Pixar has a new film coming out this week in Brave, a movie that has been heralded by the animation studio as their first effort with a female protagonist in the Kelly Macdonald-voiced Mirida. Unfortunately for them, there is the dark cloud that is Cars 2 hovering over this return to originality which has been creating a lot of skepticism around their latest effort.
It was about the same time last year when the studio released their sequel to Cars which was widely panned by critics and labeled as a flat out money-driven effort from a group that was widely perceived to be above such gimmicks. With that being stated, we now take a very close look at Brave as there are many rumblings that Disney’s favorite subdivision may have finally had their ‘jump the shark’ moment.
At least for now, early reviews are stating the Pixar has returned to their winning ways. Such an accomplished is at least somewhat of a surprise especially considering the studio ousted their female director Brenda Chapman early on in the feature’s development in favor of Mark Andrews. It is these types of creative divides that often result in throwaway film-making thus the angst. The fact that Brave ended up at least as well-received as Madagascar 3 did earlier this summer is somewhat of a miracle, but it did in fact happen.
While reviewers are enjoying Brave, it should be mentioned that there are negative things being said about this movie. Yes, negative things from a Pixar film. This is indicative that the studio is yet to return fully to its former glory where they seemingly created the perfect picture year after year. Furthermore, the bad stuff centers on some fairly major stuff that is making some critics believe that Disney has gotten too deep into the Pixar pot.
These comments include jabs at an uninteresting narrative as well as its overly simplistic nature. Part of the allure of the studio’s previous films has been their multi-dimensional complexity that helped make such features tolerable for both audiences young and old, so this could be a massive problem going forward for a company that butters its bread with cross-demo appeal. Other sour notes on Brave included its seemingly small plot and disappointing theme as marketing implied a story about independence that ultimately turned into ‘the importance of obeying your parents’ as one pundit put it.
As previously suggested though, the positive spinners outnumber the former variety with praise being lavished upon the studio’s successful attempt at a throwback fairy tale. At the same time, the movie relinquishes the shackles of what it means to be a Disney princess and that is perhaps the greatest contribution from Brave. Ultimately though, even those who enjoyed this movie found it a bit disappointed as they expected another Up or Wall-E and got ‘just another bankable animated film.’
The current Rotten Tomatoes score is 76% overall and Hollywood expects a $50+ million opening in Brave’s first three days of release.