I decided to take the kids to see the new PIXAR offering. I’ve not been disappointed by a PIXAR offering yet. Can they keep the record going with:
“Sorry, I don’t speak Bear.”
Plot-in-a-nutshell: Princess doesn’t like how her life is going to engages the services of a friendly witch to try and change things
See it if you like: Beautifully animated fairy tales
Set in historic Scotland, this is a huge departure for PIXAR. I think like everyone I have fair expectations from this particular company and usually it’s for Â something bright and colourful with plenty of laughs and several layers. Brave breaks this template.
The voice cast are suitably impressive with Kelly MacDonald as the princess Merida, Emma Thompson as her mother and Billy Connolly as her dad. John Ratzenberger is, of course, present as he is in all the PIXAR films.
It’s the visuals that set this film apart from the rest of those from the same studio. Rather than just being bright, or detailed, or well animated, Brave is simply beautiful. The first obvious example of this is Merida’s hair – ginger curls that move ridiculously naturally in much the way that the showpiece tresses of Aki Ross in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within blew people’s (OK, animation geeks’) minds back in 2001.
Beyond that, the outdoor scenes are simply breathtaking. Rather than just being simple sets, life seems to have been breathed into every blade of grass, clump of moss, shrub and leaf. It all moves, even if nearly imperceptibly in cases, but enough to make it all seem to much richer than – in my opinion – any scenery in a CGI film before. The thing is, unless you’re looking for it it’s something you’d not notice simplyÂ becauseÂ it is so good.
So the visuals set a new standard. How about the story?
Well… here’s where I was less impressed. It is a simple tale, and more of a traditional fairy story than any of the films PIXAR have done before. They’re usually a company to break the mould, not come up with new contents for it. There are no real twists or surprises and it seemed a little over-long to me.
Little Miss seemed to enjoy it, though Little Mister (he is 4 and the film’s rated PG) stated several times “I don’t like this film”, I think mainly as some of the scenes with the bears fighting were quite scary for him. Oh, and the witch (Julie Walters). Having said that, on another day I know he’d have been fine.
It just didn’t grip me with incredible imaginative new-ness the way thatÂ Toy Story orÂ Monsters Inc. did which is a shame. It most certainly isn’t a bad film, but other than the staggering work they’ve done with the graphics it’s no modern classic either.
- Disney Pixar’s Brave (socyberty.com)
- Brave Shows Pixar Hasn’t Lost Their Touch (films.ie)
- Brave 3D (PG) (morningstaronline.co.uk)
- Disney-Pixar’s Brave Review (thepeoplesmovies.com)
- Pixar Unveils ‘brave’ After Six Years Of Hard Work (contactmusic.com)
- Pixar’s Brave review – A princess movie without a handsome prince (coolmompicks.com)
- Review: ‘Brave’ — a hybrid of Pixar and Disney styles, with a top-notch voice cast (mercurynews.com)
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