Thursday, June 28, 2012

Brave Review

And the ball is rolling with another Pixar film. Brave is their latest film to come out this past weekend and on a Tuesday night it seemed like a good idea to give this one a shot. Over the years I have learned to trust Pixar because every one of their movies they have put out I have enjoyed. And I am obviously not the only one with this opinion because since 1999 with Toy Story 2, every Pixar film has topped $200M domestically. That was 9 films in a row. Now both these statements go until last year with Cars 2. That was a bad idea. It was a terrible movie that really made no sense to me and it also broke the $200M streak by falling just short of that at $191M. So that is definitely something that made me question Pixar for at least a second or two, but I just wrote that off to a slight bump in the road. No one is perfect. Sure my track record of enjoying all the Pixar films got ruined, but I had faith that things would pick back up with Brave and that Pixar would just move on and continue to make good, successful movies while pretending that the whole Cars 2 disaster never happened. And after seeing it, I am here to happily announce that it has. While not a perfect animated movie, I would definitely call Brave a success.

Now the first thing to note, and saying this isn't a criticism but rather just an observation, is that this movie feels a lot more like a Disney film than than a Pixar film. When I think of Pixar I think of Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc, etc. Not a Princess movie. Princess movie reminds me of all the classic Disney Princess movies, most recently being Tangled. The animation was also a lot like Tangled. But like I said, that is not a bad thing. I'm just curious if we can enter Merida into the ranks of the Disney Princesses, because I feel like we need to, because Disney does own Pixar, so it kinda counts. Or maybe she can be the first Pixar Princess. That has a great ring to it.

But anywho, I digress. Brave. Let's get out my one major complaint. The story line. I'm happy that Pixar went back to original movie route for this year because they have been on a sequel streak recently. Toy Story 3 worked out wonderfully two years ago, but Cars 2 was a disaster and I'm not completely confident about Monsters University next year. So original is good. But when I say original, I mean non-sequel because my complaint with Brave that it is not completely original in terms of the story. The message of the movie is the discussion on fate (that's not a spoiler - it's a tagline to the movie), which discussion is done quite frequently and thus I did not walk away feeling amazingly inspired by what it tried to tell me. Also right along with that is that if you watch the trailer, you essentially know what the movie is about. No, it's not the type of trailer that gives everything away, but when you watch it you will develop a theory about what will happen and after you finish the movie you will realize that your theory was essentially right.

With that out of the way, it really was an enjoyable movie. Despite having an unoriginal and cliche story line, it was fun. Starting off, the animation was stellar. I saw it in 2D and was impressed. Me seeing it in 2D means I didn't see it in 3D, but I was thinking that if I actually did watch it in 3D it would be rather enjoyable and well done, which is saying something for me because I am not a 3D fan.  On top of that, the characters are great in the movie and that gets you invested into the movie because you will fall in love with them. Despite the cliches, the characters show some good character progression. The music in the movie was a huge plus. I really liked the Celtic/Scottish feel in the music and felt that it set the tone for the movie quite well given it's setting. The movie was also very comedic. I found myself laughing during much of it and as a movie directed towards kids that gives it a huge plus. Although that does bring up a small issue. Is this kid appropriate? Well, my answer to that is yes. But that does come with a slight caution flag. There are a lot of sexual innuendos that are thrown into the movie that will make a lot of the adults laugh. Much of it are things that the younger kids wouldn't catch, but at the same time there are a few things put in there that I really don't think are appropriate to be showing younger kids. Also along that lines there are a couple of scenes that may be quite frightening for younger kids. Specifically when they run into the bear. It gets rather intense. So like I said, small caution flag on that, but overall I personally don't think those are serious enough to not take your kids to it. That's just my opinion, though.

Overall this is a great animated movie that while it's not perfect, it's still fun to watch and well made. I expect it to at least be in the running for animated movie of the year and would even be a bit surprised if it didn't get the award. So go see it and enjoy! I'm giving it an 8 out of 10.

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