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Brave (2012)

Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse.

Another year, another Pixar movie.
Pixar is that kind of name that evokes lots of praise around people; movies like: Finding Nemo, Cars, The Incredibles or the Toy Story trilogy, all share that unbelievably high set standard for animation.

And it’s this high standard that makes you judge a Pixar movie just that little bit more strict then any other animated movie. Which brings me to ‘Brave’.
From all the pixar movies made, this feels like the weakest one they made up until now, perhaps only topped by ‘Cars 2’.

This marking the first time that Pixar uses a female protagonist, the story is decidedly lackluster. A princess who doesn’t want to get married through the old Scottish customs, comes across a witch who grants her one spell to change her mother’s mind into cancelling the entire give in marriage.
Ofcourse, don’t tell me you didn’t see this coming, that darned old witch didn’t tell her what the spell would do to make that happen and within moments her mother is transformed into a bear.

Now, as this story progresses, you can’t help but feel bored by the proceedings.
The animation is gorgeous, from the lush backlands of Scotland all the way up to the hairs on Princess Merida’s head, it’s all true Pixar quality. But, as Cars 2 painfully showed us, the story is still the most important aspect of a movie and ‘Brave’ can’t hide the fact that behind all those pretty visuals, lies the heart of a standard ‘Disney’ story.

There’s a curse that needs to be lifted within 2 days, some funny characters to cause mischief (her 3 little brothers), who do a relatively good job at keeping you smiling (all be it mildly though). And then there’s basically nothing else, the only thing that is noteworthy is that her father was once bitten by a bear (losing his leg in the process) and naturally mistakes the bear (who is the queen) for the one that got away years ago.
It’s 90 minutes of your life wasted on something that has been done over and over by Disney in the late 90’s and 00’s.
The only thing elevating it from the depths of awful animation is the fact that Pixar is probably the best in the world regarding animation, making even a story so uninspired as this into a profitable movie.

With Monsters University coming up in 2013, I still have a bit of hope left that they manage to churn out better movies in the nearby future. (if that hilarious teaser trailer was anything to go by they do). But I really feel that Pixar needs to rethink their own strategy.

You get the feeling that they’ve arrived on that crossroad where one way leads to easy cash on a yearly basis and the other leads to that artistic height that they know is achievable for them. Never the less, as it stands, Pixar can be granted 1 or 2 duds in that long slew of great movies. Hopefully, ‘Brave’ is just a dent and not corrosion.

6/10 stars!

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