Pixar are responsible for some of the greatest animated films of all time. From the charm and wit of Monsters inc to the magic of Toy Story; they even brought the ocean into your living room with Finding Nemo – so it’s with a little disappointment in my heart that we tell you Brave is one of their weakest films to date.
In Brave, Pixar steps further into ‘classic Disney fairytale’ territory than anyone has ever dared to before. It tells the story of a young Scottish princess – the fierce and feisty Merida – who defies her parents and in turn finds her bravery.
This is all very well and good, but she finds her bravery by righting her wrongs to transform a loved one from a bear back to a human – which is the exact same plotline seen in many other Disney films such as Brother Bear, Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio, Emperors New Groove, etc…. you get my drift right?
Brave just doesn’t feel very ‘Pixar’. There are a few plot strands which are left open or unexplained, and while most films aimed at children have a message, Brave feels far too moralistic than any film ever should be. Too much of the film is spent preaching to audiences how a good princess should act, dragging what could be a highly entertaining 20-minute short into a full feature length film.
There are several redeeming features though; Julie Walters is an absolute hoot as a mysterious witch and there is plenty of comedy throughout Brave, though at times it feels more akin to the comedy in Shrek than anything Pixar have done before.
It’s not just the comedy; even the editing, music and characters are reminiscent of DreamWorks creations – which of course isn’t a bad thing by any means. But, since we’re discussing a Pixar film, this really just doesn’t stand up to the standards we expect from them.
To put it simply – the film isn’t terrible and the animation is flawless, but the plot feels like a recycled and rehashed collection of previous Disney stories with a ‘DreamWorks-style’ approach.