August 5, 2012

At the Movies: Brave

Merida is a young princess who feels more at home riding her horse and shooting arrows than wearing pretty gowns and being 'lady-like'. Her mother, Queen Elinor is always telling her what ladies should and shouldn't be doing, to a point that drives her a little crazy. But, as Merida turns 16, her mother tells her that she's to be married soon to the son of one of the other three clans that make up their kindgom. 

Merida is less than thrilled with this proposition, which leads her to take some very drastic, rash decisions that might affect the fate of just about everyone in her life. 

I know Brave has been out for a while, but I still don't want to give away the big plot points and twists of the story, so sorry for the vagueness of the summary. 

I went to see Brave two weeks ago with my mom and sister and it was quite a lovely experience, because it does speak to that mother-daughter bond. It's also very funny and, while I'll concede it's not exactly Pixar's usual, I still loved it. 

The characters are distinct, the setting and animation simply beautiful. It does have a few minutes toward the middle where the story slows down, but I don't think it demerits the movie. 

I was able to connect with Merida in a way that I'm not always  able to connect with some other princesses. She's 16 and doesn't want a suitor, and I was just like that in my teens, I had more fun being free to do whatever I wanted rather than hanging on a guy, I honestly didn't want a boyfriend at that age and there is a part of me that still doesn't want to have to deal with Other People's drama and crap, so I understand that part of Merida's personality that she wants to do what makes her happy. 

On the other hand, she is a little selfish and has to learn a lot about compromising and listening and that sometimes you have to do things you don't like because it's what needs to be done. And the learning curve is a bit steep, but I liked seeing her grow. 

Oh, and her little brothers - the little terrors - where awesome! I wished there was more of them in the movie. 

The one thing I'm willing to concede to the critics is that Brave is a story that could have been told in a number of other mediums - like traditional animation or even live action - unlike previous works by Pixar. 

All in all, I give this movie a B+

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