YMMV / Brave

  • Accidental Innuendo: Merida declares her intention to enter the betrothal contest for her "own hand".
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • When Merida is feeding Elinor fish while the latter is turned into a bear, Elinor ends up ignoring her self-made "knife and fork" in favor for eating them predator-style. Was this a funny moment of her loosening up a little and realizing she's a bear for heaven's sake, she doesn't need table manners? Or was it a creepy, early hint of her turning into a bear on the inside? Or perhaps both?
    • The Witch's nature is a constant source of interpretation. Does she only specialize in bear-related curses? Does she twist what the buyer asks for into giving them a bear curse? Some have theorized that she may be a Trickster Mentor who gave Merida the curse specifically because she knew how the events of the movie would play out. Her appearance on Once Upon a Time goes with this interpretation; she appears to be villainous but it ends up being a Secret Test of Character.
    • CinemaSins argued that the real villains of the movie are actually the wisps. Everything was on track for the royal family to talk their way through their problems before the spirits intervened, and it was only through ludicrous luck that they all survived the resulting mess before ending up basically where they were before the spell took effect.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Merida herself has become this for a lot of people. Either she's a very believable character with plausible flaws and great Character Development, becoming a wiser person in the process, or a whiny, unsympathetic, selfish and yet another cookie-cutter tomboy princess.
    • Some people dislike the Witch because they feel she's either not funny, doesn't fit into the rest of the movie (and not in the good way), and wastes a lot of screen time since Merida and Elinor have to go back and forth between her place and the castle. Others found her a one-scene wonder.
  • Broken Base: The movie is easily Pixar's most divisive film, both in terms of its story and its social politics (being a response to the criticism that they didn't have any movies with female leads). To boil it down to the essentials, it's either a decent film with a well-written female lead and strong message, or ninety minutes of Pixar going "We're so totally not sexist!" amidst modern animation cliches.
  • Cliché Storm: The movie is often regarded as this, considering it stars a rebellious princess (common in Disney films), then it takes off in a different direction.
  • Crossover Ship:
  • Ear Worm: Mor'duuu, Mor'duu, Mor'du, Mor'du!
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • The triplets, crafty little goofballs that they are.
    • Fergus gets a lot of fandom love for being one of the film's most entertaining characters, and for how much he adores his wife and kids. Also, he's voiced by Billy Connolly, which gets him like a million extra points.
    • Shy and adorable Young MacGuffin is the favorite pick for suitor, partially because he was the pick before it was decided Merida wouldn't choose, and partially because he doesn't have obvious personality or appearance flaws (which is probably why he was the one Merida was going to pick).
  • Girl Show Ghetto: Averted. It was one of the highest grossing animated films of 2012 and stacked up Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Oscars for Best Animated Feature by the end of award season.
  • Internet Backdraft:
    • Try asking who is in the right: Merida or Elinor. Either Merida is a Spoiled Brat who despises any woman aside of herself, thinks being a princess entitles her to treat people like shit and causes her long-suffering mother too much trouble, or Elinor is an selfish and old-fashioned smother who wants to oppress a strong female like Merida and make her bend to both the evil patriarchy and her own Control Freak nature.
    • Certainly got this from animation fans for its Academy Award win during the 2013 Oscars when other animated films like Wreck-It Ralph and ParaNorman were stronger contenders with much more appeal to them.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Hype Backlash: A downplayed example; the trailers deliberately kept the details surrounding the plot a mystery to audiences leaving many curious of what the story behind Merida would be, so when viewers finally saw the film there was a fair share who were not impressed by the ultimate twist in the movie, or for the overall characterization of Merida.
  • I Am Not Shazam: "OMG LOOK IT'S BRAVE!"
  • Jerkass Woobie: Merida. Yes, her actions were pretty darn selfish, but the fact that she recognizes this and becomes more and more fearful over the fate of her mother makes it easier to feel sorry for her. Also, while her mother IS trying to train Merida in how to handle the responsibility of ruling a kingdom, Merida's frustration with her situation becomes understandable when Elinor tells her that "a princess strives for...perfection." Merida knows that she is far from being perfect, so dealing with constantly being corrected must be stressful, not to mention rather disheartening.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Merida has become a victim of this. Fans all over the internet are either making up some Crossover Ship for her, pairing her with their OC, or pairing her up with one of the suitors she outright rejected in the movie.
  • Les Yay: One popular interpretation of Merida is that she's not interested in any of the male suitors because she's homosexual. Like everything else about this movie, it's controversial, as it rules out her simply not wanting to get married.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "I don't want to get married! I want to stay single and let my hair flow in the wind as I ride through the glen, firing arrows into the sunset!"
    • if yah had te chance tu change yer fate, wood yeruuu
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: Of course Scotland loves this film! It helps that much of the cast are genuinely Scots, and they were encouraged to tweak the dialogue as much as they saw fit, so it certainly sounds authentic.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Fangirls still glorify and adore the super rebellious, feisty, self-centered pre-Character Development Merida of the start. You know, the one that the movie forces to grow up through hardships and learning instead of giving into her whims and portraying her as Flawless Head Bitch In Charge?
  • Misaimed Marketing:
    • A large chunk of the movie's Disney Princess merchandise has Merida in the dress her mom forced her in and she practically suffocated in.
    • This is what happened to the marketing, which went out of its way to paint Brave as an epic fantasy adventure when in truth, it's a character driven classically styled fairy tale.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Often mockingly compared to Brother Bear courtesy of its harshest critics, which also featured a character turning into a bear and was similarly met with mixed feelings from audiences.
    • As mentioned above, its Oscar win over Wreck-It Ralph and ParaNorman, which caused many animation fans to turn on not just the Academy a perennial target for myriad reasons but also Pixar itself (the fact that Brave came on the heels of the Critic-Proof Cars2 didn't help one bit). This was the movie that caused people to start derisively referring to the Best Animated Feature Oscar as the "Obligatory Disney/Pixar-Gets-An-Award Award" (or similar).
  • One-Scene Wonder: The Witch appears very briefly in two scenes, but she's a major catalyst for the film and is really memorable. Mostly because she's hilarious and weird.
  • Rewatch Bonus: A small one, but keep an eye on Elinor as the suitors are introduced. For all her talk about upholding tradition and her insistence on Merida marrying one of the three, you can see she's having at least some reservations along the lines of "this...is not what I was picturing as a man to marry my daughter." Could count as a touch of foreshadowing.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Though Merida is a very flawed person, her detractors tend to exaggerate her faults to the point of making her out to be borderline sociopathic. Most notable is the idea that Merida intentionally set out to poison or mind-control her mother, despite the fact that she did not know what the cake would do beyond a vague notion that it would "change" her, or change her fate. Also widespread is the notion that she could have ended the story instantly by simply apologizing to Elinor sooner, despite the terms of the spell being that they needed to "mend what was broken", indicating that both of them needed to make an effort to rebuild their love, not simply say that they were sorry.
  • So Okay, It's Average: As the only original film to come out during Pixar's Dork Age from 2011 to 2015, it's mostly slapped with this distinction, that it may not reach the depths of Cars 2 or Monsters University, but also doesn't reach the heights of the studio's other work.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The relationship between Merida and Elinor is often praised as the best thing in the movie. Too bad it got bogged down by the "rebellious princess" stuff and slapstick.
  • Trailer Joke Decay: All together now: "Feast yer eyes!"
  • Uncanny Valley: Because of her rather unconventional features compared to other Disney Princesses, Merida's almost completely round face perched on top of a really high neck can invoke this with some viewers.
  • What an Idiot: Merida decides, for some reason, that poisoning her mother with a cake that was made with magic and by a person she has met only once would be a good idea and not end badly.
  • The Woobie: You can't help but feel bad for Elinor when she gets turned into a bear. Her confusion, her terror, and her struggling to keep herself together is rather painful to watch. It just gets worse once she starts losing her humanity and actually starts lashing out as a full-fledged bear.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/Brave