opinion, the best if all Pixar films.

Brave is at its best when it's smartly and charmingly changing what we think think a Disney Princess can be, but it wavers when it tries to somehow reinvent the Pixar wheel. The film lacks the trademark Pixar wit we've come to expect from the animation studio's productions, and some humor feels shoe-horned in for the sake of having some laughs; the directorial kerfuffle that took place in the middle of production is not overwhelmingly obvious, but there is a distinct laugh of singular vision driving the film and its tone wavers throughout.

It may not live up to the incredible standards of the Pixar brand, but Brave offers young audiences a lot of entertainment and adventure. Highly Recommended.

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Amazing movie. Completely underestimated.
AustinOswald7 June 2012
After last years Cars 2, many began to underestimate Pixar and believed that it would begin to fall out of the radar. Well this movie will definitely prove them wrong. This movie was a visually stunning masterpiece with a great story. Even before the movie started it was exciting because of the unique and creative short La Luna along with the Monsters University teaser trailer. If you are reading this and haven't seen the movie yet make sure you STAY TILL THE END OF THE CREDITS for just a little scene about something that happened earlier in the movie. Thanks to everyone at Pixar studios for creating a true masterpiece!
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recommended for ages 6+
janisgale18 June 2012
I watched this movie in 3D with my (very mature for his age) five year old grandson. He loved it and wanted to talk about the plot for most of the afternoon to anyone who would listen. However, other young children in the theatre were rather nervous and scared in certain parts of the film and a few very small (2 - 4 year old) children had to be escorted out of the cinema by their parents.

Personally, after the first five minutes, which were a bit slow, I became absorbed in the story and thoroughly enjoyed the movie. There was lots of action and the plot was attention grabbing and unique, with no soppy love story and little slang included.
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Mediocre and strictly by the Disney rule book
scramcat-122 June 2012
I suffered through the endless parade of BRAVE trailers for months. So many months. I began to feel the movie had already come and gone. And the trailers told me the single most important thing about this movie: Pixar hired a crack team of PhD mathematicians, created 5 new fields of modeling mathematics, and bought 27 BlueGene supercomputers just to render the girl's hair.

The hair bounces. The hair swings. The hair toussles. The hair drops stray locks here and there. The hair compacts. The hair billows. The hair responds to the wind. The hair responds to momentum and interia. The hair responds to humidity. The hair reflects every known shade or "firey lass" red along with previously unknown shades the computers postulated and shades the human mind cannot grasp.

And the hair is wrapped around a familiar, mediocre, largely predictable story that you've seen several times before in several other "girls can do anything boys can do" movies and TV sitcom episodes.

Don't let Pixar's technical expertise and visual humor distract you from the cold hard truth that the underlying story is pretty pale. The visual styling is dazzling and inspiring, the attention to detail is mind-boggling. Pixar makes unprecedented use of technology to create a previously unseen richness of environment.

Which may explain why they had no energy left to craft a story you'd want to sit through.

You've seen each fundamental step of the story anywhere from a million to infinity-minus-one times before. Puberty-straddling girl wants to be a free spirit. Girl complains that NO ONE UNDERSTANDS HER. Girl uses various tricks and ruses to try to demonstrate she's capable but only demonstrates that she's impatient and devious. Girl resorts to a dirty trick to manipulate parents who JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND HER. The dirty trick back-fires and girl spends most of the rest of the movie trying to undo the harm she caused and mistakenly comes to the conclusion that cleaning up her mess proves she's as cool as she thought she was, and isn't a stubborn, willful, spiteful, selfish, manipulative, deceitful, self-absorbed little bitch, not even a little.

Remind you of an episode of "That's So Raven"? See BRAVE at a second-run dollar cinema. Or wait and see it on NetFlix.
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Another Great Pixar Film
cadillac2022 June 2012
Brave is a film I've been looking forward to since I first laid eyes on it's beautiful trailer. It had everything a great Pixar film has: a wonderful setting, fantastic CGI, beautiful and interesting characters, and a lot of heart. In fact, Merida alone was such an interesting and adorable character, that it was instantly on my to watch list. Granted, this isn't Pixar's best, but that's holding it up to extremely high standards. As an animated film, however, this is a fantastic and fascinating film, a treat for the summer.

Brave tells the story of the aforementioned Merida, a young, Scottish princess whose life is controlled by her mother so that she can be shaped into a queen someday over the surrounding tribes. In an effort to change her fate and be free of her oppressive, but loving mother, she attempts to change her fate, and in the process makes a huge mistake. I won't get into plot details, as the trailer really doesn't give a lot away in terms of what this film is really about, but suffice to say, there is plenty of fun and adventure to be had.

Pixar always manages to create an interesting and unique tale, and this goes right up there with the best of them. Using the Scottish highlands is both an inspiring choice and allows them to craft a beautiful film. With sweeping mountains, water, and thick and colorful forests, this is one of Pixar's best looking films to date. It trumps the jungles of UP and even the magical underwater world of Finding Nemo. There is a certain amount of magic in the environments alone, and gazing on it is a wonder. The characters are also fantastic. Merida is a wonderful addition to Disney's princess lineup, and unlike those others, she is no damsel in distress. She, like her mother, is perfectly capable of handling herself, with her trusty archery skills and even tackles a few dangerous situations on her own instead of having someone there to save her. In fact, this could be seen as an inverse, as Merida actually becomes a hero in many ways and triumphs over the males in her own age bracket. Also of note is Billy Connolly, voicing Fergus, who lends his comedic chops to create a wonderful and likable character.

While this film may not be up there with Pixar's best, it still has a wonderful story and character interaction. Merida's relationship with her family feels genuine and most children will probably be able to relate. At the heart of the story is her relationship with her mother. This is more than a story about fate, but a story about obligations to family and how growing up means taking responsibility and putting away childish selfishness in place of those responsibilities. Although the core plot is unconventional and unexpected, it has a fantastic heart and once again proves that Pixar can tell a story like no other.

Brave is an entertaining, humorous, and heartfelt story that will be wonderful for kids and adults alike. Merida is a wonderful new character and the entire film looks beautiful. Even if you don't have children, I recommend this film if you've loved other Pixar's before it.
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Terrible plot and logic and support
siberstorm2725 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I need help understanding some of the plot elements, because otherwise, this has really been the worst pixar movie I've seen to date...

A lot of the more serious info was glossed over or rushed in the movie, so I may not have this all correct. So there were four princes who were given equal power by the king, but one of the princes wanted it all, and this caused the kingdom to crumble. Elinor was using this legend to make Merida become a proper princess and get married. I really fail to see the connection between the story and her current situation. I also didn't really catch what the wayward prince did to be cursed into a mindless bear by the witch. And the witch is suppose to be good? She basically killed the prince and was willing to kill Elinor (turn and leave her as a bear) just to teach Merida a lesson? What lesson is this? The mother-daughter family bond? Because it really doesn't tie into the wayward prince legend at all. The tapestry with the queen being cut off, and the prince and his stone tablet being broken off, are you telling me Elinor is power hungry? No it doesn't make sense to me at all.

It was suppose to be about changing your destiny and doing so bravely, but what destiny? No one is really keeping Merida from having fun riding a horse, shooting arrows, and exploring the woods. It doesn't push the whole caged princess theme very strongly. She seems perfectly free to do whatever she wants, and eat whatever she wants. The king and his subjects and allies are all fighting brutes and heavy drinkers, jolly without a care in the world. The only one who even tries to keep order is Elinor. She is perfectly fine and loving as a mother from all the flashbacks, but wants to keep some order and good relations among the various clans. This whole propriety thing isn't really even supported in the backdrop. I didn't even know they were suppose to be royalty in the beginning of the movie. I thought he got kinged for defeating the bear, in the beginning anyway, because they sure weren't living the life of luxury in the beginning. And Elinor was suppose to be married off? And have ladylike qualities and upbringing? Maybe more responsible than the others. And the primitive land and people. All doesn't really support the caged princess thing.

Elinor never needed to be changed, nor her destiny. Merida needed to stop acting like a stubborn brat, and her destiny was far from set in stone. She bravely changed Who is being brave here? And then they throw in a "you should do whatever you want to and be true to yourself" speech out of nowhere. They never did elaborate on why Merida had to be married in the first place, what purpose it would accomplish, and who actually cared, because it seemed no one, especially none of the clansman, really cared.

And the will-o-wisp was the soul of the transformed prince, trying to get Merida to kill him and free his soul? Or maybe he wanted someone else to turn into a bear to commiserate with him by leading her to the witch? The prince was selfish so that made some sense that the witch transformed him into a mindless bear, but unlike Beauty and the Beast, he will never be able to transform back and live his former life. The only peace he can get is to be killed off and his misery ended? Still don't know why Elinor was transformed into a bear and what major lessons it was suppose to instill in her, or merida, and how this was suppose to be a bonding experience, or a change destiny lesson, or anything effective as such or make any sense.
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Chick flick/Small kid movie that disappoints.
BigWhiskers27 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is definitely for women in general. A young girl coming of age is told she must have a suitor and get married. She's a tomboy and wants to do her own thing and her mother and father want the opposite - that's about it . The rest of the movie is filled with low brow humor , typical slapstick violence and the usual moral of the story ending. After seeing the trailer and the movie poster ,one would think Brave would be about this young girl fighting and winning battles with her bow and arrow and a rousing adventure. Instead it's a dull boring coming of age story with not much to give except for the kids who like to watch cartoon bears and other creatures frolic around the woods and moms raising their bratty teenage daughters. 3/10 .
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A quality change of fate for Pixar
lovgrena17 June 2012
Everything about Brave is different from the Pixar norm, save the unequaled attention to detail and quality.

The Disney-Pixar animated feature focuses on Princess Merida as she searches for a way to change her fate. In a journey of magic, adventure and family, the fiery Scot is launched into the ranks of the elite Disney princesses.

As odd and understandably foreign as the accents felt watching the early previews for the movie, the voice acting was executed following, creating very real characters that fit their animated molds perfectly. By the end of the movie, what once sounded foreign blended into the scenery and visuals to create a completely immersing environment.

In fact, amid the magic spells and tall tales of times gone by, it's the historical, Scottish feeling that made Marida's journey and transformation (and that of her mother) that much more tangible and familiar.

Underneath the folk-tale storyline lies the same life lessons that ring true for young and old. Though the movie heavily focuses on a mother- daughter relationship, it's not just for girls anymore than Mulan was. Merida is a true Disney princess, with gumption, heart and an uncanny connection with nature, but the story could have been told from a male perspective and rung just as true, making it easy to empathize with Pixar's first female lead.

As has been the case with almost every other one of their movies, the company has reinvented the standard for animated visuals. The environments are based on real Scottish landmarks, adding real depth to the story, and the colors are as bright as they are grounded, creating a wonderfully real world. Such visuals lend credence to the upcoming 3D re-release of Finding Nemo, though not much, but also show just how far the studio has come.

All of the elements put together, Brave is a different sort of movie than many were expecting. More focused on a single pair and their quest together, not to mention darker by far, the story of Merida was a leap of faith for the once small studio.

Many will have their doubts, left wanting another heart wrenching love story from Up or creative take on a beat to death genre like The Incredibles. That was never the purpose. Just as with every one of their award-winning films (Cars 2 notwithstanding), a new movie means a new chapter, new story and new style of film.

Taken for what it is, Brave is a remarkable step into a whole new style of movie, proving the creative teams at Pixar will continue to write their own fate.
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Unbearably Misleading
cultfilmfreaksdotcom23 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This is the epitome of burying the lead… But the trailer seemed a bit strange to begin with. Instead of the usual montage summing up the entire movie, or at least half of it, we get one scene: an assertive tomboy princess with neat looking fiery red hair shoots an arrow to choose her own fate instead of a bunch of losers vying to marry her: the one that hits the bulls eye wins her hand in marriage. (Let's make it clear, all three young men are pathetic wrecks: if one resembled an Elfin Johnny Depp with half a brain, perhaps there'd be no story at all.) After our frustrated heroine, Princess Merida, hits all the marks by herself, the real tale begins – and not only is it strange, awkward and confusing, but even the target-audience children might shake their heads in disbelief.

Merida, in order to change her destiny, seeks a forest witch who gives her a spell. Then, back at the castle, Merida offers her mom – the person really in charge of this arranged marriage thing – a spiked muffin that quickly changes her into a… giant bear! This was unplanned; Merida wanted to change her mother, not change her mother. The rest of the movie has the Princess keeping Mother Bear away from her huntsman father who, years earlier and as the film began, lost his leg battling a… you got it… bear. And then her three troublesome little brothers turn into bears and there's the one big bad bear from the intro that's part of a confusing backstory about a fallen prince.

So with all the potential of setting a movie in the time where trolls and gnomes and dragons and fairies and kings and queens and knights could have roamed the mystical Celtic countryside, we get a bunch of common bears and a stretched-out story lacking a real plot, leaving only the memory of that "trailer" that would have made a fantastic short film to open a real movie with.

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What the heck did I just watch?
Juaqino22 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
That is exactly what I thought when the film was over.

Seriously, that was a Pixar film? You have to be joking.

When you get right down to it, it's yet another misfit princess story. It's about a somewhat unruly princess who wants something different in life than what her parents want for her. Now how many times have we seen this story before? I'm not even going to list off those stories, because most of you know and have seen them by now.

Simply, there is nothing in this movie that was memorable and that we haven't seen before. We get the misfit princess story, and that's exactly what we get. No surprises. It was all very predictable...

...until midway through the movie. (SPOILER ALERT) In case you haven't seen the film, the princess(Merida) is not your typical princess. She's outgoing - she's a fighter. She is particularly good at archery, supposedly better than everyone else. But since she's a princess, OF COURSE she has to marry a prince. Does she want to marry a prince? NO. Are all of her suitors complete idiots who are unworthy of her? ABSOLUTELY. Do her parents understand her? OF COURSE NOT. Does this remind you of any other better movies? So anyway, since her mother in particular doesn't see eye-to-eye with her, Merida pulls a petty trick on her by slipping her a potion that would "change her". Gee, this couldn't turn out to be anything bad, right? Well, it turned out bad alright, and provided the only surprise in the movie: Her mother turns into a BEAR! You've got to be kidding me.

The rest of the film is spend having Merida trying to undo the spell whilst goofing around with her mother bear friend. (END SPOILER ALERT)

If you are curious enough to see where that part of the story goes, you should see it for yourself.

All in all, it's a very forgettable movie. There were some attempted laughs in the film, but none that made me so much as chuckle. It was mostly cookie-cutter children's movie writing; the kind of "funny" things you'd expect the characters to be saying rather than giving them some charming uniqueness.

Am I the only one who despises the three little boys? The whole time I got the feeling that the writers were using them as a device to keep the story interesting for little kids. I had the same complaint about the three gargoyles in The Hunchback of Notre Dame; They were irritating and added nothing to the story. All they added were typical "little boy" mischief that made me yearn for the end of the current scene.

The only amount of heart in this film was after the mother threw Merida's bow in the fire, and then we see her pull it out of the fire regretfully, realizing what she had done. Granted, that's not much, but at least that's SOME glimpse into a character. They could have easily ended the scene right there, and made the mother look like a complete witch, but for a brief moment, we get to see a little bit of how the mother actually feels.

Thanks for wasting my money, Pixar!
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Meh, same old foolish guys and awesome girls
kirk-444 July 2012
Once you get past the accents and the stunning scenery there is not much of a story.

I can't believe the "female heroine" still gets buzz as original. When was the last time a kids show had a male hero that wasn't in some way arrogant needing to be knocked down a notch (Tangled, Cars,Buzz Lightyear etc)or a weak anti-hero that realizes he needs help (Woody, Nemo's Dad, etc.

Make a movie with a classic male hero and that would be mold breaking. If movie makers stop treating female audiences as if they are so fragile they could not stand a guy with confidence or deserving confidence, that would be original.

The cliché is that the female characters are always perfect except just a bit too spunky.
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Best Animated Film At 2013 Oscars!? I think not!
satomibrownie010924 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I have just learned that the Oscar gave them the Best Animated Feature at the 85th annual Academy Awards, and I must say that this fact has left me dubious of the award's credibility.

I don't understand what exactly was so "Brave" about Merida in this film. She is focused on only herself throughout the story. "It's not my fault that mother turned into a bear!" "Oh my silly brothers turning into bears as well!" - all this is the result of her selfishness. She is not apologetic to her poor mother at all, and all she does throughout the film is to complain and whine while scurrying around, trying to make things back in place. When her father the King, unknowing of the truth, tries to kill her mother, Merida suddenly turns into a self-proclaimed heroine by telling him that she "won't allow him to kill my mother!". There is no depth nor growth in Merida till the very end, as she continues to focus her abilities in getting her way.

Also, regarding the artwork, there is too much focus on Merida's hair. Her hair bouncing about while she is riding the horse. Her hair blowing in the wind. Yes I admit, the technique is spectacular, but with such a shallow and petty story, one can't help but wonder if Disney couldn't have focused more on the story rather than the silly bouncy hair.

On the whole, a disappointment.
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sparkytilbury27 June 2012
Good: Great use of real Scottish people doing the voices.

Looked nice and authentic.


The plot is just too thin. I can't give it away, but you'll know what I mean when you see it.

I didn't laugh as much as I thought I was going too.

Yet again, another 3D movie that has been produced WITHOUT increasing the brightness because when you view it with the 3D glasses, it dims the picture. A lot of the movie was shot in dim light, so watching with the glasses you just can't see what is going on or at best cannot see the detail of the sets or characters. Don't they think about this when they produce the final edit?

I took my glasses off for the last 10 minutes because I was fed up struggling to see the detail. I could see the movie was properly lit without the glasses on.

Going to watch movies in 2D from now on.

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