Disney Pixar has set the bar high. Ever since the first Pixar movie, Toy Story was released in 1995 the studio has been an enormous success. We have come to expect amazing things from Pixar and usually they deliver.
Will Brave leave audiences astounded as with 2010 Toy Story 3, or largely underwhelmed as they were with last years movie Cars 2?
Brave is the first Pixar movie to have a female lead character. Great news for all of us out there who want to present our daughters with more of a strong role model than our childhood of Cinderella and Aurora gave us (although yes we still love the traditional Disney Princesses).
Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald) is a princess who wants to take charge of her own destiny. And she does it by wielding bows and arrows – a popular theme for girls in movies this year it seems. Katniss of The Hunger Games would be proud.
We were lucky enough to see a preview of the art work and hear Pixar shading art director Tia Kratter talk about the Brave movie at the 2011 D23 event in Anaheim. The art work and attention to detail are of course amazing. That is what we have come to expect from Pixar. As with all Pixar movies the research was extensive and meticulous.
Disney Pixar Brave is set in the highlands of Scotland and the team Pixar team made several visits just to get the details right. No doubt the animation and technical side of things will be amazing – certainly the Pixar Brave trailers show that it is.
But no movie is a success if the story isn’t right. Has Pixar hit the mark with Brave?
Merida is proving to be a difficult teenager for her parents. Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson) and The King (Billy Connolly) try and raise her in the traditions of the kingdom but of course she is a rebellious teen and very much has her own ideas when she is told that she must choose a husband. No waiting for the glass slipper to fit for Merida!
Merida flees the kingdom and in true fairytale tradition meets an evil witch along the way who offers to help her change her mother’s mind about her imminent betrothal. Unfortunately the plan goes horribly wrong (no surprise there) and her mother is transformed into a Bear.
Merida is fighting against family tradition and wants to be her own woman but will we find her a sympathetic character? Will those target merchandizing audience of girls want to be Merida and have their parents but them the dress, shoes, books, and no doubt the bows and arrows?
Very early reviews of the Disney Pixar Brave movie are rather mixed right now. While it is almost universally acknowledged that the movie is stunning technically, some feel that the movie just doesn’t touch the emotions in quite the way we expect from a Pixar movie. Perhaps this is just a case of Pixar having raised the bar so high with the majority of it’s movies that everything is just a very hard act to follow.
All photos copyright of Disney Pixar
We will of course be watching Disney Pixar’s Brave movie as soon as we possibly can – so watch out for our review!