YMMV: Brave

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: When Merida is feeding bear!Elinor fish, the latter 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?
    • Perhaps both?
  • 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.
  • Better by a Different Name: It has been noted that a variant of Merida's story has already been done by Disney with the adventures of Princess Calla in the 1980s TV series, Adventures of the Gummi Bears, a Badass Princess who was a much more reasonable and mature Rebellious Princess even as she chaffed at her restrictions of her class and gender.
  • Broken Base:
    • Before release, some people were a bit miffed that Brenda Chapman got replaced, skeptical of the girl-defying-tradition premise Cliché the trailer presents while others had faith that Pixar would execute it nicely. The trailers also fostered fears that Pixar's falling into DreamWorks' style of crude humor.
    • When the film was released, reception from both critics and the audience themselves has turned Brave into one of Pixar's most divisive movies yet, similar to the first Cars. And since Brave was following on the heels of the poorly-received sequel to that movie, unsatisfied critics are fearful that Pixar's Glory Days are coming — or have come — to an end.
    • Now given that it won the Best Animated Feature Oscar despite getting inferior reviews to the competition, this happened again.
  • 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.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • 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.
  • Love It or Hate It: This is easily Pixar's most divisive film, both in terms of it's story and it's 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!"
  • Why The Fandom Cant Have Nice Things: Some who consider this film one of Pixar's weakest cite how it was not made in their tradition of "making movies for ourselves," rather to pacify the demands of viewers who criticized them for not having any female protagonists.
  • 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.