User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 490 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 37 out of 490

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  1. Jul 2, 2012
    6
    Gorgeous, but shallow. While visually stunning -- Pixar really outdid themselves with the animation -- the storyline is cliched and unremarkable. There are some great moments, but this film isn't nearly as moving as some of Pixar's other works. The voice acting is solid, the music is great, but they could have done so much more with the story.
  2. Jul 2, 2012
    10
    BRAVE is an amazing, emotional and funny movie!!! I really loved it! It is the best animated film i have seen all year!! What i love most about this movie is that even if Merida is a princess, she is not a classic one. AMAZING MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  3. Jul 2, 2012
    6
    hmm, idk what about it, but i just didn't like it. i found the story a bit bland, and the adds advertise it as something else then it is. its told to be a fable-fantasy movie, but then it turns out to be one of those story's were someone finds out how important family is (and of course everything is the same in the end) however, the details in the graphics were inexpressive, however, i did not come to the movie to see graphics. i came for a story, however, i did not get that as much as it was promised. the add showed the funniest and most action filled moments. with kind of changed my expectations in the movie. so don't come into it expecting a comedy, or an action film. expect a Disney story. Expand
  4. Jul 2, 2012
    5
    I give this movie a 5 because I feel it had a very mediocre plot and screenwriting. It just felt so 'on-par' as if it was written by a team of experts on how-to-make-successful-films. The emotional scenes are forced... the comedy is slapstick and shallow... one of the jokes felt pulled directly out of the Shrek franchise- You'll know it when you see it.

    Overall lack of depth and
    effort. It is way too easy to use animation like autotune to mask what is actually an "O-Kay" movie as a masterpiece. Expand
  5. Jul 1, 2012
    5
    Meh!

    This does NOT feel like a Pixar movie. It feels like a Dreamworks movie, with less schticky humor. I thought it would have the animation style of Tangled... but Tangled had better animation and 3D models. Not impressed. It's Pixar doing Dreamworks animation and barely making the cut.
  6. Jun 30, 2012
    4
    This movie looks wonderful. Unfortunately, that is all it has going for it. Ultimately, Brave is an empty experience. The problem with it lies in the fact that it doesn't really have a point; it has no heart. It feels like they just kind of made a movie without any real thought to how to make it a story worth telling.
  7. Jun 29, 2012
    9
    I found this movie extremely refreshing. Seldom in 'hero' stories are audiences allowed a female lead, and while Merida is a Disney princess, she is also the hero of her own story. It's also nice to see a mother-daughter relationship explored in a children's movie. Brave has plenty of laughs and charm for the whole family, and the breathtaking scenery (and hair rendering!) are a must-see. It's nice that the previews didn't give away the main plot, and while the movie carries similar themes as other Disney films, this one feels new. Expand
  8. Jun 28, 2012
    7
    An improved Scottish version of Brother Bear, but disappointingly does not live up to expectations. The movie is enjoyable, but just not up to par with other Pixar films.
  9. Jun 27, 2012
    8
    I've been a Pixar whore for years. I got on my knees anytime they said go. Then they made Cars 2 and broke my heart. Brave was better than Cars 2. Prettier too. But, damn it, something was missing. I'm not willing to get back on my knees just yet. http://dudebroreviews.wordpress.com/
  10. Jun 27, 2012
    8
    The newest Pixar film seems much more like a pure Disney film, and feels as if Pixar had really nothing to do with it other then the animation. Does this mean it's not a good movie? Definitely not; in fact, it's quite good. A very heartwarming and enchanting tale of one of Disney's finest heroines comes to life in one of this years best animated films (Oscar nomination? I think so.) Though, as I said, it does not feel like a Pixar movie - it is still one of their best ones yet. So thumbs up for Brave. Expand
  11. Jun 27, 2012
    7
    Brave is a good film that is a blast while your watching it but after you feel as though all will soon be forgotten. This is a result of characters that are not memorable and a message that is cliches and that you've seen in plenty of Disney movies. Because of pixar's masterpieces I feel as though this film should have been better, but it is still good none the less.
  12. Jun 27, 2012
    10
    Better than Cars 2 and Cars. The movie's special effects are new to Pixar but great nonetheless. A fantastic introduction to Future Female Pixar heroines.
  13. Jun 27, 2012
    7
    Brave is a fine film. It strikes a strong touching note in the end as many Pixar films do. Is the story original? No....and yes. It has strong echoes of Brother Bear, which is the finer film, but the bond between mother and daughter is explored here and in much more depth. Merida is a good Disney princess.....a no-nonsense strong girl that refuses to take the path that so many expect her to take. In many ways, she is one of the strongest and most realistic Disney princesses we've seen in a long time. Expand
  14. Jun 26, 2012
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. What does Merida do that is so brave? She scurries around looking for the witch Expand
  15. Jun 26, 2012
    9
    Perspective: i'm not a fan of Scottish lore

    Expectations: pretty low, since all i want from Pixar at the moment is Incredibles 2

    Delivery: Brave starts out touching all of the typical "rebellious princess" plot points to establish the setting. It starts to deviate into a slightly original delivery (in delivery, yes. content? not so much) The action is exciting enough, the humor is
    on point, very likable cast of characters. The animation is ridiculous, there were times i would simply focus on Princess Merida's flaming red hair.

    Save for a few deviations from the norm, Brave is a typical Princess story, but it's a GOOD story (The revelations in the 2nd act are particularly rewarding) it has enough charm and emotion to hold me over until a particular Pixar sequel comes to light
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  16. Jun 26, 2012
    8
    It's no Up, but Brave is a sweet movie with good humor. It is also a good mother-daughter film, a nice experience considering there are so many excellent father-son movies out there.
  17. Jun 25, 2012
    0
    I went into this really excited to see a fantastic movie from Pixar. What I got was a very shallow story filled with an agenda to promote but thankfully executed terribly.

    From what I've read from other reviewers are some really weird positive feedback like this movie isn't like the typical fairy tale story, but I completely disagree. The whole style of the movie is a complete rip off
    of How to Train your Dragon, then there's a witch that does evil & a girl that is a carbon copy of Ariel from the little Mermaid. (She also has the same red hair but instead it's curly) The worst part about this movie is it's trying to promote singleness which is ok if somebody wants to be single, but it raises the question as to why they want to promote this agenda. It made for a dull movie in the end, there's nothing happy about it. The family model was a very troubled one, & the girl was a medium at best. This is one of those movies that sums itself up well in the trailer. There's really nothing more to the movie except some bears, mixed feminism(which was really strange) perhaps the writer got broken up with or beaten by their father. It had no premise. Ultimately I believe the writer was very simple minded, liked slap stick humor & would choose themselves over sacrifice any chance they got. Expand
  18. Jun 25, 2012
    10
    I honestly don't understand all the so so reviews. This was a great movie. Fast paced, emotionally stirring; this movie was very good. It may not be as good as WALLE or UP but it was one of the better Pixar films.
  19. Jun 25, 2012
    8
    It doesn't really live up to the high standard of most Pixar movies, but Brave is still an amazing movie that will be plenty of fun for both kids and adults. The best Brave has to offer is the amazing animation, which may just be the best that's even been done. The colors are vivd and beautiful, and the look/design of the movie is captivating. The film is loaded with great voice actors, lovable characters, and plenty of humor mixed with tension and action. The film falls short, in my opinion, when it comes to story. It follows a rather predictable path of a rebellious girl, who doesn't want to get married so she turns to an old witch. However, it does put the focus on the relationship between mothers and daughters for a change, something I don't think I've ever seen in an animated movie. Overall, it's worth watching, but it doesn't join the ranks of great animated films like WALL-E, Up, or Toy Story. Expand
  20. Jun 25, 2012
    9
    Pixar has really outdone itself on this one. Brave is a fantastically animated picture, with something for pretty much anyone! It's not going to be a surprise that Pixar's got another big success on their hands. The story is fantastic, the humor is solid, and the characters are believable and loveable. Overall the film is a jolly good, arrow-launching 9.5/10.
  21. Jun 25, 2012
    5
    I was really disappointed with this film. I was looking forward to a great movie, but Brave is very bland. The main heroine is a very unlikeable character, because she's very selfish and even seeks harm to her own mother. All the male characters are bumbling idiots and can't even comprehend something that's being yelled in their face 5 times in a row. The main bear character, without giving away too much about the story, is very repetitive in its manerisms. All the main characters are very unlikeable... and when you reach the point where you are not cheering for anyone in the story, you don't care about anything that happens to them. The only positives I can say about this film is that the computer graphics were amazing to look at, and the witch and triplets were entertaining (but only had a combined 15 minutes of screen time). I'm sure kids will love this movie, especially little girls who want to see a strong female character. However, for the adult crowd that appreciates a family film that includes feeling and humor, this movie missed the mark by a mile. Expand
  22. Jun 24, 2012
    6
    There was much potential in this movie, having hilariously designed people in kilts, a beatiful selection for scenery, a well animated protaganist that doesn't want to be a princess.

    But the story was a significant let down. This is not some bias decision I have made in spite of the designers, or in let down of being over hyped, this seems to also be a general feel for the people whom I
    have talked with who have also seen the movie. Expand
  23. Jun 24, 2012
    10
    I will admit up front that I am a big fan of Pixar, and any movie of theirs gets an automatic 10 to begin with. From there, it may lose a point or two (Or more... ahem, Cars 2) but it usually takes a lot to convince me to deduct points from a Pixar film. Brave gets only one complaint from me, and that is simply that I can't give it an 11. What an amazing movie. Granted, it's not your usual Pixar fare, and it certainly isn't for little kids. (My 5 year spent most of the movie under her mom's arm) The story is fairly unique, and the main characters are deep, well written, and well voiced/acted. I have NEVER felt as attached to an animated character as I did to Princess Merida. Lastly, the animation is absolutely mind blowing. Without giving anything away, the animation on the bear when it gets out of the fishing stream is easily the best animation I have ever seen. Robert Bateman would be jealous. Go see this movie, but see it with an open mind and without expectations. You will be glad you did. Expand
  24. Jun 24, 2012
    10
    I literally saw nothing wrong with this movie. Brave was epic, inspiring, and beautiful. Great action, genius story, and hilarious comedy, it was a perfect film for adults and children to enjoy. Pixar has knocked another one out of the park, only Brave was not your normal home run, it was a grand slam. After a bit of a downfall with Cars 2, Pixar has recovered and has granted us with a beautiful film. Like i said before, from the action, the comedy, the animation, to the story, and everything in between, it was all perfect. You must see this film, whether you're 4 or 94, you will enjoy this movie. 10/10...Perfection. Expand
  25. Jun 24, 2012
    8
    This movie completely exceeded my expectations. Honestly, I went into this movie not knowing what to expect. I really didn't know what the plot of the movie was, which is what made me want to go see it even more. I had heard about this movie and had been excited for it for a couple months, and was so happy when it finally came out. Its graphics are absolutely stunning, bright beautiful colors, amazing attention to detail (example, the arrow's shaft wobbling when being shot), wonderful acting, heartwarming and heart-string-tugging, I was completely charmed with this movie. I feel like it should have been released on Mother's Day, with the extremely heavy mother-daughter interactions. It's amazing how Pixar movies can still make me cry like a baby. Bravo, Pixar. Expand
  26. Jun 24, 2012
    9
    Pixar's Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up, and others, always left me with a buzzy feeling of awe and inspiration. This movie, though, left me kind of confused, because I didn't feel like that after watching it. I can't put my finger on it as to why, because everything about the movie seemed right. Despite that, there were moments where I chuckled and laughed, and moments where I got a little dust in me eye. Don't completely take my word for it, or anyone else's; decide for yourself what you think it is. Even if you end up not liking the story, it's Pixar! They make the best movies in the world! The attention to minute detail, the tones and colors of each scene, the thought and care put into every character movement and camera placement, the care put into each word, the accuracy of the Scottish culture etc. is beyond the grasp of just one sitting. Pixar can make drying paint humorous and interesting. On another note, for those believing the movie was all about "women's empowerment", I discourage that perspective. Moreover, I believe it was a much more simple approach: Pixar wanted to try a female lead, for once, and they didn't want to do it like its been done before a gajillion times. The story came about as it did organically after that decision. Having a nontraditional female lead, though, brings its own boat of problems, whether you meant to bring them out or not. People will always bring in their own experiences and justifications whether its true or not. Just the fact that they made a nontraditional female lead was Brave in and of itself.
    Personally, I thought it was really amazing that Merida isn't a girly, pink, blonde princess like in Tangled. It's interesting, and it's badass.

    And, although this movie is 3D, if you love paying attention to little details in Pixar movies (ex. looking for Easter Eggs from their other movies) I highly discourage it. The 3D makes it very difficult to focus on minute details because you can only focus on one "layer" of the 3D at a time. Watch it in 2D if you want to really soak in as much details and minutiae as possible. The only reason they made it in 3D was probably because they had to do be competitive with all the other 3D stuff out there.
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  27. Jun 24, 2012
    6
    Remember when Disney announced a couple of years ago that "Tangled" would be their last Princess movie? They lied, or Pixar didn't get the memo. Here is yet another. Even though I didn't care for the "Cars" sequel from last year, at least it was still original. This movie worries me because there is nothing original about it, and originality is what I have always loved about Pixar. This movie is a fairy tale and you get the feeling you've seen it a hundred times before as you watch it. They even copied the Irish accents from "How to Train Your Dragon" and "Shrek". It has some humor in it, but not much, and the overall look of the film was dark although I saw it in 3D which admittedly darkens the screen a little. I would rank it higher than "The Princess and the Frog", but WAY lower than "Tangled" (a Disney Masterpiece) if comparing to other Princess movies. If comparing to other Pixar films it would be the second worse right before Cars2. This makes two mediocre films in a row for Pixar. Hopefully they will rebound on the next film. Expand
  28. Jun 24, 2012
    7
    dharma
    Jun 24, 2012
    It's strange to think that PIXAR's movies were held in such high esteem, that any lesser output from the studio will be held under such scrutiny. BRAVE is such output from the studio; not as 'critically lambasted' as CARS 2 but never reaching the heights that the studio reach in their Toy Story trilogy, Incredibles or reaching such 'artistic' heights as in Wall-E or
    Up. Nevertheless, Being in the same 'quality' as Dreamworks' latest output such as Kung Fu Panda 2 is also worrying for fans. It's good, but never reaching great. It is actually Pixar's interpretation of Disney's 'Princess' genre. Technologically wise, it is incredible as usual Expand
  29. Jun 23, 2012
    10
    The newest addition to the infamous Pixar line-up, Brave, is pure, cinematic magic. It is nothing like any other masterpiece the studio has impressed us with before, but is in no way inferior to its predecessors. The film takes place in the Scottish highlands. As soon as the beautifully crafted scenery graced the silver screen, I was in love. Being at least a quarter Scottish myself, I have a special place in my heart for the stunning country. The film centers on the royal family and their clan, the somewhat dysfunctional yet lovable DunBroch. You can't help but laugh whenever King Fergus is on the screen. Though he has a rough and rugged exterior, he's clearly a secret softie, harboring undying love for his family. The several moments between the king and queen in the film are sweet, heartfelt, and endearing, and the fact that they're complete opposites and still manage to maintain that subtle "spark" in their marriage is extraordinary. Queen Elinor, though it may surprise you, is undoubtedly the character that captured my heart and attention the most. I wish to express my sheer gratitude to the animators that worked on her. One can hardly tell she's animated; every expression she holds is extremely detailed and beautifully sculpted, even on her bear counterpart. Kudos to the animators; I just wish we had seen more of the queen's human form. The three adorable triplet boys, Harris, Hubert, and Hamish, provide a bit of comic relief throughout the movie, and play a key role in the film. And, that brings us to everyone's favorite tomboy, Princess Merida, the spirited and somewhat stubborn daughter of Fergus and Elinor. Her fiery, curly locks are to be admired. They captured my attention and put me under a spell, just as Merida did to her mother. Determined to choose her own path in life, Merida goes against traditional values and seeks the help of a witch in order to sway her mother's opinion of an arranged marriage - an overused topic in fairy tales, but does nothing to diminish the message the film conveys. Though the main storyline is admittedly a bit cliché, it still radiates charm that can undoubtedly be recognized as a Pixar film. Not only is Brave heartwarming, it's also packed with action, complete with a demon bear, a beastly curse, and a race against time to save a beloved member of the clan. The voice actors chosen to portray the characters couldn't be more perfect in their roles. The beautiful and somewhat tearful ending to the film nearly had a stoic movie-goer like myself cry tears of joy, and I enjoyed one last laugh at a final comedic moment within the family. Viewers are provided with closure at the end of the film - the mother and daughter duo we've grown to adore has strengthened their bond as a result of their ordeal, and their friendship is as close as ever. It's the perfect ending to a wonderful and satisfying film. Though I had been slightly disappointed in Pixar after Cars 2, Brave has thoroughly restored my faith in Pixar, and the film has enough classic Disney flair to provide audiences of all ages with a joyous ride through the highlands. Expand
  30. Jun 23, 2012
    9
    The story of BRAVE is the always-poignant tale of "be careful what you wish for because it might come true". Any film with that message will always touch the hearts of audiences because we have all had the desire to change a parent or sibling to our benefit, but we would never think how much we'd miss them as they are. This film also deals with the always perplexing issue of teenager-to-parent communication, which never gets old because teenagers have been a mystery to a adults since the Stone Ages.

    These treasured story templates mixed expressed within the Celtic background make for an over-all pleasing film. Some of the critics, both professional and otherwise, have noted that this Pixar film was not ground breaking like their other big hits, but I say that doesn't matter. We can't expect everything Pixar pumps out to be on par with "Toy Story" or "Finding Nemo". BRAVE is a fantastic tale in its own right and in its own way. Definitely a must see for the family!

    BRAVE: 3.5 out of 4 stars
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  31. Jun 23, 2012
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Pixar what were you thinking? Great movie for adults and older teens good story plot ok graphics. I figured some adult type jokes for the rating of PG. Had I KNOWN BEFORE about the 20 ish drunk Scottish clan running across the screen in complete view of their naked cartoon rears on the big screen in 3d I would have never taken my kids to see your movie!! Naked is naked even if it's cartoon naked! Mark your movies correctly with Some NUDITY!! Not a mind reader here! Expand
  32. Jun 23, 2012
    7
    While it may not be Pixar's best, "Brave" sets a courageous journey into the relationships between mother, daughter, expectations and aspirations. With a delightful visuals, an inspiring soundtrack and a loveable protagonist, "Brave" encapsulates that Pixar magic, and everything they achieve so well. Just don't expect it to match the grand adventure of "Tangled" or "How To Train Your Dragon" - it is perhaps an adventure for the child in us, rather than our children. Expand
  33. Jun 22, 2012
    9
    Don't listen to the critics! This movie, although adopting a premise that has been done to death (especially by Disney), is still subversive as much as it is conventional. It's a character-driven story - like every other Pixar movie - that focuses more on the chemistry between the protagonist and her mother than on the adventure. It does so deftly, with theme and emotion and depth all around, as much depth as How To Train Your Dragon (to which it is often compared. Personally I think they're equally great.) What I loved the most was the care they took in portraying Merida realistically - not as a badass action heroine, but as a frightened, desperate child who only wanted her mother back. She doesn't end up with a husband by the end of the movie, but I think it's better that way. We really needed a movie, actually, that reminds us that things like love and occupation don't need to be found when you're so young. Because in the end, this movie is really about a girl who just wants to be the child that she is, while she still can, rather than grow up too fast. And I find that incredibly poignant. Expand
  34. Jun 22, 2012
    7
    Brave is a visual delight that misses at too many key points and doesn't take enough chances.

    If there's one studio that's absolutely dominated in the past 15 years, it's Pixar. From their 1995 classic Toy Story to the equally heart-warming Up, the company has taken animation to new levels, pulling gems and instant classics with amazing consistency. While animation is their acumen,
    their key has always been in strong storytelling: who would have thought that toys, cars, rats, fish, and monsters would have such wide-ranging appeal. It's Pixar singular ability to breathe real emotions into their animated characters that makes everything they touch turn to box office cash. Well, almost everything: that road has recently been pitted with a few critical disappointments: Cars 2 was unappealing and Toy Story 3 was downright creepy (toys holding hands in the fiery hell of a compactor is weird). With the release of Brave, the animation juggernaut continues with the fun and visual appeal, but ultimately creates a plot that's too predictable, not exciting enough, and fails to take many chances The prologue introduces us to Scottish Princess Merida (Kelly McDonald, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows, Part 2), a wild and energetic girl who is given a bow & arrow for her birthday by father King Fergus (Billy Connolly, Boondock Saints). Merida's mother Elinor (Emma Thompson, MIB3) doesn't approve, and expects Merida to prepare herself to one day be queen. There's a quick action scene of a huge bear attacking their camp, resulting in the loss of Fergus' leg, but we're suddenly thrust into the present, as Merida learns that she must marry soon to an ineligible suitor. The medieval tomboy won't have it, sneaking away to run wild with her horse Angus, perfect her archery skills, and climb tall rock formations, all to her parent's chagrin. It's this independency which returns often in Brave, and ultimately what dooms Merida and the movie itself. After an argument with her mother, Merida runs away and makes a deal with a Disney-like witch (Julie Walters, Harry Potter series) who promises to change Elinor and thus Merida's fate. But, all of that goes wrong when the spell changes Elinor into a bear, who maintains the queen's heart and mind but leaves her without the capacity to speak. Together, she and Merida must find a way to reverse the spell and keep King Fergus The Bear Killer from accidentally murdering his wife.

    There's lots to like about Brave: it is stunningly beautiful, showing off the Scottish Highlands and giving even more life-like movements to our characters. Test audiences viewed the film in 3D, and it too looks incredible. Filmgoers might also enjoy the funny short prior to the feature presentation, and should stay for a mildly entertaining post-credits scene. The soundtrack by Patrick Doyle (Thor) is minimal but filled with nice Scottish melodies, and there are genuinely touching and funny scenes as the clumsy Bear Elinor struggles to walk and carry on in her new body. But in matters of story, Brave suffers too much, missing key chances to meaningfully advance the characters, who come off as caricatures of previous Disney films (Think: Merida asAladdin's Princess Jasmine). There's also lost opportunities to address the theme of women in leadership roles, which Brave leaves on the table even as the film concludes. As the suitor's ships sail away, the only real lesson Merida appears to have learned is that she should not trust witches. There's plenty of time for this 93-minute film to stretch its legs, but it's these theme of change and forgiveness which continues to drag things down, never fully exploring them before bear attacks and other funny moments reappear. Some of this could be blamed on the merry-go-round of directors (Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, and Steve Purcell), a recent Pixar trend that should be revisited.

    In the end, Brave is a good example of the style-over-substance argument which unfortunately populates most summer films. The plot is easily the flimsiest I've seen from any of the 13 Pixar productions, with the film relying too heavily on action and comedy than addressing its initial interesting premise of the responsibility of women and the relationships between mother and daughter. It's doubtful any of these characters will be remembered a year from now, although Disney will no doubt find a way to keep them marketed beyond the theatrical and home release runs. In this scenario, Brave will be viewed as a failure. Mom and the daughters might find it fun, while Dad and the sons will be looking for the theater playing Avengers. No doubt it will draw large audiences and fill Disney's bank accounts, but with the critical failure of Cars 2, Brave is not good enough to quell insider rumors that Pixar's best creative days might be behind them.
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  35. Jun 22, 2012
    10
    Last year, Pixar gave us Cars 2. Critics and audience members alike were appalled at the product. It was no where near the masterpieces that Pixar had brought us previously. But while it wasn't perfect, I still enjoyed Cars 2. But I definitely didn't want Pixar to keep making movies like Cars 2. I wanted more masterpieces. So Brave comes along. The film that everyone is hoping will save the day and remind us all why we love Pixar.

    Unfortunately, many critics aren't all that impressed with Brave, and while MOST of the critics liked it, the reception has been a little disappointing, especially when you consider how well the rest of the Pixar films have done. Brave is being considered one of the worst Pixar films.

    But I think this is bizarre. I'm not quite sure why this is being met with such lukewarm reception. Brave is nothing short of a masterpiece. In fact, it's one of Pixar's BETTER films, in my opinion.

    Brave (originally titled The Bear and the Bow) is about a princess named Merida who wants to be an archer. Unfortunately for her, Merida's mother, Elinor, wants Merida to be a bit more ladylike. Merida puts up with her mother, but when she's being forced to marry before she's even ready. There's an argument between the Merida and Elinor, a witch, and next thing you know Elinor is a bear. So Merida must change her mother back to a human and at the same time, regain her bond with her mother.

    Brave has all the ingredients that every good movie needs. For one, the characters are very memorable. I doubt any of them will replace anyone's favorite Pixar character, but they're funny and well developed. Also, Brave is very funny. It's not as humorous as Up or the Toy Story films, but there's enough gags to entertain adults and kids. Admittedly, some of the humor feels a bit more tilted towards the Dreamworks canon, but I still found myself laughing often.

    The last main ingredient; heart. And Brave has heart to spare. Pixar has almost always managed to make me cry, I don't mind saying. But then came Cars 2. Sure it made me laugh, and the animation impressed, but I never felt any real emotional connection with anything going onscreen.

    But Brave reminded me why I look forward to Pixar films every year. I did cry at times, and there were times when I held back tears. Brave is one of the most moving pictures I've ever seen. Seeing Merida and Elinor's relationship grow as the film progresses, and the sacrifices they make for each other is particularly moving. Rarely do I feel so engaged with the characters.

    Some critics were complaining about the uneven tones. From soft mother-daughter scenes, to boy-ish humor. I actually LIKED the shifts in tone. There were times when things got a little tragic and humor really helped to lighten the mood.

    Patrick Doyle composed the score for Brave. This is his first time scoring a Pixar film, and having heard very little of Doyle's scores, I wasn't sure how I'd like his music. Well, Doyle has proved himself a hundred times over. I was extremely impressed with the score, and hope to see Doyle compose more Pixar films in the future.

    The voice acting is, as usual for a Pixar film, superb. The voices are a little more recognizable this time around, but in the end, I wouldn't have changed anything. Kelly MacDonald does a more than respectable job as Merida, while Emma Thompson does excellently as mother (though unfortunately, she spends most of the movie as a bear). And Billy Connoly does a hilarious job as Fergus, Merida's rambunctious father.

    And naturally, the animation is gorgeous. Easily outdoing any of Pixar's previous films. Trees, water, mist, hair, all of the above. Pixar does an eleven-out-of-ten job on their animation, making Brave the best looking animated film of the year thus far.

    Brave is being unfairly labeled as one of Pixar's weaker films, and a merely decent film. Brave is, in fact, a masterpiece and hopefully the so-so reviews and the female protagonist won't stop male audience members from seeing it. Cars 2 was decent, but left me nervous as to Pixar's future. Brave has put all those fears to rest. Pixar is back baby: Hopefully forever.

    Note: Brave was preceded by a short film entitled La Luna. This was both imaginative and magical. Don't come late or you'll miss it, and you will not want to miss this.
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  36. Jun 22, 2012
    10
    Excellent movie with wonderful messages. I seldom say that. Exciting for the entire family. Especially heartfelt experience to share with mothers & daughters. If you have a pre-teen daughter who may be asserting her independence in less than positive ways, you'll find this movie to be a wonderful way to illustrate some of the things that are often difficult for them to understand. My daughter has often heard me say that I am her Mama Bear and it's my job to protect her, even from herself. After seeing this movie, she has an entirely new perspective on that. Great flick. Great way to spend some easy time with the kids while teaching such valuable lessons. A must see if you have daughters. Expand
  37. Jun 22, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. People seem to be complaining about Pixar somehow letting themselves down by doing a formulaic Disney/fairytale Princess movie but I didn't see it that way at all. Yes, that's basically what it is. But first of all, what's wrong with that? And secondly, it's not as formulaic as I expected. There are many very familiar elements, as there are in all fairy tales, but what I loved was how Pixar found ways to put a fresh wrinkle on those elements.

    Primarily, I loved the fact that here, for once, is a princess movie that absolutely does NOT rely on the princess falling in love with or being rescued by a handsome prince. I've always wondered why fairy tales so consistently teach young girls that they need a man to solve their problems for them. Many modern retellings of fairy tales do take a more contemporary approach by presenting a spunkier, more independent princess who doesn't need the handsome prince, but Brave deviates much further by not having a prince at all. Merida doesn't fall in love, doesn't meet the man of her dreams, because that's not what she needs and it's not what the movie is about. The movie's love story is between the girl and her mother - and how often do you see that? The movie, like Merida, is emotionally independent and follows its own path despite the traditional expectations placed upon it.

    Other familiar elements are given fresh takes too. I love that the witch is not evil, she's simply just not very good at being a witch. Even though the movie is set in a romanticized fairy tale version of Scotland it felt very authentic to me. Certainly moreso than How To Train Your Dragon - which I also loved, but I couldn't get past the bizarre decision to have the faux-Nordic heroes speak like Scots, except for the hero who for some reason was American.

    The movie also has more than its fair share of hilarious Pixar sight gags and character moments. Oh, and can I just say that I love how Pixar consistently casts ACTORS rather than falling victim to the celebrity-casting trap that so many animation studios do. I need to see it again (just found out there is a Dolby Atmos cinema here in town) but I think it might actually be my favorite Pixar movie already. I could find nothing wrong with it.
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  38. Jun 22, 2012
    10
    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%.
  39. Jun 22, 2012
    9
    Pixar has made another great animated film! Pixar has come back after their worst reviewed movie, Cars 2. Even though it isn't flawless like Ratatouille and The Incredibles, it still delivers a very comedic and action packed movie. Pixar has definitely made a comeback.
  40. Jun 22, 2012
    10
    Great movie. Yes, it does not break new ground for the most part, following traditional disney fare. But as a father of a five year old girl, I cringe every time my daughter wants to to see The Little Mermaid, or Beauty and the Beast. Brave has a strong female lead, good story, stunning visuals, and breathtaking score.
  41. Jun 22, 2012
    10
    Love Love Love this movie! this movie is Completely a pixar movie! Amazing story not one of the BRILLIANT pixars movie נוא Delivers the good of the summer and the pixars movie
  42. Jun 22, 2012
    10
    i think brave have a place with a pixars movies like the incredibles and monsters inc because of the story of brave is not brilliant like up and wall e but he is exciting and funny enough to be a pixar movie :)
  43. Jun 22, 2012
    8
    The digital wizards at Pixar have an incredible dossier of Academy award-winning animated films. Their latest film
  44. Jun 22, 2012
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand 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.
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Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    Aug 12, 2012
    80
    No less lovely than former films, in many ways lovelier, but Brave is boutique Pixar: less ambitious, more succinct, excellence at a lower ebb.
  2. Reviewed by: Ben Child
    Jun 25, 2012
    80
    For the animation studio's debut foray into fairytale, Pixar has delivered a rousing family melodrama.
  3. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Jun 25, 2012
    85
    My heart belongs to Bear Elinor, whose movements and mannerisms are a tender echo of Human Elinor's – her character is designed and drawn just that carefully.