For Reel

Brave (2012)
July 19, 2012, 9:32 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , , , ,

Director(s): Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman & Steve Purcell

Scripted by four credited writers and hindered by a directorial change over creative differences, it is of little surprise that Pixar’s latest feels both derivative and half-realized, failing to recreate the limitless imagination of the studio’s previous efforts. Had Brave been a standard Disney production, one might have been more forgiving of its downfalls, but considering that in recent years Pixar has told their stories with a radical defiance against expectations, they undoubtedly let down. Princess Merida is a tomboy who isn’t particularly enthralled with the life that has been set out for her – her talents with the bow-and-arrow peg her for a warrior, not the betrothed damsel. Her mother, Elinor, is at odds with Merida’s stubbornness, fearing that her path will not only disgrace the family but put her life in danger. Merida and Elinor inevitably reconcile, but it hardly feels earned after all that precluded it was little more than a slapstick game of salmon-fishing. With a strong female for a lead, one might have hoped that Pixar would have fully committed to a feminist family picture, but disappointingly Merida is forced into compromise after being punished for her reluctance to adhere to gender norms.