For all the reviewers who think Brave is somehow out of place in Pixar's canon, I have only this question: Have we been watching the same Pixar movies?
(More under the cut!)
When I think about the greatest Pixar productions, three titles leap immediately to mind:
- Toy Story 3
- The Incredibles
The Pixar standard, as I see it, is to depict human emotion - especially human love - in a way that is truthful and morally centered. And does Brave meet that standard? Well, Matt is right to note that Brave doesn't quite reach that rarefied peak where the aforementioned three movies currently reside -- but that doesn't mean it's a failure as either a Pixar movie or a movie in general. As I suggested at the start, I definitely related to the mother/daughter conflict that was the driving force for Brave -- and the message is stronger than Matt really gives it credit for. On the whole, our popular culture tends to portray teenagers as somehow more "with it" than their dweeby parents; here, however, Brave completely shatters that mold. In order for Merida to break the curse, she has to own up to her own mistakes and recognize the hidden wisdom in Elinor's nagging. True -- when it comes to the arranged marriage issue, Merida eventually gets what she wants, but not before she comes to understand that the universe doesn't revolve around her own desires. A cautionary tale that flies in the face of our "I just gotta be me" society? A tale that decries selfishness? Yes, I think this is relevant to my interests, and I would like to subscribe to its newsletter (as the net geeks say).
Bottom line, I would definitely tweek Matt's writing and message scores upward and give Brave an 8.6 on our standard scale. But, of course, YMMV.