Okay, question . . . am I the only one who honestly didn't really like Brave all that much? I mean, I really hate to say it because I LOVE Pixar. My expectations for Pixar's movies are always so high because they make unbelievably amazing ones. I was so excited for this movie and my expectations were that it would be freaking marvelous. Pfft. But after seeing it with my friends (one of which who knows exactly what I'm talking about) about a week ago, and having time to really digest it, it just didn't . . . reach my expectations for a Pixar movie. This is a movie I would maybe expect from Dreamworks. And don't get me wrong, I freaking love Dreamworks and the majority of their movies, but . . . to me Dreamworks usually uses more slapstick humor and is usually more raunchy, which I don't necessarily mind, but it's expected, but . . . from Pixar? No, not really. I look back at their movies like Up and Finding Nemo and Toy Story. Yes, they had slapstick humor in there at some point, but . . . not for the majority of the movie. They also had more developed stories and characters. Brave just didn't seem like a Pixar movie to me; it didn't have the same feel to it. Visually it didit was freaking beautiful and I would never ever diss on thatbut story-wise and character-wise . . . not so much.
NOW WE GET TO SPOILERS. SO GET OUT IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN IT.
Lets first start off with Merida. I love her character design and I was absolutely thrilled to finally get a female protagonist from a Pixar film. I was really excited for the headstrong, "I want my freedom" attitude from her . . . but what I mostly got was her being kind of a . . . brat. Okay, okay, I understand that she didn't want to get marriedthat she was the rebellious girl who realized that being married off without a choice was wrongbut the way she acted about it was kind of irritating. I mean, Fergus, her father, literally lets her do what she wants, so then her mother Elinor turns into the bad parent figure because she's the one pestering her about how to be a princess, which essentially Merida will have to become eventually unless maybe she were to run away. I mean, that'd be a bit daring and following her so-called pathrunning away and starting a new life since she can't see to actually sit down with her mom and actually talk to her about this. I mean, she goes on and on about following her path and wanting her freedom, but she never exactly makes the attempt until she accidently stumbles upon a witch.
Another problem I had was that . . . it felt so rushed. I'm pretty sure this movie only took up maybe two days once her mother was turned into a bear. I feel like it could have been stretched over maybe a week (and then spell/curse would have to be extended as well) to really imply and show a real bond between mother and daughter, so the audience could really take in that they're getting along and understanding each other. I felt like I never had time to sit there and be depressed. Like, when they're in the forest in the rain sleeping under that tree they had maybe fifteen seconds of moping and then suddenly it's all happy in the morning. I was like, "W-Wait, I . . . I didn't . . . LET ME ME MOPE FOR A DAMN MINUTE OR TWO! "
Something else that bothered me was the mom as a bear. Okay, I didn't mind that she was going to be a bear because I was aware of this happening, but . . . the majority of the time she was a bear she was focused on adjusting her crown and walking on two feet. I mean, it was appropriate when she woke up a bear and was extremely overwhelmed and afraid that she's a freaking bear, but . . . I felt like that went on too long. It was funny for maybe the first five minutes, but after that I was . . . seriously waiting for some real humor. Maybe it seemed to go on so long because it only happened for TWO DAYS. Sigh. And what irritated me was that it said she'd turn into a real bear when the sun rises, but . . . I felt like there wasn't enough of her acting like a bear. When they went to go get fish it was like she had no instincts at all. Her becoming the scary bear persona happened maybe twice and they were brief . . . I don't really know how to explain that. I guess it didn't bother me as much as some other things.
The witch. I seriously thought the witch was going to play a bigger role. And did ANYONE else have THIS FACE: when Merida asked for that spell? She said something along the lines of needing to change her fate, but . . . She didn't even tell the witch what the hell was going on! It kind of implied that the witch already knew, but . . . WTF. Merida wasn't very specific about what exactly she wanted. There was no, "My mother is trying to get me to marry some guy that I won't love, I need something to change that." Merida's wish was SO VAGUE that it was literally asking to turn out all wrong. I mean, (okay I'm going to reference another movie) at least Ariel from The Little Mermaid made a clear wish and knew what the hell she could lose if she didn't succeed. The problem is that Merida completely trusted this witch and didn't even know what the hell she was going to get! For all she knew the freaking cake or whatever it was, could have killed her mother. Wouldn't that have had an impact on changing her fate? I'm sure that would have stalled the whole marriage thing, maybe even extinguished it. I don't mind naive characters because they end up learning something in the end (*looks over at Ariel* . . . erm, mostly), but the fact that Merida didn't even stop to think this over and just did it was kind of irritating. I understand that she was upset, but . . . that seems a little selfish though. She wasn't actually changing her fate with some dignity. She didn't personally change her fate, a witch did it for her and Merida was strung along with it. It would have made more of an impact on me if Merida had to go on some sort of quest to follow her own fate or path or whatever. That would have been strong-willed, but all Merida really didn't was whine about that and . . . I dunno. She did make a whole-heart attempt to save her mother, but . . . that was her fault. Pfft.
I was also expecting the witch to come back later in the movie, but she never freaking does. I was mostly expecting that the whole "I'm going away to a spring fair (or whatever the hell it was, I can't remember and Wiki isn't saying anything, pfft)" was just a little excuse, so that way Merida wouldn't rely on her. I thought the witch would be watching the entire thing unfold or something, so that way at the end of the movie she could have said some wise words or something. However, she is a witch after-all and they can be mischievous and ultimately can mess up people's lives, but . . . I felt like she was only there to give her the spell and to be some humor, that's it. Never comes back, nothing. She isn't a villain, but she isn't a good guy, so ultimately she's kind of pointless. She's just there to be the element that changes Merida's mother into a bear. I'd ask what the hell the witch would be gaining from the whole thing, but . . . she did get to sell all her carvings, which . . . was kind of weird. I thought that would just be a cover-up, not an actual hobby of hers. I was expecting that she'd gain something from Merida (aside from the money) by giving her that spell/curse, kind of like Ursula from The Little Mermaid (I'll stop comparing, I promiiiisee). I mean, Ursula gained people's souls or what-not, and Ariel was giving up hers and her voice for the time being, but . . . Merida on the other had wasn't knowingly sacrificing anything at the time. Sure, later she finds out that she's essentially sacrificing her mother, but . . . she wasn't aware because she made the vaguest wish ever.
And . . . the wisps. I didn't really understand that (which is especially ironic considering that when I was eleven I had written a story with magical things called wisps in them and I didn't even know what exactly they were. WTF). I don't mind magical elements in stories, but you have to explain them. All I got from it was they're magical thingies that lead you somewhere that you need to go. That's it. No explanation as to what exactly they are, they just are. I mean, maybe they could have clarified that the wisps were spirits of people or animals or past kings and queens or something. Work with me here! D: And can anyone see them? Is it rare for people to come across them? I mean, at first it almost seemed like Merida's parents didn't believe she saw them in the forest when she was a little girl and wandered off to find her arrow. Note: After looking up what a wisp is (also known as a will-o'-the-wisp) they're a ghostly light seen by travelers at night that recede when approached, and they draw travelers from the safe paths. And there's all these things on how they're spirits of the dead or fairies or whatever . . . but did it ever explain that in the movie? I mean, my memory isn't that great, but I swore they never really said what exactly they were, other than how they lead you to your fate or whatever . . . even though it's said they lead travelers off the path, sometimes to their death. Woops. I mean, I honestly don't care if Pixar changes what the wisps do . . . but please clarify what they hell they are. D:
I'm aware that the triplets were just there for humor, but . . . I felt like they needed a bigger part to the story. Pfftt. I mean, honestly, what was the point in them changing into the bears? . . . humor. And the witch claimed that the cake would change Merida's fate because her mother would eat it. Does that mean her fate changed again because her brothers also ate the cake . . . ? I don't . . . understand. Ugh. And I felt like NO ONE was worried about the boys. Their father was too busy fighting with the other clans to even check up on them or Merida. I understand that they had a nanny, but . . . SHE'S FREAKING AFRAID OF EVERYTHING. And on top of that, the boys always get away with stuff when she watches them! . . . so really what was her purpose? . . . oh, right, slapstick humor. There it is again. Her and the boys were full of it. . . . I didn't mind it coming from the triplets, but the fact that it was coming from everywhere was what bothered me. It was radiating off the clans (annnnnd it was really raunchy to say the least) and the mother when she was a bear. I felt like that should have been coming from a Dreamworks movie like How to Train Your Dragon, but even that movie with all the vikings had more subtle humor and some dignity, which surprised me to no end).
Something this movie lacked was a proper villan. I mean, Mor'du was a prince who had turned into a bear after he got his wish from the witch (what's with her and bears anyway?). It wasn't like he was planning on killing or hurting people, he was just a wild bear. I mean, technically it's a spell/curse, but she said that he (and Merida's mother) would turn into a real bear . . . and real bear equals extremely rabid and violent . . . bear? What. So, was he still under the curse and that for some reason made him really violent (not like an actual bear, unless provoked), or . . . was he not and . . . that just . . . that doesn't make sense to me.
Also, because the wisps weren't explained, I thought maybe the prince was the cause of the wisps. Like, he's the wisps looking for help or something. I felt like that's what it kind of implied because he had that same blue aura stuff, but . . . after he moved on, the wisps were still there. I mean, how would someone know that he wasn't the cause of the wisps if it isn't explained that the wisps are people's spirits? It makes sense now, but . . . ugghhh. DX
Now, I don't feel that every story should have romance in it, but . . . because marriage was involved in this, and it made a point that Merida wanted to choose someone that she would like to marry, I felt like it should have been brushed upon. When all the clans had grouped together I thought that maybe she'd walk out and meet some of the guys and show that she's freaking amazing and that maybe she'd find a guy that is equally amazing and they could have took a liking to one another. Not to the point where they're suddenly like, "OMG LETS GET MARRIED." (even though they were going to force her to marry someone anyway). Pfft. I dunno. I only say this because . . . Merida never made a point that she didn't want to marry a complete stranger or get married at all, and wanted to be by herself for . . . quite a while. I think this one's more opinion than anything, and I don't know exactly where I'm going with this, but . . . something just felt missing.
I also felt that it was weird how the entirety of the movie was basically Merida hiding her mother away. I didn't exactly expect it to be one of those movies, kind of like how Hiccup had to hide Toothless away from everyone else in How to Train Your Dragon. I thought that it would be more about Merida doing something to follow her own path and . . . god, I don't know anymore. And, speaking of How to Train Your Dragon, I felt like . . . they were really similar, which scares me. Annnnnnd Dreamworks did it better, which scares me even more, even though I really love them too.
The thing is, when I see a Dreamworks movie, my expectations are usually much lower than the expectations that I have for a Pixar movie. My expectations for Brave were really high, which is why it really disappointed me when it was . . . not that great of a movie to me. My expectations for How to Train Your Dragon were definitely lower. I mean, I had been waiting and waiting for that movie, and I was extremely excited for it like any other animated movie, but . . . typically my expectations are just lower for Dreamworks movies. So when I saw How to Train Your Dragon my mind was seriously BLOWN. I had grown so attached to the characters, and I freaking sobbed like a baby during the entire last part of the movie because I genuinely thought shit was going to go down. But with Brave . . . I didn't cry. I didn't cry at all. I felt kind of bad at the end, but . . . I didn't cry. I hadn't grown attached to any of the characters like I had wanted to. And typically I get emotional during animated movies. Something went wrong with this one for me. D:
Speaking of the end, was anyone else expecting a HUGE light or something? Like, a freaking beautiful transformation? Kind of like in Shrek? I was seriously waiting for that. It killed it for me. Killed it because it felt rushed. She was a bear and then suddenly she's just back to normal. No light, no anything. Merida didn't even notice that the fur on her mother's bear body had suddenly disappeared and that there was an immense change of size of what she was hugging, until she looked at her mother. No big deal. I was like, "The hell? Did I just . . . what? Did I freaking miss something? Did I black out for a minute there? WHAT? D:"
And while everyone was concerned for Merdia's mother being a bear, NO ONE questioned why the hell the triplets were bears too. No one. No one really commented and worried about them staying bears forever too. I just . . . . . . also, I found it weird that after a day of Merida hanging out with her mother fishing and whatever while she was a bear was enough for her to change her mind about the whole thing. "Oh, remember that age-old custom we've had for basically forever? Well, because we hung out today and bonded a little (even though because I'm a bear I still don't get the chance to really sit down and talk about this with you) I'm going to decide that you don't have to do it, so essentially because of your mistake, and your attempt of turning me back to normal, I'm going to reward you by letting you choose your own fate." . . . that's what it felt like to me. Did Merida really earn her freedom? Did she really choose her own fate, or was just she cleaning up the mess she had made? I felt like after her mother was turned back, they needed to have a little moment where they clarify that Merida can choose her own fate. I felt like the ending would have been the perfect time for that. But, instead, it shows them riding off on horses with their hair free in the wind and . . . okay, so does this mean Merida's done being prepared as the princess? That she's ultimately learned everything there is to know about being one, because it doesn't . . . seem that way. Is she just . . . suddenly not going to be a princess now? I don't . . . I know that she had learned to project her voice and take the initiative during that encounter with the clans while they were fighting inside their home, but . . . that's not really proof she's ready.
I don't know what happened. I seriously don't. I feel like they could have done so much more with this movie. I don't want to say that I didn't like it. I don't want to say that Pixar didn't do as good of a job as they should have. I love them and just . . . ugh. This depresses me, especially since no one really seems to understand what I'm saying here. Pfft. D:
I mean, obviously people can have different opinions and I don't mind if you either loved this movie with a burning passion or hated it. I was just . . . disappointed. I felt like it was mostly aimed towards children that are going to laugh at all the slapstick humor and not actually care about the plot. Don't get me wrong, kids understand a lot when they're younger and watch movies. I think back to when I watched animated movies and cartoons and I'll admit that I understood enough (though, I missed all those adult innuendos like every other kid, ahahaa). But, here's the thing, there's no excuse for children to watch garbage. Brave is no where near garbage to say the least, but I do feel like the people who were in charge of this movie were underestimating its audience a little. I felt like they didn't take enough chances, that they didn't take enough time to really tell a story. Maybe the movie itself was a bit of a chance. I mean, it had more of a . . . yeah, I'm going to say it, a Dreamworks feel to it. Dreamworks is known for all that quirky, daring, "I'm not a freaking perfect character, so you can suck it." I mean, Shrek was like a big, "Fuck you" to Disney. . . . I guess what I'm trying to say is that Brave didn't fill in the expectations of a Pixar movie, but . . . just the expectations of any other animated movie.
The freaking movie is gorgeous. The dark atmosphere is absolutely appropriate and definitely freaking loved, and the character designs are amazing. I was seriously ready to reach out and touch Merida's hair, I was so in love with it. And despite the fact that I didn't exactly like the story or . . . how exactly it was presented to the audience, but it was still fun to watch and I did enjoy a lot of the slapstick humor. I don't hate slapstick humor, it's just that I don't necessarily like when that's about the only humor the movie has. And I also enjoyed the accents. Ahhhh, accents . . . even though real Scottish people from that time period would have had unrecognizable accents and we wouldn't be able to understand them. But, that of course, isn't important because we need to understand what they're saying. Pfftt. XDDD
I loved the little flashbacks. Little Merida was adorable and the song her mother and her sang together when it was storming outside made me all fluffy. I think that was one of my favorite parts out of everything. Pfft. That mother-daughter moment was golden.
And the action was definitely great, definitely dark for a Pixar movie, and that was much appreciated by someone who isn't under the age of ten. Anyone under the age of ten probably won't agree. LOL.
EDIT: StarSongs brings up a good point: the trailer was very misleading (and holy crap, I hate when companies do that shit). Honestly, when I saw the first trailer I thought it would be about Merida fighting for her own hand and defending herself so she wouldn't be married off. But after seeing the second trailer and some of the others, I realized that it would be about her hiding away her mother and turning her back. Pfft. Which . . . wasn't really what I wanted to watch in a way. I much rather would have wanted to watch a girl fighting for her freedom and proving a point in that competition for her handshe shouldn't have to be married off to some guy if she doesn't want to, and that she's her own independent person. I think that would have been more interesting if it hadn't been about their mother-daughter bond. Like, that could have been a side-story, not the main one. I feel like the movie got side-tracked . . . with itself. . . . and now that I think about it, the whole villain part of it almost seems slapped in. Pfft.
Soooo . . . yeah. I needed to get that off my chest. If you'd like to share your opinions, that is very much welcomed. I'm . . . going to go lay down and think about what I have just done. XDDD