Pixar has always delivered. There isn’t a movie made by them that you can actually describe as bad. Even their worst (Cars 2) is still better than everybody’s best. That’s the kind of quality this studio has managed to pull throughout the years thanks to non other than Steve Jobs. So now that Jobs is gone, do Pixar manage to fulfill the same kind of results they have been achieving through the years? The answer may surprise you. Brave, their new picture, is sort of a mixed bag. Technology wise is one of the most impressive animated feature films ever, as they manage to exceed the level of detail, specially with hair, any other animated film has ever achieved. Story wise it falls under the predictable category as most of the film’s theme relies on clichés and “told a thousand times” old Disney stories that will probably bore you.
The plot centers around Merida, a young princess who’s rebel ways are destined to defy a very old custom. As she is put in the spotlight, she must decide between three young prince’s to choose as her future husband. Her mother, The Queen, forces her to attend the event in which these three young lads will put their best skills to the test in order to win Merida’s heart. The young princess is more of an adventurer and doesn’t think its fair to be put in such position, she challenges her mother with no success and as any young girl would do in such situation, she goes to a witch an puts a spell to change everything.
The upcoming results in her mother being transformed in to something she didn’t expect an putting them both in situations they had never been put before. This kind of story is what you would expect out of Pixar, something out of learning by empathy. Up to this point, the Scottish setting plus the dynamics of the film had me bored. Nothing I had seen was new or entertaining. Merida has three little brothers that are mostly spiritless and boring, until they fall under the spell. Once this happens the movie turns in to a real Pixar movie, being saved from being just another animated failure. By the end of the film, if you are like me, you are so moved that you are probably loving the picture forgetting the dreadful beginning. But being the reviewer that I am, I just won’t go out and give it a clean sheet.
Brave falls under quality control problems. It doesn’t have the polish that other Pixar pictures have, mainly it’s predecesor, Toy Story 3 (which happens to be one of the top films they have ever done). Also, If you are an old video game fan, you’ll notice that the guys who made this movie must’ve been very big fans of Nintendo’s own The Legend of Zelda, as even some of the sound effects and music are borrowed from the famous japanese franchise. Even the look of some characters look suspiciously familiar.
In the end Brave is a better movie than most animated feature film except probably every other Pixar picture. It’s just not as good or polished as its previous efforts and falls under too many clichés to be considered original. Its also the first Pixar creation that seems more Disney than other efforts. Maybe its their target audience. And now that we are in to it, La Luna, the short animated film that comes before Brave starts is also one of the worst efforts. Man, maybe I’m being to harsh. The film does look awesome and has a brilliant soundtrack though. And one can’t complaint about the charm the characters have. Little girls all over the world will want to be like Merida. Pixar has always found themselves appealing all ages. I think this time they might have ended their run. Brave is only a better than average film that manages to charm a bit with its characters but miss with its plot.