Brave is Worthy Member of Pixar Family
You might well expect a Pixar fan like myself to gush subjectively on his blog about their latest flick, good or bad, out of passion, and in defense of his emotional investment. I'm not going to do that — because my love for Brave is sincere.
Other critics have been picking plot points where the film "falls apart." I kept waiting for it to happen, but I must have missed it. I was swept up by the story, and immersed in the beauty of the film. I was emotionally invested. My heart was racing at all the right moments, and my concern for the characters welled up when it was supposed to, but in a subconscious way.
An experience like that engulfs you and gives you the pleasure of ignoring the few flaws. It was a bit predictable, but I blame that more on the revealing trailers than the film itself. I had the main plot points worked out long before Brave started. But it was still surprising in many good ways. Call me a prude, but I was also a bit surprised at the edgier humor — a concern I voiced at the release of an earlier promo. In the film it bothered me less than I expected. In fact, I hardly remembered until just now, when I made a conscious effort to. Those moments were really not jarring enough to derail the film or distract from its grander brilliance.
As is typically the case, the negative press is stealing all the attention. The fact still remains that it raked in 66.3 million dollars during its opening weekend and currently stands at 75% on Rotten Tomatoes. Because Pixar is so good at what they do, critics tend to pick at the nits because there are no bigger issues to criticize. It's much different from anything Pixar has done before, and I don't think people were entirely prepared for that.
Even after sitting on my thoughts for a couple days now, Brave gets a full recommendation from me. Its thick Scottish culture is authentic and fascinating. Its humor is energetic and rousing. Its action is riveting and pertinent. And its heart is wrenching, and Pixar signature.
The short film warm up act this go around is nothing short of a masterpiece. La Luna will take your breath away. That's a promise. It is a subtle departure from the traditional Pixar aesthetic in a refreshing way. It has an element of mystery that gives you a delightful moment of "ah hah" discovery at the end. It is truly brilliant and truly deserving of the Oscar it should have won.