So I know this is a book blog and all, but I got to see a special 3D advance screening of Disney and Pixar's new movie, BRAVE, a couple of days ago and I figured it'd be kind of cool to share my thoughts.
*Coming to theaters June 22, 2012.
- humorous antics and funny bits
- dainty + bears
- Merida's hair
- no awkward love interest
- family relationships
- the short pixar film at the beginning
- Emma Thompson
- IT WAS FREE!
- will-o-wisps leading off into the forest (as a good thing?! Since when has it ever been safe to follow blinking lights into the forest?)
- scary elements + creatures (okay, not super scary, but scary for a kid's flick, you know?)
- Merida's hair
- unrealistic scenarios (hey, it IS a Disney film. Though who can climb a cliff-face in A DRESS?)
- random nudity (it wasn't super offensive or anything, it was just random)
In short: The humor and theatrical antics kept the film going at a brisk pace, the characters were fleshed out and likable, and the story neatly wrapped up with a good message. I enjoyed watching it, but I'm probably not going to go out and buy it when it comes out.
In long: Merida's character was spirited and spunky. The initial interaction between her mother and her rebellious ways was well illustrated and gave insight into the rest of the family dynamics. While I did like Merida's free-spirited ways, I also felt like she was a little too demanding. And of course, some of the things she did did seem a little ridiculous (taking from the above CON list, climbing a cliff-face in a DRESS using only her HANDS? What? I know, I know, it's probably petty to be nitty-picky about this example, but it was the most prominent thing I could remember. Anyway.)
I really liked the voices they chose for the animations - they really brought the characters to life, and one of my favorite portrayals was Emma Thompson as Elinor (Merida's mother). She was fantastic. The dad, Fegus, was very amusing as well and I couldn't help but laugh at the triplet's crazy and insane antics throughout the film.
I thought the preview did a good job of setting up the movie without giving too much away, because there were several times during the movie when I was pleasantly surprised. The beginning was a little frightening - or might be frightening for younger children, but it certainly started off with a bang. I kind of had a love/hate relationship with Merida's hair. (Though you probably gathered that from the pros/cons list.) On one hand, it was AMAZING hair. It was curly, wild, flowing, and gorgeous. But on the other hand, it also seemed to be remarkably controlled in certain scenarios and didn't seem to get in Merida's way as much as that kind of hair should. It was also a little distracting during the film because I kept wondering what her hair was going to do next.
I did think parts of the movie were pretty intense/scary...there were even parts where I jumped a little in my seat. So, a word of caution before you take younger kids. There were other sections of the movie that just didn't flow as well for me or I thought could have been handled better. It just felt like there were a lot of minor things that didn't add up to make me head-over-heels in love with this film. It was good, it just wasn't something I instantaneously fell in love with (How to Train Your Dragon, Tangled, Super 8).
Also, I absolutely LOVED the short film they played before the movie, La Luna. It was bizarre, but strangely endearing. The sounds were also FABULOUS and it felt like every particular sound had been perfectly matched. It was a true marvel.
So in conclusion, Brave offers a lot of laughs and crazy antics but still features a strong message of family values and reconciliation through the actions of the rebellious Merida and her quest to change her fate.