Most parents are going to relate to this film, and everyone else who has been a teenager. This time is often difficult as these kids are turning into tomorrow’s adults. They’re feeling new emotions, learning new responsibilities, and start to realize what kind of people they are. The parents of these teens however, have to endure the stress that comes with everything else. All they want is for their kids is the best, but often forget what’s more important. I remember going through my “angry teenager” era where I thought everything my parents said was bullshit. I have since graduated and have become a better person.
The mother-daughter relationship is explored in Pixar’s next movie, Brave. Pixar always set’s high expectations with their stories, as their film are nothing but gold. Not everything they make is a masterpiece, but it’s certainly memorable. Though last year’s Cars 2 was not a favorite for the critics, I thought it was pretty funny and a decent spy flick. And while most people love A Bugs Life, I find that one just “okay” as that story wasn’t that strong and the characters are kind of forgettable. Pixar is usually favorable in my book. Does Brave meet those desired levels?
In many ways, yes, but I can’t help but feel that I wasn’t watching a Pixar movie. The level of artistry is there, and most of the characters are quite charming, but something is missing. Maybe a little fairy dust. Brave takes us to the land of Scotland where the kingdom of DunBroch is hosting a competition for the suitors of our spunky heroine, Merida (voiced by Boardwalk Empire’s Kelly Macdonald). Our little tomboy endures daily princess lessons from her mother, Queen Elinor (voiced by Emma Thompson), but she would rather be free, ride her horse, and take up her beloved bow and arrow.
After disrupting her suitor competition, she has a fight with her mother that results in running away. Merida is lead to a witches hut where she receives a spell that changes her mother, thus changing our heroines fate. The spell results in changing the queen into a bear. Now Merida has to find a way to save her or her kingdom will fall. This movie is a good example of the “be careful what you wish for” scenario. Though both people may have been different views on being a lady, they both work forward on a journey that will help them know more about each other.
All of this sounds like a good Pixar film, but it’s filled with other stuff that puts it into question. One thing that Brave lacks is a good villain. There’s the witch, but she barley makes an impact, and is only in two scenes. Merida’s triplet brothers are very forgettable. Their actions are so cartoonish, it feels really out of place in a story like this. But what stands is a beautifully designed Scotland, the best Scottish soundtrack I’ve heard, plus the side story involving the building and divide of the kingdoms was very interesting.
I’ll give this four Will-o'-the-wisps out of five. I understand that Pixar was trying to create something different, but they did their job too well. This movie feels like it’s in the second to last stage in development. It just needed a little more time to work on the story and characters. Otherwise, kids and parents should not be disappointed. Especially teenagers and their parents.