Pixar, the movie studio that produced Toy Story, Monsters Inc. and Finding Nemo, among other movies, have a new film that centers on a female heroine for the first time. NY1's Neil Rosen filed the following review.
Pixar has given us some incredible films over the last 17 years, like Toy Story, Wall-E and Monsters Inc., just to name a few. Their latest is called Brave.
It's the first Pixar movie to center around a female heroine. Her name is Merida. She lives in medieval Scotland and is being groomed, by her mom, whom she constantly argues with, to be a prim and proper princess. When suitors from the kingdom compete for her hand in marriage, Merida wants no part of adhering to her royal family's traditions.
Merida is an independent young woman who likes to ride her horse, alone, deep into the wilderness and she's an expert archer.
So, during one of her travels, she runs across a witch who casts an evil spell, which I won't reveal the details of, that just may change Merida's fate.
The movie, for all practical purposes, is a conventional fairy tale. If you're familiar with countless fables, there are no surprises here and that's what is truly surprising considering this is a Pixar movie. This studio has set the bar so high, with its many past masterpieces, that when the movie is not that amazing and simply just functional, you're bound to disappointed when it doesn't live up to expectations.
It plays out more like a traditional Disney film. Think Snow White or Beauty and The Beast and countless others as opposed to a revelatory Pixar movie.
The Merida character does have spunk. Billy Connelly and Emma Thompson, who provide two of the voices do an adequate job. The 3D animation is nothing special.
Young girls will greatly enjoy Brave. But unlike most of the other Pixar stable of films, where adults revel in the story as much as kids do and everyone gets caught up in it emotionally, that's not what's going on here. Most grown ups won't be marveling at this as it doesn't have that typical Pixar cleverness, This one's strictly for youngsters. It's not brilliant like Ratatouille or Finding Nemo but it's not a total dud either, like Cars 2.
On the NY1 Big Apple Rating Scale, out of a possible four I'm giving Brave two-and-a-half apples.