And then there is her quirky, medusa-like, character-of-its-own red hair… Disney/Pixar’s Brave

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Maybe I am just becoming an old curmudgeon (or, in this case, McCurmudgeon), but I didn’t enjoy the latest Disney/Pixar offering Brave. I found it a chore to slog through this albeit very pretty, lush, liltingly-soundtracked film.

There are true moments of authentic enchantment early in the film as we are introduced to the very non-princess-y Disney princess Merida, the apple of her Scottish clan king father’s eye and the bane of her queen mother’s existence. Early sequences beautifully illustrate the joy Merida experiences from interacting with her horse Angus (who, by the way, was my favorite character in the film) and from exploring the beautiful countryside. And then there is her quirky, medusa-like, character-of-its-own red hair…how many animators did THAT take…and will her tresses be their own thrill ride at DisneyWorld soon? Emma Thompson and Billy Connolly do wonderful voice work as the royal couple, and Kelly MacDonald has a sparky, sparkly, yet soothing voice perfect for animation.

HOWEVER, once the film ventures into spooky/witch cauldron/floating purple sprite territory, I tuned (or should that be tooned?) out. I just didn’t care. I didn’t know why Merida and her mom were THAT irritated with each other, nor why the whole kingdom is phobic about bears or anything that possibly resembles a bear. AND this is probably where I will lose you, dear reader, but the whole affair seemed more DreamWorks (or Tarantino) than Disney: kilt jokes (and what may or may not be under them), fathers losing their legs, and animal trophies and hatchets as zany “comic” props seemed wildly out-of-place, ugly, mean-spirited, and jarring. But again, I could just be cranky and old…though I would argue this film (like the disappointing Cars 2 before it, and what appears to be a clunky feature in the upcoming Monsters University) does not have the warmth, whimsy, or joy of any of Pixar’s previous offerings.

2 thoughts on “And then there is her quirky, medusa-like, character-of-its-own red hair… Disney/Pixar’s Brave

  1. uncle walt is my hero…and nobody does it better…i need to be 5 again viewing the genius artistry of a magician who created bambi and pinnochio and cinderella and all of them there types…but then i am stilll locked within the golden age of tv, too…and only mad men have risen to my expectations from my seminars from the 1950s when fixated upon the magnificent boob tube. and nobody can top the late 30s and 40s for any kind of film whatsoever. you talk about old! ;D

  2. With my viewing of this film, I am completely there with you. I have had moments of hope that some of the Disney folk of thelast twenty years have almost approached some of Walt’s classic works…but after seeing this, I think those were all false starts, alas. Love your comments here, and you aren’t old…you have classic tastes!

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