This weekend saw the release of Pixar’s latest film, Brave, a movie that easily won the weekend, garnering an overall “A” CinemaScore from appreciative audiences. Still, at only 74 percent on RottenTomatoes (Pixar’s second worst), and a 7 out of 10 from Germain Lussier, it is clear there is a bit of room for dissent.
Out there in audience-land, did you notice something a little “off” about Brave? Perhaps there are lessons that can be learned, or conversations to engage in?
To provide some context, and on the off chance we have completely different taste, here are my top five Pixar efforts:
3. Toy Story
4. Finding Nemo
5. Monsters, Inc.
Until now, the only Pixar film I flat out didn’t enjoy was Ratatouille, though I admit to only having seen it once, and folks say I’d like it much more if I were to re-visit. Even Cars 2 had redeeming qualities. I can truly say I’ve never found a Pixar film entirely lacking, and that statement includes Brave. There’s no question the film had amazing visuals, setting a new standard for excellence within the animation genre. Unfortunately, the story lacked a bit of … what’s the word I’m looking for? Ooomph. As such, I’m compelled to break down where I feel the problems were, if only to restore everyone’s favorite animation house to the glory they so richly deserve.
One final note, just to head off the obligatory “comparing Brave to the rest of Pixar’s work isn’t entirely fair” argument, we’re in complete agreement there. It’s not fair, and in many ways Pixar’s own ambition and commitment to excellence have raised the bar for all movies. So no, Brave isn’t a bad movie on merit, it’s merely an average one, which animation houses make all the time without compelling anyone to write a 3,000 word article on the subject. But within the greater context of Pixar’s previous work, Brave does come up short, and I think we’ve got a bead on the reasons why.
Note: Massive SPOILERS follow, naturally.
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Joe Wright moved from the stately but intense period piece Atonement to the violent modern fairy tale Hanna without missing a step, and now he has danced back to period form with an adaptation of Leo Tolstoy‘s classic romance Anna Karenina. ‘Danced’ is exactly the word to use, as Wright shot most of the film on a single soundstage, and there is a very theatrical look to the sumptuous footage. If you hear a distant vibration, that’s Baz Luhrmann quaking with envy, and awards-season fear.
Tom Stoppard (Brazil, Shakespeare in Love, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead) scripted, and the film stars Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Johnson, and Kelly Macdonald, with Matthew Macfadyen, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Emily Watson, Olivia Williams and Ruth Wilson.
Check out the footage below.
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This is a must-see. I know some opinions have been divided on Pixar’s upcoming film Brave. Personally, I was captured by the first teaser trailer and then felt as if the clip and full trailer that followed were a bit scattershot. I was left not really knowing what to expect from the film.
Now a Japanese trailer has surfaced for Brave, and I think it is the best look at the film yet. Doesn’t hurt that this trailer features a lot of new footage, and that much of that footage emphasizes the mystic aspects of the story, rather than the comic. (The title, as translated in this case, is even cool: Merida and the Frightening Forest.) Check it out below. Read More »
Disney has released a third trailer for Pixar’s 2012 film Brave. The new trailer is actually more of a extended clip from the movie than a traditional trailer — I know it is being promoted as such, but I’m not sure if this will be screened in theaters. Watch it now embedded after the jump. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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The teaser trailer for Pixar’s Brave was an absolutely gorgeous thing that showed off the studio’s first female lead, Merida, voiced by Kelly Macdonald.
Now here’s the full trailer, which introduces us to the film’s world and the gloriously exaggerated characters that inhabit it. This isn’t one of Pixar’s best trailer efforts, I think, but hopes for Brave remain high. Read More »
The trailer for Brave, Pixar’s next full-length animated film, will arrive tomorrow. In anticipation of that look at the film three new stills have come online. The pics show most of the film’s major characters, and reinforce the impression given off by the teaser that this might be Pixar’s most fully-realized world.
Brave is Pixar’s first film with a central female protagonist, and Kelly Macdonald voices Merida, a rebellious young princess who brings trouble to her land after breaking an ancient custom. That’s her in the image above, and you’ll meet other characters in the gallery below.
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Being a big fan of William S. Burroughs, especially of his early novels before rampant experimentation took over, I thought one of the best news stories of 2010 was the fact that The Messenger and Rampart writer/director Oren Moverman had scripted an adaptation of Burroughs’ early novel Queer and that Steve Buscemi would produce and direct.
Readings of that script have taken place here and there, but we’ve heard almost nothing about Queer since Moverman started working in earnest on Rampart. With that film finished, earning serious early praise and being set for an Oscar qualifying run late this year and full release in early 2012, news on Queer is starting to surface once more.
In short, the Moverman script is still in use, and Buscemi is still directing. Even better, a recent post-Rampart screening Q&A with Moverman revealed that Guy Pearce, Ben Foster and Kelly MacDonald are all set for roles in the movie. Read More »
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It’s hard to fathom that Brave, Pixar’s next feature film, is still almost a year away. To date, fans have seen the exciting, yet deliberately non-revealing, teaser trailer, a few concept images, and that’s about it. The D23 Expo changed that, though, as attendees got a much better idea of what June 22, 2012 holds. Director Mark Andrews and producer Katherine Sarafian presented footage on Saturday while production designer Steve Pilcher and art director Tia Kratter explained the visuals on Sunday. Combining the two panels, we learned a ton of new information. Is the Pizza Planet truck in the movie? When does the film take place? What visuals changed with the new director? After the jump, read 10 brand new Brave facts. Read More »