Saturday, July 14, 2012
Brave: Be Careful What You Preview
In the preview for Brave, the latest Disney Pixar full length animated film, you see Princess Merida as a fiercely independent young girl being forced to host possible and acceptable suitors at a Scottish tournament. The preview reflects her independent desire to not be subject to 'games' for her hand - when she herself would rather participate with her amazing archery skills, than sit idly by and clap. By the end of the preview, it isn't clear what the picture is about - but it seems like it is another Princess movie about ending up 'happily ever after' -which would include a Prince (albeit one that accepts and understands her independence). After enjoying Disneys last triumph, Tangled, so much I was excited to see it.
The movie isn't about what the preview leads you to believe. AT. ALL. Well, yes, Princess Merida is faced with a tournament to win her hand - but that is just a springboard for a fable about mothers and daughters. One that can get far too scary for the 8 and under type. The fable involves magic, a witch and transformation...and scary moments with a bear - and oddly - far too many bare animated behinds (is there such thing as just enough cartoon butt? I say one is too many - and this one had several). The dialogue is old fashion story-telling - not the quippy comedic dialogue that entertains both Adult and child we have become accustom to in the animated features in recent years. The tale is not a bad one, just a weird one and definitely an unexpected one. It was too scary for several of the tots I went with and I was a little bored.
Brave is an animation amazement. Scotland looks amazing...and Merida's red hair has a personality and life all its own. The voices are great - its fun to have them all be Scottish. And its always fun to listen for John Ratzenberger (who has voiced at least 1 character in all of Pixars full length animated features) - and he was in there. But, all in all - I felt let down. I did not feel particularly inspired by the story. I really do like the unexpected - and in theory should love the fact that this is not a typical princess 'happily ever after', but I don't. In fact, I missed the Prince. I wanted the story to take a more traditional turn after all the weird magic fable stuff. I really wanted her to find a fantastically independent Scottish Prince AND make peace with her mother. But, alas it was not meant to be and after all the hype - this is really not the picture the preview hints that it is.
See it before taking your young ones. Sadly, Red Box this baby.