Monday, June 18, 2012

Three Reasons To See Disney•Pixar's 'Brave'

When I attended the D23 conference last August, the trailer for Disney•Pixar's Brave struck me as a strong departure from their typical animated fare. We don't have a male lead or a helpless princess or a film with a built-in merchandising empire.  Instead, we have a strong, stubborn, independent, and fierce gal by the name of Merida.  She wants to live life on her own terms, but she is going to learn the hard way how to get there.  It is a gorgeous film, but I am not sure it is for everyone.  Here are my three reasons to see Brave:

1.  Animation:  Duh.  Of course, you are there to see an animated film, but I am here to tell you that Pixar has taken their work to another level with this film.  The flowing red curls on Merida merit their own mention.  It's as if they animated every strand of hair.  It's detailed, lush,and rich in color. (If you are a fan of 3D, then this is a movie to splurge on. ) The scenery is also spectacular, you might as well be in the Scottish Highlands on vacation.  As for the bears that play into the story (I'm trying not to spoil the story here.), it's as if you could reach out and touch their shiny fur.....even though you probably don't really want to pet a bear in real life.  

2.  Soundtrack:  If you are lucky enough to live near one of these locations around the world, go see Brave in Dolby's new Atmos surround sound technology.  You will hear a beautiful Scottish music and Gaelic chants created by Patrick Doyle for the Brave soundtrack in 64 speaker feeds and 128 simultaneous other words, it sounds amazing. If you are a total tech geek, head here to see a demo of the Dolby technology.  It's unbelievable. 

3. Story:  This isn't a Disney princess waiting for her man to rescue her and this isn't a little fish, car, or grumpy old man who is lost and looking for his literal and figurative way home.  This is about a girl who kicks some serious butt.  She's a great role model for young girls and of course, there is a lovely lesson to learn along the way:  there are consequences to your actions.  The film is darker than the typical Disney•Pixar fare and I did wonder if the preschool set would sit through it.  The kids sitting near me were quietly munching on their popcorn and enthralled with the film.  However, the two-year old behind me was terrorized by the darker moments on the big screen  It's not for everyone and I think parents might want to leave those under the age of three at home.  (You've been warned.  You know your own kids, but I suspect those that are easily frightened will have nightmares after watching certain scenes.) 

Brave opens on Friday, June 22nd nationwide.

Once you see the film, give me your thoughts on Disney•Pixar's summer animated feature in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook. If you want to see my photos of the gorgeous El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood where Brave will be playing, follow me on Instagram:  @KristynBurtt


  1. I am really excited to see this movie, and I am pumped for a Pixar film with a female central character.  It's true most Pixar flicks are buddy movies and the protagonists are typically male (or inanimate objects or animals given male qualities and voices.)  But I disagree that "Brave" is a strong departure from Disney's typical animated fare, especially where princesses are concerned.  Helpless princesses went out in the 60s with Aurora.  And, OK, Ariel was maybe a little damsel-y; but Belle, Jasmine, Mulan, Pocahontas, Tiana, and even little Rapunzel with her frying pan embodied bravery and intelligence, as well as stubbornness, independence, fierceness, and a desire to live life on their own terms.

    As for merchandising...I was at Disney World a few weeks ago, and little girls already had their green Merida dresses and red curls from the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.  The nook near the castle that had formerly hosted Rapunzel had been transformed into the "Brave" headquarters, next to which a cart sat filled with stuffed black bears, toy weapons, story books, and of course Merida dolls.  I don't think I've ever seen such an aggressive pre-release merchandising push from any other Disney movie.  So let's not kid ourselves; ANY Disney/Pixar feature has a built-in merchandising empire.  (Not that this fact takes anything away from the validity of the lead character, her story, or the film itself.)

    I will say that the theme of actions having consequences does seem new to Disney films (especially as applied to princess characters).  Most princesses illustrate the themes of believing in yourself and following your dreams, which are positive messages.  But I'm hard-pressed to think of a Disney princess who truly had to pay a consequence for her decisions (unless the consequence is living happily ever after).  If "Brave" is truly a departure from this tradition, I'm intrigued to see what happens to Merida in the end when I finally get to see "Brave."

  2. Hi Lisa, Thanks for stopping by.  I will be interested to hear your opinion once you have seen the movie. While the Disney princesses are strong women (and I wasn't intending to bash them, because I do love my princesses.), it almost always involves a romance.  This one touches upon it, but it does not go down that road.  We also have to add Pixar into the mix because this isn't solely a Disney picture.  This is Pixar's first foray in having the a female as a lead in their film.  It's a big deal.  While their normal fare revolves around cars, fish, and toys, this film doesn't naturally lend itself to merchandising. It's Disney, of course they will find something to merchandise, but it's not as easy a sell as a car or Buzz Lightyear.  The film is also a big scary, so the under-3 set might be left out this time around.  Overall, the film has a different feel and I like it.  Can't wait to hear what you think of the film!  :) 

  3. I was SOOOO excited after I saw the trailer!! Can't wait!!!


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