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Posted on 7/04/12 01:24 PM
It's the animation that makes this latest Pixar outing sparkle. From it's heroine's fiery curls to the vast acres of tall trees and waterfalls she escapes to, the movie is so visually arresting that it isn't too difficult to forgive the predictability of the story being told. The tale, less of a feminist, Pave Your Own Path adventure as it is a paean to mother-daughter relationships, is one brimming with unabashed sentiment, warm humor, and an understanding of human emotions that has become characteristic of Pixar films.
However, despite its charms, Brave doesn't provide the studio with the comeback it needed after the critical flop that was Cars 2, leaving this viewer wondering if they're running scare on ideas after such a long streak of winners. While there's seldom a dull moment in the film, it's clear very early in that the film may be able to win over your heart, but it has no interest in touching your mind. The movie is, for all extensive purposes, witless, and while the sequences inspire a few chuckles, none of it will do much more, as they did in the Pixar films of yore. The film will leave older audiences dumbstruck by how smart it isn't, and while children might giggle at the devilish triplets stealing biscuits and causing mischief, parents may find themselves fending off is-that-all-there-is blank stares. The film is rousing and even exciting, it's tale is well-told, and I'm sure the large majority will be pleased with Pixar's first leading lady, but nothing in this film is clever, quirky, or bold enough to make it resonate as much as the studio's usual releases.
I hope Pixar gets its groove back with Monsters' University, because the studio represented the kind of animation that delights children and adults alike, that stretches the possibilities of what animated films can do, and it would be a shame to see it fall into the uninspired slump late-period Disney has found itself.