Pixar "Brave"-ly alludes the unlucky number 13 and returns to form.
**** ½ out of 5
Rated PG for some scary action and rude humor
Walt Disney Pictures
Article first published as Movie Review: Brave (2012) on Blogcritics.
When it comes to Pixar Animation Studios, not even they can spin immediate gold out of everything. Some need a little time to brew in the collective mind. Believe it or not, some of their films through the years have not been considered instant classics. The underdog films may be few and far between in the Pixar cannon, but they’re ones I watch often, even if some may think they’re forgotten. Most audiences still own those films even if they aren’t watched nearly as often as the rest. The ones I am speaking of happen to be “A Bug’s Life” and “Ratatouille.” It’s not that they’re what you could call “bad” Pixar outings; they just don’t seem to be as welcomed as the rest. So alas, the split vote returns again with this summer’s Pixar event, “Brave.”
Armed with a gaggle of directors (Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Steve Purcell) and writers (all three directors plus scribe Irene Mecchi), the film admittedly has some drastic tonal shifts. Probably due to history repeating itself as when Brad Bird was brought in to salvage “Ratatouille.” Director Mark Andrews took the reigns after Brenda Chapman was sacked. Until then she was highly touted as Pixar’s first female director. Things may seem a little more Disney-esque than normal but I blame that fault on screenwriter Mecchi. She’s had her hand in plenty of Disney films, mostly direct-to-video sequels. But looking at the tradition of female characters the Mouse House has brought along the way is there really anything wrong with that? “Brave” still delivers the expected visual feats even while the film dipping its toes into a few slapstick episodes, not that there’s anything wrong with that either.
Photos courtesy Walt Disney Pictures