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Brave Fires Right On Target for PIxar

Pixar’s Brave took home over $66.7 million at the box office this weekend continuing the 13 movie streak of first place debuts for the Emeryville animation studio. This was slightly above what most analysts were targeting for Pixar’s first princess film placing it on a trajectory to surpass $200 million at the domestic box office, which is better than Cars 2 did. It was also the fifth best opening for a Pixar film, not too shabby.

Of course, where Brave ends up depends a lot on word of mouth at this point. The people I’ve spoken with who’ve seen the movie have liked it. They just feel like it wasn’t quite what they’re used to from a Pixar film. This is more along the lines of what they’d expect from Disney.

I’m not sure I’d disagree with that statement, but I think that speaks more for how much progress Disney made with Tangled and The Princess and The Frog than any slide in quality on Pixar’s part. It took Pixar to make the fairytale where the heroine is able to solve her problems without a prince, I think this will actually free up Disney a bit in the future when it decides to return to fairytales.

I went back and saw Merida and her family a second time and came away loving the film even more. It’s not a complicated tale, but neither was Snow White or Aladdin or any Disney princess film up to that point. I’m not a believer that complex storytelling is required, just good storytelling.

If you saw Brave this weekend, what did you like about the film?

5 thoughts on “Brave Fires Right On Target for PIxar”

  1. I really liked it, no it wasn’t primarily a comedy like many of the Pixar films have been and yes the basic premise has probably been used in many a movie, tv show, and book, but it was a good story, great animation, and a lovely soundtrack. A fun time all around. It was also it was nice see Merida not only get herself into a mess but get herself out of it. I have a feeling it will not be the last time we see her be it a spin off cartoon or a sequel.

  2. What a great film. The story was fun, the characters were great, and my 6 year old wants to be Merida for Halloween already! I laughed many times and a few as well. I loved the Scottish theme (in the blood), and especially liked the mother/daughter storyline. The music was beautiful and the scenery was breath-taking. I bought the soundtrack and await the DVD. A must see, you’ll be glad you did.

  3. I caught the first showing in my area Friday. I enjoyed it, but I think it’s not among Pixar’s best films. Why is that? Mostly because the story is fairly simple. I get what you are saying about simple things in other Disney films, but I expect more from a Pixar film. It’s the brand they’ve established over the last 12 movies.

    Worth seeing? Yes. Best of Pixar? No.

  4. I saw it last night. And although I enjoyed Brave, I don’t think it was on par with what Pixar usually puts out, which is a beautifully animated movie with a mix of heart, adventure, and, laughs. I felt Brave only delivered on the latter two facets of their usual fair, and the movie relied WAY too heavily on generating laughs while trying to mask a lack of depth in the story. Don’t get me wrong, I thought the animation was great and parts of the movie were hysterical, I think it was just missing that something extra that sets it apart from their other films. Where does it fall in the Pixar library? In my opinion, better than either Cars film, Monsters Inc., and A bug’s Life, but not further than that. I’ll give it 3.5/5 ears.

  5. There were many things I liked about Brave. In no particular order:

    It passes the Bechdel test with flying colors, early on and multiple times.

    There’s no real villain. The movie is just about Merida and her relationship with Eleanor. If there’s a villain, it’s their stubbornness and inability to listen to each other.

    The witch was fantastic. She’s neither evil nor explicitly good; she just gives people what they ask for. (I have a theory that she is a one-trick witch: The only spell she knows is the one that turns people into bears.)

    I like that Merida is amazingly talented, but far from perfect. She’s a fully developed character with depth, not just a cardboard princess.

    One oversight is that apparently there are only six women in the whole kingdom: Merida, Eleanor, the maid, the witch, and two unnamed castle maids we see briefly. Everyone else we see is male. Do the three clans who come to visit consist entirely of men? The clan leaders presumably have wives, otherwise they wouldn’t have sons to offer. Why didn’t the wives come with them to pay a visit to the king? It makes no sense to leave them behind. I don’t think this was a deliberate choice on Pixar’s part; I suspect they just didn’t think about it, the same way they didn’t think about the fact that all of the rats in Ratatouille are male. Male is the default, so that’s what all the characters except the central ones end up as.

    The animation was, of course, beautiful. The hair and the fabric and the water – especially that waterfall! – looked amazing.

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