Well, I guess it’s time for me to give my thoughts regarding this year’s best animated feature (according to the Oscars), “Brave”!
Pixar’s 13th animated feature seems to travel down the Disney road more than the usual Pixar highway, and that’s not a problem in my opinion!
The film takes place in Scotland where a young princess Merida lives with her mother, Queen Elinor,
her father, King Fergus,
and her three rapscallion, mischievous brother triplets, Harris, Hamish, and Hubert.
The problem is that Merida does not like the princess lifestyle which brings her to clash with her mother’s views quite often. This escalates to the tipping point when her hand in marriage is being sought by three suitors of three different Scottish clans. She doesn’t want marriage, but her mother wants her to get married.
This leads to Merida meeting a witch to get her mother to change her viewpoint by eating a dessert of some kind. The plan backfires when the dessert causes Queen Elinor to physically change into a bear!
No, a quite frightening bear!
No, a sometimes amicable, sometimes frightening bear!
This leads to Merida and Queen Elinor having to get the spell reversed and a wonderful mother/daughter story!
So, What did I like about this film? Well, the animation is superb and Pixar lives up to its reputation! You can really feel each strand of Merida’s hair! You can feel and see the depth of the castle, both inside and out! You can see the monstrosity in the evil bear’s face!
Another commendation to the film was the surprisingly good voice actors! I strongly believe Emma Thompson should’ve won the “Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Feature Presentation” or at least have been nominated for it! But, Kelly Macdonald was great too, and I’m glad she was nominated! Even Billy Connolly as King Fergus came out great, much to my surprise!
Even Craig Ferguson could’ve been a more annoying celebrity voice actor than he actually was!
The only voices that I didn’t like were Julie Walters and Steve Purcell as the witch and the crow, respectively! I hated their voices! It seemed so mismatched! Heck, I hated their characters; they seemed so out-of-place! And from what I understand, they weren’t meant to be in the original version of the film when Brenda Chapman was set to direct, but I don’t know how true that is!
What else didn’t I like about the movie? Well, the story was a bit…I don’t want to say rushed…but maybe condensed? The time spent when the Queen is a bear is surprisingly short and I don’t honestly believe that they give enough time for Merida and her father to go through changes of hearts and viewpoints! When they finally do (SPOILER ALERT, but not such a big surprise), it seems pretty much out of nowhere!
Even the back story around the evil bear seems like it could’ve been expounded on! But, I guess that’s why Pixar released the short film, “The Legend of Mor’du”!
Other than that, I quite love this movie! I’m not sure if it deserved the “Academy Award for Best Animated Feature”; I still have to see “Wreck-It Ralph” before I make up my mind about that!