I'm not going to lie to you all: I'm a bit of a Pixar fangirl. Two of the first movies I can ever recall seeing in theaters are Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc. I shed tears in public when I watched Toy Story 3, and Up. I also aspire to have a house with lots of balloons attached to the roof whether it flies or not, because that's just cool.
However, I didn't know what to expect sitting in the theater waiting for Brave. There's something that's surprisingly different about it. I was a little disappointed with it, but it's still miles above some of the other junk in theaters right now (sorry Avengers, I don't mean you, I love you, you're awesome, let's have dinner).
So I've split up my review into things I liked and disliked because if I don't, this post will probably dissolve into me talking more about other movies than anything else.
Things I Liked
-Pixar's first female protagonist is a welcome addition to their repertoire. She's a bit bratty in the beginning, and therefore a little annoying, but Merida has great character development. Also, awesome hair.
-I found the mother/daughter relationship in the movie really refreshing. To see something like that in a wide release film is more amazing than people give it credit for. Often in movies we see more of an emphasis on love interest where the mother figure gets tossed aside, or more often than not, the mom is a total butt trumpet. To center the movie around Merida's relationship with her mom was, well, brave.
-Brave parodies quiet a few little things here and there, well-known Celtic influenced movies like Braveheart and How To Train Your Dragon (I know, big difference between those two, but whatever). And as usual from Pixar, there are a few jokes that will go over kid's heads, but my mom and I were rolling on the floor laughing.
Things I Disliked
-Despite the label of unconventional princess, I still wish there was a little more unconventionality (is that even a word?) to Merida. I feel really hypocritical for saying that, because compared to Cinderella or Snow White, Merida looks like a total rebel. Don't get me wrong, I love the classic Disney princesses, but there is no denying that a lot of their actions were a fry cry from standing up for themselves or breaking rules. And yet, Merida still feels predictable and conventional in the non-conventional way.
-The middle section of the movie is a little slow. But maybe that's just me.
- Pixar is famed for putting the "family" back in "family movie". This one just felt directly aimed at nine and ten year old girls. Maybe it's just because I'm older now, but Brave feels firmly stuck in it's kid-ness.
I still really enjoyed the movie, but this one fell flat in a few places. Don't go in looking for Up or Toy Story, but it's still a fun little film.