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an animated film directed by Brenda Chapman and Mark Andrews

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  • Jun 22, 2012

Pixar has been one of the most brilliantly run studios in Hollywood for some time.  They churned out movie after movie which grossed them over 100 million dollars, sold more in toys, garnered critical acclaim, and won awards.   Their last endeavor Cars 2 was the only blemish on an otherwise perfect record.  It seemed that everyone who worked there was passionate about their projects and wanted to be there. The only complaint really being that it was considered kind of a boys club, so what do they do, with their 13th movie they put in a strong female protagonist that's central issue deals with the relationship between mother and daughter.  From the outset Brave looked like a home-run but a major plot point in the second half changes this movie's fate and it becomes something different entirely.


Any of the first teasers that came out made it seem like it was going to be an intense mixture of adventure and magic.  But then those behind the scenes decided to not use any of the footage from the trailer in the movie.  Despite that even the first sequence laid the groundwork for an epic adventure tale.  The visuals are absolutely stunning in this movie and the music is enchanting.  It places you in the exact mood you need to be in for a movie that is all about a princess who changes her fate.


Nothing about the plot is all that ingenious when it comes to daughter being forced to marry against her will (On a side-note: I have been seeing a lot of female empowerment movies recently, you go girls).  Merida is an independent girl with the heart of a warrior and does not want to be married off just because of some tradition, while her mother has been training her to be queen her whole life.  Merida would much rather explore the outdoors and practice her archery on horseback all day.  From here the movie still has all the potential in the world to be something great and could very well be.


But then something happens, about halfway through the movie a major plot point occurs and throws any credibility the movie was building towards into the water.  I don't want to give the plot point away, as it is supposed to be a twist I think, but if you would like a hint please click here for everyone else just move on.  All of a sudden the movie moves away from female empowerment into a slapstick session, which was completely unnecessary as there are plenty of laughs everywhere else in the movie.  The toughest part about the plot point is it becomes the main focus of the story, so while I can say I liked everything about this movie except this one detail it becomes a MAJOR detail.  From here on to the end it seems that everything the movie was building to is forgotten in order to wrap the story up.


It almost feels as if Pixar doesn't care anymore.  Whether it is giving Larry The Cable Guy a whole movie, finding out where Sully and Mike matriculated from, or frankly giving the boys club a story about female empowerment. It seems there is less effort being put in at the studio to come up with groundbreaking ideas.  All of Pixar's movies before this have been about guys and boys and growing up and been told from that point of view.  Pixar's movies have been great in the past because they were writing from somewhere they know; you could feel a personal investment in the story.  While Brenda Chapman wrote the story and helped direct, the rest of her main staff are men.  So a story about a mother-daughter relationship being told from the perspective of boys may have been one of the problems with developing the full potential of the story.


The movie does come back around and the climax of the movie features some very touching scenes.  Plus I'd be lying if I said I didn't tear up just a little bit with the Scottish music playing in the background and a little girl coming over to give her Mom a big hug and tell her that she loves her.  There is a beautiful movie in here somewhere evidenced by these last moments, the sweeping Irish landscape, and the beautiful music, but that one moment really turned off any momentum the movie built towards.  Even the plot points that occur following the twist are more believable.  It really is just frustrating they took the movie in that direction.  And after that there was no coming back for Brave.  B-

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More Brave (2012 film) reviews
review by . June 24, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Change Your Fate....Be Brave!
I have never been a huge fan of Pixar’s films. I liked them, but I’ve never exactly loved them; save for a select few such as “Ratatouille”, “The Incredibles”, “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 3”, most of their movies weren’t exactly for me. With their somewhat disappointing box-office take with “Cars 2”, I thought perhaps that Pixar may be slowing down. Well, sometimes, a little disappointment can make filmmakers go back to …
review by . July 12, 2012
By the end of this latest in an unbroken line of Pixar instant classics, you will have no doubt. From beginning to end, Brave displays the intelligence, honesty, and unflinching forthrightness that I think is the signature characteristic that makes Pixar movies both indelibly memorable and watchably funny and smart.      While Merida, the famously and fabulously red-headed coming-of-age princess, is the central character, I was drawn to her loving but overpowering queen mum as …
review by . July 17, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Generally speaking, Pixar movies are usually fantastic movies.  They're not movies that are just "good."  They're often great.  Really great and they often stand out because of their fantastic and heartwarming stories.  Brave marks a slight departure for Pixar as it goes against many of their typical formulas but that's okay.  It's what will eventually make Brave stand out more so than other Pixar movies.  That being said, Brave isn't quite …
review by . June 23, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         After taking a slight misstep last summer with the amusing but superficial Cars 2, the creative teams at Disney/Pixar have thoroughly redeemed themselves. Brave is an absolute joy – a seamless blend of spectacular animation, intelligent writing, and tremendous heart and imagination. Although its status as a 3D computer animated film modernizes it from a technical standpoint, its values are firmly rooted in the glory days of traditional cel …
review by . June 17, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
B for Brave
BRAVE Directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman Written by Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell, Brenda Chapman and Irene Mecchi Voices by Kelly McDonald, Emma Thompson and Billy Connolly   Princess Merida: If you had a chance to change your fate, would you?   Not surprisingly in the least, Pixar’s 13th animated feature, BRAVE, is breathtaking from the very beginning. The sprawling Scottish highlands are already beautiful in their natural state but when Pixar uses their imagination …
Quick Tip by . September 08, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Y-A-W-N .......   Sorry, saw it in the afternoon and it didn't do much for me! Blame it on the lack of coffee!
Quick Tip by . June 22, 2012
The digital wizards at Pixar have an incredible dossier of Academy award-winning animated films. Their latest film "Brave", is a prime example of the bold new direction for the company behind such classics as "Finding Nemo", "Toy Story", "The Incredible's", and "Monsters, Inc." just to name a few. This time out Scotland provides the setting for the animation masters to weave their magic, and they do in a splendid 3-D feast of sight, sound, and color that captures the breathtaking beauty of the Scottish …
Quick Tip by . June 17, 2012
Anyone looking for more insight into Pixar's 13th animated feature, should check out my interview with director, Mark Andrews at ...    http://www.blacksheepreviews.blogspot.ca/201...views-mark-andrews.html    Thanks for reading, as always!
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Last Login: Dec 11, 2012 10:01 PM UTC
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About this movie



Genre: Adventure, Animation, Family
Release Date: June 22, 2012
MPAA Rating: G
Studio: pixar animation
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"B for Brave"
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