Saturday, June 23, 2012

Epic Bravery

 Last night I finally saw Brave. After hours of getting lost in Omaha, we finally came to a theater with a late showing, and got there just as the previews were starting. It was worth the wait. :)

Brave was epic. I would have loved it even if it was just the music and the scenes of Scotland. It was so incredibly detailed, that it didn't even need the story to be a work of art all on its own. But it had the story, and it had the humor. Pixar has done it again, and it was amazing.

After Cars 2 came out, Pixar got a lot of flack. They were accused of hitting their high point with Toy Story 3, and that they were pretty much through. Some just flat out called it an awful movie. Where all that hate came from I don't know, I loved Cars 2. It was hilarious and exciting. I found it to be even better than the first Cars. Not every movie has to be a huge roller coaster of emotions to be a good movie. It wasn't supposed to be that kind of a movie. It was just plain fun, so to all those critics: Go soak your heads.

Hopefully with Brave, those critics will be appeased. It had the emotion, it had the drama, it had the humor. It had pretty much everything, and it was great. There are plenty of plot twists if you haven't over-analyzed the trailers and figured them out like I did, but even though I was pretty sure I knew what was going to happen, there was still plenty of suspense, because it's impossible to figure everything out from a few two minute clips. My friends were very surprised by a few of the twists that I had already suspected were coming, so if you haven't been "Spoiled" you'll be pretty surprised by more than one turn of events.

Most people who know what I like in a sci-fi or fantasy movie, know that it's the creatures, and in this case the creatures were of the real variety, rather than the fantasy variety. Horses and bears being the two main animals featured. Merida's horse is a Clydesdale, Angus, and he is just gorgeous. I love horses to begin with, but I really love giant horses like that. :) The other creatures were the bears, and the design on the "Demon" bear was pretty horrific. I expected it to be ugly, but man did its face look hideous. All the better for it to be the "Bad Guy" of the film.
One last thing on creatures, I love a good creature brawl, and the bear fight near the end was just epic. :)

The character of the witch turned out to be an unexpected gem for me. Her role in the film was so small, probably 5 minutes max, but aside from Merida's 3 brothers, she was one of the funniest characters of all. When the witch put on her welding mask, I about died laughing, and her "Answering Machine" cauldron was a hilarious bit of genius. :D

I also loved how they crafted the tension between Merida and her mother. Too often a story will be geared towards one audience, and the stupid adult is proved to be wrong in the end, and the headstrong child is the hero for defying them. Or the disobedient child is completely in the wrong, and if they'd listened to their wise, all-knowing parents in the first place, nothing bad would have happened, proving that parents know everything and you should never question them. Neither one is a realistic scenario, and neither one was the case here.

Instead of making a film to empower rebellious children, or a film to preach to kids to always listen to their parents, the film told a much more realistic story, geared toward both kids and adults, where the parents try their best, but aren't perfect, and the child's disobedience is not praised, but causes multiple terrible things to happen. The trailer seemed to glorify how "Headstrong" Merida is, but by the end of the film, she realized that she had been in the wrong and her tearful apology was heart-wrenching, especially when you consider that it seemed that her actions had cost her her mother's life.

One of the key "Morals" to the story was the importance of communication. You can shout at each other all you want, but that is not communication. It takes listening on the count of BOTH parties involved, with BOTH parties willing to concede that they don't know everything. "Because I said so," arguments are pretty much the height of arrogance, and that never gets anyone anywhere. A response like that only fuels the flames of rebellion. In my opinion that's one reason our country is in such a mess. It's not just a problem with parents acting like they know everything and children are expected to unquestioningly obey, but it's also the government. Politicians act like they know everything and the people are supposed to unquestioningly obey. Neither situation ever ends very well.

Okay, well, that took a very strange political detour that I really didn't intend to make, but I guess it just goes to show that you can get a lot of things out of a good story, even if that wasn't what the author intended. :)

In conclusion, go see Brave. It hilarious, it's exciting, it's gorgeous. In short, it's Pixar. :)


  1. Great review! I, too, was very pleased that the actual movie didn't end up pushing the theme of child rebellion. I like that the blame went both ways to a certain degree and both parties had some learning to do. It was really funny, too, and I want to see it again.

    On a side note...I'm afraid I was one of the people who didn't like Cars enough to even see Cars 2. haha. Would you like me to soak my head? :p

  2. I was saying "Go soak your head" to the people who called Cars 2 awful. If you never even saw Cars 2, then I don't mean for you to go soak your head. :p And if you passed on Cars 2 because you didn't like the first Cars, then you NEED to see Cars 2! I liked Cars, but unlike most Pixar movies I only LIKED it. I did not LOVE it like I did the others. Cars 2 was SO much better than the first one. I LOVED Cars 2. :)