"Brave" is the story a mother and daughter who don't seem to see eye to eye. There is a constant struggle between tradition and choosing ones own path, but both fail to see the middle ground. Merida wants to be free and see the world, but Elinor, her mother, wants her to be a proper princess. The story tells us that we might have our own thoughts and ways of doing things, but we also have to be careful of what might be the outcome. The message is pretty good, but I feel it loses sight in its second act, were they focus on humor more so than telling a compelling story.
The film is directed well and there are so many powerful moments. One in particular is the fight between Merida and Elinor and after the fight is over Elinors reaction put a lump in my throat. However, I felt the story wasn't paced very well. The beginning is marvelous and feels like the story is going to be very grand, but the second half bogs everything down. Emotions are left for humor. The humor in the film is hit or miss and more misses than hits. They are childish, but what's worse about is that it pulls you out of some really heart wrenching moments. There isn't a balance between the heart and humor, which is rather disappointing.
Characters are fine, my personal favorite is the dad, King Fergus. He's like a big likable bear. Merida is good, but she could have used more polish, aside from archery she doesn't have an identity of her own. Elinor is good too, but in the second act she loses herself much like the film. The relationship between Merida and Elinor is something to marvel at because it is so real and genuine. We feel the love they have for one another, but we also see why they can't stand each other. I really felt this story would delve more into their relationship, but in the second act it feels more like a buddy comedy only towards the end does the film realize that the story is about a mother and daughter.
It's Pixar and one thing you can guarantee is that the animation is going to push the envelop and "Brave" is no exception. The scenery is grand and lavishing, it feels so alive. The character animations are so good and you'll know what I mean when you watch it, just look at the way Merida moves. Everything is refined and I really felt as if this was a mystical area some where in Scotland.
Overall "Brave" is a decent flick. The animation is gorgeous and the songs and score are good as well. The beginning of the film is fantastic and really pulls you into the story and hypes you up for where it might go. However, the second act bogs everything down, the humor becomes juvenile, interest in characters are lost, and the story doesn't know what it wants to do. It goes from and endearing story about a mother daugher relationships to a buddy comedy focused and cheap laughs. I really did want to like this film, but it left me disappointed with only frustration when I look back on it now. I give a low 3.5/5, great animation, even better opening, but the rest of the film leaves more to be desired.