Friday, July 6, 2012

Scots and Gingers and Bears--Oh My!

Bill and I hit up the Frank Theater in Rio Grande last Wednesday in pursuit of a certain Pixar movie that just came out last week: Disney and Pixar's Brave. I know, I'm awful, it took me a while to get around to writing this one because I was running back and forth between Philly and home a lot last week and this week and whenever I'm home I have the delusion that I'm on vacation. So OBVIOUSLY I couldn't write a blog post when I was on vacation...

But I digress. As usual.

So really having nothing to go off of from the preview except for that looping phrase, "If you haad the chaance to cheenge yer feet...would yew?" I was just kinda putting my faith into the Pixar logo, as so many of us do.

Or is it "Breeeeve"?

The plot of the film, if you got the vibe from the previews better than I did, is that Princess Merida is being forced to choose a husband with which to rule her father's kingdom. The three neighboring clans (who don't get along very well) all come bearing their sons in hopes of winning a competition and therefore Merida's hand. But Merida is an unruly and adventurous teenager who doesn't feel ready to be married. Kept in line by her proper mother, despite taking more after her father, Merida is dying for the chance to just be herself and live outside the princess rules that weigh her down.

In order to change her fate (cheenge her feeet), Merida is led by whisps (mystic Scottish things that look sort of like oversized misty water drops) to an old witch that can help her change her mother. But the results of the witch's help leave Merida with something that she had never asked for, and now she has to fix what she's done before it becomes permanent.

Or I guess they kind of also look like jellyfish...

So, first of all, let me get the obvious out of the way and just say: holy crap this movie is gorgeous. I don't know how the hell they pack so much detail into their sets while maintaining the mysticism of the era and adding cartoon-like characters that nonetheless are heartbreakingly realistic and wonderfully hilarious. Also the fiery vibrance of Merida's hair in contrast to the lush green of Scotland's landscape really reels her in as the focus of this movie. Lighting, sounds, and design are all breathtaking in this film. Once again, Pixar, well done. Ya did good, kids.

You really have to click on this sucker to do it justice...

In terms of plot, I was pleasantly surprised at how much the movie made sense after being a little befuddled about the vague, adrenaline-filled preview. I understand now that they wanted to keep the plot a bit under wraps as this movie is shorter than most Pixar ventures at only an hour and a half. However, I will say, that Pixar must be used to taking their time with plot points because this one took a small while to get going. You kind of end up feeling like they set out to make an epic adventure, but shortened it in the name of the children watching. No offense, Pixar, but I think you should've either kept the length or just  gotten right into the real story a little bit faster. Everything ends up being kind of necessary, but...I dunno, it just felt a little off its game. I think also, after re-watching the preview, that Brave sets itself up to be an epic adventure tale of GARGANTUAN proportions when really it ends up being an above-par folktale that really centers on the children audience for once. (Also, for the weepy, don't worry there aren't any heartbreaking scenes like in Finding Nemo's beginning or like in Up! when Ellie finds out she can't have kids. So that's good.)

In short, this film isn't bad at all, but its brevity leaves a little something to be desired for the older crews. For kids' films in general it's a beautiful adventure tale, but for Pixar, it seems to be down there with Cars.

7 and a half outa 10.

OMG, I forgot! If you need a reason to see this, though, please PLEASE see it for the ADORABLE short that prefaces the film. It's literally one of the cutest things I've ever seen. Seriously.

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