Genre(s): Animation, Adventure, Fantasy
Director(s): Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Steve Purcell
Release Year: 2012
Rotten Tomatoes: 71%
Brave comes out this Friday, but I managed to see an advanced screening of the film bright and early Monday morning. My excitement for this film had always been wavering since the first trailer for the film was released. That’s not to say I was ever not excited about the film, but it definitely had been decreasing with every glimpse of the trailer. Fortunately, the trailer delivers very little of the plot, but an inkling of what’s to come, making the film become so much more of an enjoyable experience. With films constantly revealing major plot points in their trailers, it’s refreshing to experience a movie spoiler-free and actually enjoy myself that much more.
Brave delivers a fantasy world that I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more of it in future Pixar films as it’s seldom explored throughout the film. That being said, the movie’s length doesn’t give much freedom to explore the world besides a few shots of horseback riding, making the film seem somewhat rushed and slightly claustrophobic, mainly taking place in one setting. The latter isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but a disappointing thing with a film that seems to have put quite a bit of effort into creating a beautiful world that demands more attention. Brave’s fables and lore create an enriching universe that usually is explored more deeply by Pixar films (Wall-E, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, and A Bug’s Life all explore their worlds much deeper than this).
The music in the movie also played a huge factor in me wanting to explore this world so much more. Wonderfully scored by Patrick Doyle (Thor, Rise of the Planet of the Apes), it’s a majestic, Celtic sounding score that fits the Scottish tone of the movie so wonderfully. And Scottish it definitely is, featuring the voice talents of Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly and Craig Ferguson, on top of other well known stars like Emma Thompson and Julie Walters. The film offers such a fairy-tale experience, it’s hard not to appreciate it with all of its charm and laugh at the humor littered throughout the film. Unfortunately, that humor does tend to be more on the childish side but the film itself seems more gravitated towards children as well. Because of this, the film lacks more of the signature adult themes from previous Pixar films. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad since it is Pixar’s first attempt at a fairy tale story and the story itself does what most fairy tales do: present a story with an overarching theme that can apply to everyday life. In this case, it’s probably something to do with choosing your own path in life.
Overall though, Brave is a step in a relatively new direction for Pixar, and I do hope that they do more of these fairy tale stories in the future because they definitely could be good as well. It’s nice to see Pixar bounce back from the disappointment that was Cars 2, but hopefully with their next film, Monsters University, they manage to explore more adult themes and provide a film with a more deeper experience. That being said, I will likely end up seeing Brave again before its theatrical run is over,a nd will most likely buy it on Blu-ray when it is released. I would also like to add that if you are going to see this film in theaters, see it in 3D as it is definitely worth it with very few gimmicks.