Excerpt: A really well done movie should keep you guessing right to the end, keeping you on the edge of your seat until the very last minute. A really, really well done movie will do that in such a way that looking back, each surprising turn was well laid out but not telegraphed.
Excerpt: Brave’s plot didn’t spring from a classic fairy tale but rather is a fresh creation from the Disney/Pixar partnership that has produced a solid run of computer-animated hits. It may be Hollywood lore that while young girls don’t mind male heroes, 8-year-old boys avoid like the plague movies that feature a princess as the lead character. The studios risked their wrath here and, despite the odds, produced another success.
Summary: “Brave” is the first foray in fairytale storytelling for “Pixar,” and their first contribution to the growing pantheon of Disney princesses. It works so well that we can safely assume that it won’t be the last fairytale coming out of Emeryville.
Excerpt: I’m not alone when I say that I’ve seen every Pixar movie that’s been made. Whoops, I’ve never seen Finding Nemo (yes, really) but it comes out on Blu-Ray in a few weeks and I’ll give it my first viewing. However, seeing as it’s regarded as one of the best (if not the best) Pixar movie out there, I don’t think I’ll be disappointed. But the word “disappointed” is one that you’ll see more than a few times in this review. More on that later.
Excerpt: Forced marriage within the kingdom causes the teenage rebellion of Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald) to sprout to the surface. She begins lashing out at her mother, and becoming chummy with her aggressive father. Merida doesn’t fit the usual mold, certainly not in the Disney Princess line. She’s an archer, one of the guys, and detests the idea of being prim and proper.
Conclusion: 'Brave' is a decent Pixar film that falls solidly in the middle of the pack. However, the real treat here is how gorgeous it looks. This may be one of, if not the, best transfers that you'll see all year. The film is strikingly beautiful in high-def and is certainly highly recommended for anyone looking for demo material in order to show off their high-def setup.
Conclusion: It's impossible for our view of Brave not to be colored by Pixar's high standards of excellence. This isn't as wonderful as most of the studio's past films. Compared to contemporary cinema at large, though, this is superior entertainment. Brave doesn't reinvent the wheel or clearly blow away the better work of other animation studios, but it's still a fun, nice-looking, heartwarming adventure with plenty to like. Few films from this year are as enjoyable.
Summary: There's no other explanation. Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar are having some sort of body-swapping Freaky Friday crisis. Disney Animation proper struggled throughout the Noughts: Atlantis: The Lost Empire , Treasure Planet , Brother Bear , Home on the Range , Chicken Little and Bolt all disappointed. Some were decent but underperformed, some weren't so decent and... underperformed. Pixar, though, dominated the animation market and awards circuit: Monsters, Inc.