August 7, 2012
"Brave" is the story of another feisty Disney princess, given the PIXAR treatment. Her name is Merida, a Scottish princess. She is a headstrong tomboyish teenage who cannot accept the tradition espoused by her strict mother that she is to be betrothed for marriage. Therefore she resorts to witchcraft to change her fate. She really got more than what she bargained for, a shocking development of ursine proportions. She later learns that she has only a couple of days to reverse the terrible spell. Could she?
"Brave" is just okay for me overall. It is still better than the last Pixar movie, "Cars 2." While on the surface everything looks good and glossy, especially the archery scenes, there are several things that I did NOT like about "Brave."
Art-wise, while Merida and her fiery red hair looked great, the caricature-ish look of the Scotsmen were drawn so much like the Vikings in Dreamworks' "How to Train Your Dragon." The brutish barbaric culture they exhibited likewise shows very little difference from that in "How to Train", aside from the kilts the characters wore in this movie and their Scottish accents.
Screenplay-wise, "Brave" goes a little darker and violent, and thus may be too scary or disturbing for young kids. More than that, I did not like how Merida did not immediately take responsibility for the horrible effects of the witch's spell. While many of the other Disney princesses also disobey their parents and get into trouble, those princesses themselves directly suffered the consequences of their disobedience. Here, Merida's insolence put another person in peril. Merida actually did something akin to what the Wicked Witch did in Snow White! Frankly, it is this particularly negative aspect of the story that badly affected my appreciation of this movie as a whole.