I’ve always been a fan of Pixar. I distinctly remember seeing Toy Story when I was 11 years-old in a theater on the outskirts of Washington D.C. I’ve been completely smitten with them as filmmakers ever since. I will defend the less-loved films in their catalogue like A Bug’s Life and Ratatouille. I even liked the first Cars film. Last year, however, they finally had their first misstep when Cars 2 was kind of a mess. From what I understand it was a ludicrously profitable mess but a childlike part of me had always thought that Pixar was above things like making films as cash grabs and would only make films that were artistically pure. Thankfully Brave is a delightful movie and a step back on the right path for the wizards at Pixar.
Brave is a different kind of movie for Pixar. Much closer to the mainstream Disney fare this is a movie about a princess. Unlike many of the other Disney princess movies this is about a princess who has an awful lot of agency. Merida is quite the little badass and, more importantly, she plans her own plans and fights her own fights. Even when she isn’t fighting her own fights she isn’t often being saved by stronger smarter men. It’s a new standard for feminism in animated film until someone sends me a message informing me what a dummy I am for forgetting a very important prior example.
Unlike most other films this year that I’ve had an actual interest in seeing I had very little idea of what would actually go on in this movie. I knew there was a princess who didn’t want to get married and that the thrust of the movie was about changing fate. I had no idea there would be so many bears in this movie. Scary bears, funny bears even crafty bears. This was a fantastic surprise because I think bears are hilarious. These bears are on the high end of the hilarity spectrum too. I would really love to see an interview with the folks at Pixar who had to spend hours upon hours studying bears and then figuring out ways to make a bear trying to move like a human look so authentic and so funny. Seems like a pretty rad job to me.
I saw Brave at the El Capitain theater in Hollywood. Owned by Disney the El Capitain is famous for having stage shows as a part of their performances. For a $14 ticket you get a 3d movie and a 5-10 minute stage show. t was a great time and the kid-packed theater really ate the whole thing up. To sustain those ticket prices though Disney must either give their own theater a sweetheart deal on distribution or they’re really fucking the cast of these musical theater shows. Either answer raises a lot more questions but I’m really glad an experience like this is available and if you live in LA or plan to visit it I urge you to consider seeing something here.