My Thoughts: BRAVE (2012)

brave

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,

Does anything say "mother-daughter bonding" like mandolin lessons?
Does anything say “mother-daughter bonding” like mandolin lessons?

her father, King Fergus,

Trust me, he's a lot more funnier and enjoyable than this picture seems to show!
Trust me, he’s a lot more funnier and enjoyable than this picture seems to show!

and her three rapscallion, mischievous brother triplets, Harris, Hamish, and Hubert.

Imagine "Dennis the Menace" raised to the third power!
Imagine “Dennis the Menace” raised to the third power!

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!

"You want me to appear in a canonical Disney sequel? I haven't had an orthodox career, and I've wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn't feel it, but this time I feel it, and I can't deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!"
“You want me to appear in a canonical Disney sequel? I haven’t had an orthodox career, and I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn’t feel it, but this time I feel it, and I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!”

No, a quite frightening bear!

"I haven't had an orthodox career, and I've wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn't feel it, but this time I feel it, and I can't deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!"
“I haven’t had an orthodox career, and I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn’t feel it, but this time I feel it, and I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me! Well, YOU BETTER LIKE ME!”

No, a sometimes amicable, sometimes frightening bear!

"You like me? You like me! You really like me!"
“You like me? You like me! You really like me!”

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!

Oh yeah, did I forgot to mention there's an evil bear named Mor'du?
Oh yeah, did I forgot to mention that there’s an evil bear named Mor’du?

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!

billyconnollypocahontas
Billy Connolly, you are forgiven for “Pocahontas”!

Even Craig Ferguson could’ve been a more annoying celebrity voice actor than he actually was!

"Oh come on, admit it! You love me as a voice actor, don't you?"
“Oh come on, admit it! You love me as a voice actor, don’t you?”

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!

"Maybe we should give the dessert to 'The Animation Commendation' instead?"
“Maybe we should give the dessert to ‘The Animation Commendation’ instead?”

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”!

Not the best animated short, but worth a look-see!
Not the best animated short, but worth a look-see!

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!

Capture

13 thoughts on “My Thoughts: BRAVE (2012)”

  1. I love what happens right at the beginning when the young Merida tries her best during her first archery lesson to hit the target, misses it badly, then points out to her dad, “I missed.”

  2. I too enjoyed this movie. I think that Pixar’s work just gets better and better, improving any movie greatly. I’ve never seen hair and/or blades of grass so well done anywhere else! The other thing I liked about the movie was the music. I admit it … I’m a sucker for Irish music and in this movie, the background music certainly was appropriate.

  3. I agree with you. The overall movie was very cute and very well made by Pixar. I also thought the bear story was rushed. And then towards the end it was rushed too. Good storyline though. I loved the texture of her hair! And I also am a sucker for Irish music. Fergus was absolutely hilarious. I kind of wish they would have done a little more with his character. I really enjoyed his humor. Overall a great movie!

  4. It’s not a bad movie…but a very immature one. It belongs to the likes of “Aristocats”, a nice flick for children, but it doesn’t take enough chances overall. At no point while watching the movie I had the feeling that anything is at stake in this movie, not even the war seemed to be a serious issue because, you know, those silly scots (and can you believe that THIS is the Disney movie which I found uncomfortable to watch because of stereotype overload?), they will just brawl a little bit, but nobody will get hurt.
    And all in all…I like the relationship between Elinor and Merida, but otherwise, there were only one-note characters which lacked proper developments, the overall tone of the movie was very inconsistent (the narration at the start was terrible, the witch didn’t fit at all), the pacing way off and I think when it comes to the Disney Princess Franchise, Merida is actually a huge step back in terms of feminism.
    Wreck-it-Ralph should have won – that’s a truly good movie.

  5. Well, I mostly agree with you about Brave,though I do think it is weaker than A Bugs Life and Monsters Inc.

    I thin people hate on this film too much, ad look into the positives, though the plot is unfocused and the portrayal of men are offensive. The animation is beautiful though, and the characters are good in the roles that they are supposed to be, though most are not that developed (except Merida and Elinor)

    I also don’t see how Merida is seen as the better princess, as she makes the same choices and acts the same ways as the others. Is it because she is single? I don’t think it should have gotten the Oscar, but it is okay…

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