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Katy England Katy England
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Brave' - Pixar's first heroine gets weak story

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Pixar, which is famous for its vibrant movies, original and humorous characters, seemed to be able to do no wrong. It could knock sequels out of the park with box office numbers envied by all those around them. So I was incredibly excited when I first started hearing about 'Brave,' which at first was nothing more than a screenshot of a feisty red-haired archer. This was to be Pixar's first female heroine - how cool! Too bad they traded in all of their original and creative storytelling for tired tropes and clichs.

'Brave' centers around Merida, a fiery Celtic princess who is chafing under her mother's lessons in being a lady. She would rather be out gallivanting with her horse Angus and plunking targets with her bow. When she finds out that she's to be betrothed to one of the three eldest sons of the local clans she is determined to change her fate. Stop me if you've heard this one before Oh, you probably have. Hold on, I need to finish.

Seeking to avoid her fate, she finds a witch in the woods who cooks up a spell to help change her mother. It works to disastrous effect, and Merida has only two days to mend these things before it means war for her clan and doom for her mother.

The movie itself is gorgeous, with stunning virtual landscapes that capture the hauntingly magical feel of the ancient Celts. But pretty pictures don't make a movie. Compelling characters and good writing go a long way, and that's really where this movie falls apart. The story of a gal trapped by birth into being a lady has been done to death and if you feel compelled to do it again, you're going to have to bring more to the table than red hair and some slapstick. Pixar didn't. So it feels flat funny, since you can see it in 3D.

Don't get me wrong; there are some moments of real emotion, mostly towards the end. But it's hard to get invested in a movie when you feel like you know what's going to happen from the get go. It isn't even a bad movie - it's a fine film to take the kiddos to on a rainy afternoon. But it's just not what I'd expect from Pixar.

3 out of 5

Last modified on Thursday, 19 July 2012 12:35

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