Friday, August 24, 2012
Brave (Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman and Steve Purcell, 2012) Review
Taking place in ancient Scotland, Princess Merida (Kelly MacDonald) is sick and tired of having her mother, Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), make all her decisions in her life. When she runs out on having to choose a suitor, she encounters a witch in the forest (Julie Walters). She makes a deal and is given a wish...but be careful what you wish for. She asks if her mother could change so that Merida can determine her own fate. Did I say wish? I meant curse. When it affects Elinor, Merida must now rely on her bravery and archery skills to undo the curse and return her life back to the way it was.
Anyone notice the theme of this year for films? Archery! The Hunger Games, Avengers Assemble and now Brave all feature prominent characters who use archery. It's good to see a Disney princess (I guess she counts) who doesn't end up with a man and is still independent. It's a nice change of pace and is one of Pixar's best protagonists. Might I add that her dad, King Fergus (Billy Connoly), is the best character in the film because he's incredibly funny and is the master of changing the mood of a scene. This film has some of Pixar's best characters.
When I started watching this film, one thing went through my head: "Oh man, these accents are going to annoy me". They did not by the end. The voice acting is believable and very well done. unlike with most animated films with celebrity voice actors, it was hard to try and separate the voices from he characters. They are perfect. The casting is perfect. Another great thing is the visuals. The backgrounds are absolulty beautiful and the characters look great and are well designed.
Brave is Brother Bear mixed with How To Train Your Dragon. That's the plot...sort of. Anyway, this is definitely a sign that Pixar is back in the game and Dreamworks better watch out. Yes, the classic Pixar tropes are still here (John Ratzenberger, Luxo Jr, A113, Pizza Planet Truck) and are harder to find then ever (I HAVEN'T EVEN FOUND A113 YET!). Just one thing, DON'T MAKE A SEQUEL FOR THIS. The Toy Story sequels are great but Cars 2 proves that when a sequel isn't needed...don't make it. The Incredibles 2 and Monsters Inc 2 are the only sequels I want...wait a second...the next Pixar film is a prequel to Monsters Inc...YEAH!
A return to what Pixar do best. Visually, it's fantastic and the voice acting is perfect. A much needed improvement over Cars 2.