*WON AN OSCAR FOR BEST ANIMATED FEATURE*
Pixar’s Brave has emotional significance to me, since it was the very first Pixar film, my wife and I watched together on the big screen. So I think it’s fitting we conclude our Pixar Series with a review to Brave.
Brave is very different to any other Pixar of Disney animated film. Although Merida is considered one of the Disney Princesses, she most certainly breaks tradition. In addition, Brave is also the first Pixar feature to be directed by a female, Brenda Chapman. She also became the first female to win an Oscar for Best Animated Feature. Brave represents a triumph for females whilst providing us with an interesting enough story and ground breaking animation.
The first tradition that Merida breaks is that she is the true heroine of the film. Admittedly a lot of Disney Princesses play large parts in their respective films, but most of the time they are shared with a Prince or male counterpart, and they have romantic tones. Merida is not interested in finding a suitor just yet, she has other interests that she wishes to pursue, like super accurate archery and kick-ass sword fighting. In fact for once, all the males in this film serve as supporting cast members to the real heroines, Merida and Queen Elinor. Brave highlights to us, that females can be heroes too. This is refreshing, considering that Hollywood is very much a male-driven industry. Brave is almost an invitation to female FilmMakers to make their stance. The feminist tones in brave echo George Miller’s Fury Road, in a good way.
The second tradition that Merida breaks to the Disney Princesses line-up is that she does not end up with a charming Prince and lives happy ever after. This is also fine, considering that she is barely a teenager, but it also highlights that traditions are meant to be broken sometimes. As we make progress as a society, certain old traditions must be changed, and new ones need to come forward. That is the only way that we can evolve as a race. Sometimes it amazes me of what we as a race considered OK. Females having an equal say in politics has only been a rather recent change in tradition, and perhaps more relevant is the opportunities afforded to females in the workplace. I believe in gender equality, and I also believe that Brave is a wholesome reminder that this is a relevant issue today.
I must admit that Brave is not one of my favourite Pixar instalments. Although it is a technical marvel, there are elements of the story that are lacking in emotional depth. Don’t get me wrong, the story is very creative and original, but there is a lot of focus on ‘slap-stick’ comedy, which is great if you’re seven. Where most Pixar films have a lot of adult relate-ability, Brave has more children relate-ability, which is fine, but it’s not what we are accustomed to, from Pixar. Brave is essential viewing because of the lesson we can learn from it, but is clearly not Pixar’s best.
To conclude our Pixar Series I would like to provide a couple of listings.
TOP 5 PIXAR FEATURES
TOP 5 PIXAR SHORT FILMS
We hope you’ve enjoyed our Pixar Series! If you have any review requests, please feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or just leave a comment below. Stay Tuned!
TRIVIA COOKIES: Brave is dedicated to Steve Jobs. If you notice, the only thing that Merida eats in the film are apples. Most of the time she only manages to take one bite out of the apple, a direct nod to Apple’s logo. Steve Jobs passed during the production of this film.
Pizza Plant Truck anyone?
A113 appears in roman numerals this time as ACXIII, it can be seen faintly above the door here: