Brave is a simple story, but told with such depth and magic it is hard not to love this movie. It isn't the studios best but it sure is great. Wonderfully voice acted by Kelly McDonald and the rest of the cast. And it is expertly and beautifully animated with wonderful detail. It is funny, emotionally resonant, and altogether beautiful. I give this movie 95%.… Full Review »
3This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. This does not stand up to Pixar's other work. It's sloppy and poorly executed, in short. It's overstuffed with plot threads and conflict but fails to find resolution for any or find a reasonable way to tie them together. It ended up being thematically contradictory. And maybe worst of all, it ended up being way more boring than it needed to be; the plot was so totally without ambition or surprise, it lacked interest as well. Let's talk specifics.
Who was the main villain? Was it the twisted witch who created the spell that turned the queen into a bear? I guess not, because she disappeared in the middle of the movie. Was it the other clan heads? I don't think so, since they all joined together with the protagonists in the end--after we were told (and never, ever shown) that they had actually been best friends the whole time. So I guess it was the big evil bear who serves as the final boss then, huh?
What was up with that bear anyway? Okay, so he used to be a prince but he tried to change his fate and was inadvertently punished by becoming a bear. So he's like a symbol of how we shouldn't try to change our fate, I guess? And then he attacks the clansmen because of his lingering, ill-advised drive to overtake them and become supreme ruler, right? Well, no, because after he's killed we see his spirit, and his spirit is apparently relieved and thankful that he was freed from the bear. And if the queen is any example, he had long since been acting totally under bear impulses the whole time. So the main villain was basically a wild bear and only ever enters the film because he just happened to be around, we guess? And then we had to kill him? Was anything in the film resolved with his death, besides just one less bear in the forest?
How DID they kill him? Did the main character get to use her archery skills which were pretty heavily established by the first act, and every trailer and poster and promotional artwork for the film? Nope! Did the father finally have his revenge on the evil bear, which is pretty much all he ever talked about doing? Nope! Oh, maybe the clansmen all joined together and showed their renewed unity by defeating the legendary bear monster! Nope, that wasn't it. The mother and daughter join forces kinda but are pretty useless against the final boss, and instead they end up killing him by pushing a stonehedge rock on him. Which is pretty confusing, thematically, since the stonehedge rocks _also_ represented changing of fate in some weird way. And then the traitorous prince spirit gets relief, so... what are we even saying here? That he deserved to go free? Seriously, what point is being made here? Is changing your destiny good or bad?
And hey for that matter why does the heroine always talk about "changing her fate" like that's a real, concrete thing that people can just do? So much of this destiny-speak just honestly comes off sounding like gibberish. And also also what the HECK was up the unbearably cheesy montages over unbearably cheesy female vocals? Where you hear a musical number about reaching for the stars while the daughter rides around on her horse with her hair rushing in the breeze? It's just silly.
There's just so much wrong and so little time to illuminate all of it. Somebody needed to spend more time thinking about this and tightening the script.… Full Review »