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Brave
Disney/Pixar
Directed By: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
Starring: Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly
Purchase Online
Official Site
 

The Short: Brave doesn't speak as well to the legions of critics out there who have praised Pixar's previous movies. It speaks to families... More so than any other Pixar movie. When it comes to the people that are close to us, things can't help but get messy. There's so much to offer with this story about acceptance, love, and family and it tells it in a way that's not forced. There are other interpretations, but that's what I feel Brave exudes.

It was surprising to see Brave as the movie it turned out to be in it's late promotional phases and on-screen after Disney and Pixar teased us with an epic adventure in the early teasers. I'm all for films about family and learning a lesson about the people that love you but it's still wasn't expected with Brave. Those early teasers were Brave's biggest flaw- perception can be tied to marketing, even early marketing. This was a rare flub in that department for a Pixar film after a decade of perfect marketing, but I digress... Brave's biggest flaw turns out to be something that ties into its story. The expectations were different than the final result. Maybe, just maybe... that accidentally says something.

Merida is a Scottish princess in the Dunbroch Clan and with that comes certain expectations from her father and her controlling mother. Her mother especially has a tough time relating to Merida, and that relationship works both ways. Her mother is extremely graceful, cordial, and wise in the eyes of others. She wants her daughter to follow her path. Merida however has other plans, she's a tomboy who'd rather ride horseback and shoot arrows than doing something a princess would do. So when tradition says that Merida must choose a betrothed out of three young warriors from allied clans, she finds a way out. She creates tension between the clans, upsets her mother, and rides out into the forest to find something to change her fate. That wish gets granted, but ultimately she realizes her selfishness and seeks to right what she had wronged.

Brave is somewhat of Pixar's tip-toed adventure into the realm of Disney magic. It's Pixar's first princess story and its somewhat bizarre in certain points. A few of the character designs look like they might belong in Tangled and it wouldn't be a stretch to think that Disney rolled out this film and not Pixar. That's a main quality of Brave but there's so much more going on with the movie. The sounds are pure gold, its the most amazing-sounding animated feature that you're likely to find. The voice casting and the sound effects are on-target, but the music and the way it was scored is tingle-worthy. Every wave coming from Brave brings power to its image on-screen. As expected, the animation is sublime and the story ebbs and flows into some wonderful parts of an overall tale. If there's one criticism that's at the forefront, its that the movie's story resembles another tale under the Disney umbrella a little too much. It doesn't ruin the film, but its an obvious slight.

On blu-ray. Brave looks and sounds as it should. It's nothing short of spectacular and its basically flawless. The extra features combined on this four disc set are also a wonderful addition to this release. There's production features, character features, deleted scenes, an alternate opening, a feature commentary, promotional spots, and a whole lot more. As a blu-ray release this one covers all of its bases.

Being honest, Brave is a simple film that doesn't tread along with some of Pixar's other movies. But here's a secret... When something seems simple, that's when it will make a greater impact with it's desired audience. Brave doesn't speak as well to the legions of critics out there who have praised Pixar's previous movies. It speaks to families... More so than any other Pixar movie. When it comes to the people that are close to us, things can't help but get messy. Everybody wants the best for someone else but sometimes that someone else doesn't have the same idea and fights the influence. There's so much to offer with this story about acceptance, love, and family and it tells it in a way that's not forced. There are other interpretations, but that's what I feel Brave exudes.
















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