Since the first Pixar movie I saw back in 1995, there hasn’t been a Pixar film I didn’t like. Well, let me revise that statement. I didn’t care for Cars because many of the car themed jokes kinda flew over my head. I wasn’t a car guy nor did I have the same passionate memories of driving on Route 66 as Steve Lasseter. When I watched the Cars DVD, I understood where Steve was coming from with his ideas for Cars but it took me a while to just like it. With Cars 2, the focus on Mater would have been fine if that was the focus. Lightning McQueen was the star of the Cars and yet the character of Mater was a big surprise. Even the saturday morning Disney Pixar Mater’s Tall Tales shorts between cartoons really pushed Mater into the limelight. Which is why, I’m sure, someone said, “Why don’t we you have more Mater in Cars 2?” As a result, we had a sequel that failed to capture the same Lassester spirit from the first movie and work off the humor from Mater’s Tall Tales. Cars 2 was not worth the time nor money to spend in the theaters. This could have gone straight to DVD and called it a day. The reason why I bring this up in the first place is because I thought Cars 2 was the first chink in the Pixar amor. After watching Brave, the chink is now becoming a crack.
So what happened with Brave? A tell tale sign that a movie has problems would be how many writer were used. In this case, Brave had 4 writers. The rule of thumb for me is that if you have 3 or more writers you’re in trouble. However, 6 of the 13 Pixar movie had more than three writer so this blows my theory out the window. Still, I could tell that something was a miss when once the conflict was establish for Princess Merida. Having sought a witch to change her fate, ripped from the Disney playbook, the mother, Queen Elinor was changed into a bear after eating an enchanted tart. Hmmm, poisoned apple anyone? Oh Brother Bear, where are thou??? Really, Pixar?!? This was the best you could do? Any trailers of the movie, up till now, never showed the whole Bear storyline. The trailer always focused in the princess and the archery scene. Now, I can see why this was left out.
In fairness, Brave is wonderful movie to look at especially the flowing red hair of Princess Merida. I am always looking for strong female characters for my daughter to watch as a role model. Brave could have been and should have been more than just another Disney Princess