By Mikhail Chernyavsky

We have come accustomed to Pixar’s visually striking films and intelligently written stories. However, the studio’s latest attempt “Brave” may tell a heartwarming story, but it just doesn’t seem to be up to par for what audiences would expect from the animation pioneer.

Over the years, Pixar has done a wonderful job of simplifying complex issues that treat children as adults and remind adults of their youthful days.

“Toy Story” taught kids to take care of their things and showed adults the important role that toys played in their lives. “Up” taught kids the value of adventure and reminded adults of the adventurers they once were, before life kicked in. And, “Wall-E” showed both children and adults that love is capable of transcending words.

By no means are these stories dumbed-down, and that’s what makes them so enriched with thought and emotion.

Although “Brave” tells a wonderful story of the bond and struggles between a mother and daughter, it almost feels like another Disney princess movie.

Princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald) is a teenage tomboy who is more interested in adventure than her duties as a princess. As a result, she defies a matrimonial custom that hurls the kingdom into an uproar and sends her to a witch (Julie Walters) to change her fate.

Yet, the film does have many elements that make it more of the anti-Disney princess film. The female lead isn’t just a damsel in distress that needs rescuing, but a strong independent woman. There is no typical love interest (thank you for that Pixar), and there is no evil witch, mother, queen, etc.

This is a film geared towards girls, but really can be related to by any child and parent that doesn’t see eye-to-eye often. But, it’s the standard characters and lack of wit that makes the story a bit disappointing.

Even the title hints for it to be an epic film. However, it is never fully addressed as to why the film is called “Brave.” Based on the theme of the movie, it could have just as easily been replaced with any synonymous adjective, like courage.

If it wasn’t for the Pixar name attached to this film than I wouldn’t have set my expectations so high and would have settled for another “Tangled.”

However, Pixar has spoiled us with its phenomenal artistry, and it was only a matter of time before it would fall flat.

Nevertheless, this is a fun film for kids. Go in expecting a “Cars” level of fun and not a tear-jerking “Up.”

Make sure to check out “Mark at the Movies” for interviews with the cast and the film’s creators.


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