Brave is probably the most refreshing Disney film I’ve seen in a while, and it’s definitely another to add to the grand list of Pixar gems. I appreciated that Pixar seemed to go all-out for breaking traditions with this one, after all it’s the first Pixar film with a female protagonist and also their first period-film. At first I was a little leery, being afraid that there would be a cruel turn and making Brave an obnoxious girl-power film, especially with the rise about the corset-lacing scene.
Fortunately, there was nothing to really worry about. Merida’s journey of self-discovery and defiance beautifully captures the emotional turmoil of growing up and the eventual acceptance (or compromise) that comes with it. At the same time, there is also a story of family and empathy that isn’t entirely shoved down our throats.
If I had to nit-pick, I think my only real complaint was that even though the story mainly focused on the relationship between Merida and her mother, I really wish that there could have been more on the dynamics between her brothers and father. Granted Fergus is a typical sort of dad, not to mention the chemistry between him and Elinor is absolutely adorable (yay Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson!), but I would have loved to see some more character traits in the triplets, who were simply adorable little plot devices.
Other than that, I really can’t complain. The remaining characters were great (I especially enjoyed the different clans), the animation was gorgeous, and it’s a fairly solid story. Also, stick around after the credits to see a plot hole disappear.
Final Grade: A