Brave is the 13th Pixar film and its production had its ups and downs considering Brenda Chapman, the original writer and sole director of the film, was demoted to co-director with Mark Andrews gaining full reign on the directorís position.
Not only that, the marketing led you to believe itís sort of a comedy while a few Pixar employees have said that itís a dark and epic story. Everyone who says either is a liar. But hereís the thing, itís a mother-daughter story.
Brave takes place in an undetermined place in time around Scotland. Merida and her mother Elinor donít get along to the best of terms and the tipping point is that she is assigned to mary suitors. After an argument in which she won an archery contest which vetos the arranged marriage, she runs away and meets a witch and demands for her fate to be changed. She gets her wishÖonly for it to backfire as her mother turns into a bear. They must bond together and find a way to break the spell.
Which is essentially what can probably hold it back a bit from being a complete classic, the story is predictable. It has heart and effort to the max but the story is very basic that anyone could pick up on where things are going to go. Which could be the result of the retooling. Some of the humor might seem low brow even for Pixar to try out but then again, they managed to sneak in a cross dressing joke in Toy Story 3.
But what works the most to the point of worth watching completely is the relationship between Merida and Elinor. Their interaction felt natural, neither character was demonized to be point of them being obnoxious like a sitcom character. Nothing felt forced, the actresses played off each other well and the animation was especially well done allowing the emotions to do all the talking. Every scene with them I enjoyed the most because it was that damn good, everything with them left me impressed.
Itís not a gamechanger or a groundbreaking animated film but itís a good film, a really strong one and for some of its flaws, itís definitely worth watching especially for the Merida and Elinor scenes. If youíre looking for a film that is usually on the quality of The Incredibles, Up or Toy Story 3, youíre not going to find it here.