After last years Cars 2, I began to underestimate Pixar and believed that it would begin to fall out of the radar. Well this movie will prove me wrong? Will this movie be a visually stunning masterpiece with a great story? Or will this movie just be a further decline into the abyss for Pixar?
I knew Brave was in trouble from the first few words spoken in voice over as the film began. Merida (Kelly Macdonald) uses the words “fate” and “destiny” interchangeably. This muddle is at the heart of the film’s problem. Yes, Pixar has put out another mediocre film and it hurts because their track record is so good!
The characters (surprisingly for Pixar) were poorly developed; this is especially true for the mother, where I was expecting some kind of back-story, or at least a more believable development of the mother-daughter relationship. I found it disturbing that every male character in the movie was portrayed as at best, big stupid and loving, (King Fergus) at worst violent and evil (the bear). They only males given any intelligence in the movie are the triplets, who are constant thieves, conniving, ruthless, destructive and very small! The basic story and message was if you are a young woman with serious mother issues, don’t worry.
Animation is spectacular, great setting in the Scottish Highlands. Voice acting is above par. Pixar hired a crack team of PhD mathematicians, created 5 new fields of modeling mathematics, and bought 27 BlueGene supercomputers just to render the girl’s hair. The hair bounces. The hair swings. The hair tousles. The hair drops stray locks here and there. The hair compacts. The hair billows. The hair responds to the wind. The hair responds to momentum and inertia. The hair responds to humidity. The hair reflects every known shade or “fiery lass” red along with previously unknown shades the computers postulated and shades the human mind cannot grasp.
There were tons of special features here too.
We have an audio commentary that is amazing. There is a couple of excellent shorts including my favorite for the Oscar this year, La Luna. We also get 8 behind the scene features that are all pretty great. There are four extended scenes that all could have been kept in the film, and all this in just on the first disk of extras. The second disk includes more deleted stuff including an alternate opening, some promotional pieces and a really nice series of features about the Scottish and their dirty hair, tapestries, Scottish slang Pixar style, and the horse Angus.
Overall, yes I did like this film a bit more than I enjoyed Cars 2 however the film still felt stale, the pacing was off and the characterizations just sucked. However this is the movie that I will be using to show off my amazing TV and Blu-ray player. Pixar films are utterly infectious when done correctly, Brave isn’t up to the standards of their best, you won’t fall in love with it, but forget the scale of its predecessors and you’ll definitely be impressed by it.
Brave (Three-Disc Collector’s Edition: Blu-ray / DVD) is available just about EVERYWHERE you can imagine (and we noticed it on LOTS of Black Friday sales as well).
Review by Bro’ B – Ben
We received product for our review. All opinions are our own