So, how was Brave?
In short: it was alright. Gorgeous design, landscapes, and atmosphere. But to tell the truth, it was riddled with cliches. A princess (oh no) that doesn't like being ladylike (oh no) and is rejecting the suitors that her parents have arranged for her (oh no). She also likes to shoot arrows, because archery is awesome.
Wait, but have I not seen this a thousand times? Now, before Pixar, I'd never heard a story about superheros with family issues, or self centred cars, or the day jobs of the monsters that live in your closet, or a fish that has lost his son and will swim around the world to get him back, tailed by another fish that has short-term memory loss. I'd never even heard about a father and a grandfather who took the littlest in their family to sweep the stars on the moon! (referencing the beautiful little short, "La Luna", shown before the feature film).
But I do know about that princess who hated being ladylike and proved she was just as good as the boys, in the end.
Brave's plotline was slightly predictable, and though the film was lovely and I’m dead jealous of Merida’s hair, it wasn’t exactly the absolute brilliance and freshness that Pixar normally turns out, you know?
Sorry to say, but going with Celtic-y Scottish-y stories about square pegs in round holes that defy their destiny against a beautifully animated backdrop, Dreamworks did it far better two years ago with How To Train Your Dragon.
Still, I'm glad I saw it. With scenes that were genuinely a bit creepy, laugh-out-loud comedy, and art to die for, it wasn't for nothing. But what carries a movie is its character, and the fresh story they live.
And Merida wasn't brave enough to stray into uncharted storytelling land very often.