Thoughts: I can see why Brave doesn't live up to Pixar's usual levels of greatness, as the film feels like a bunch of different scene and moment ideas strung together be loose connective tissue. That said though, the humour is as strong as ever, and the voice acting and animation are top-notch. Even though the film seems to be almost entirely predicated on and revolving around violence in and of itself. I'm not saying that's a problem, just pointing it out. Perhaps something to do with the source material/historical culture?
"Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse."
Family is first and foremost with this particular outing. The bonds that form with blood. Brave makes the familial setting work well with the ideas, and the effects stand out the most from the rest: like the interplay between the various family members and their ways of communicating with one another- even down to the little boy rascals, especially in the latter half of the flick. So you have to give Pixar credit for that once again.
But the violence I mentioned, yeah. It was quite odd when I realized that. Right from the get go, violence is what makes this whole movie tick. Violence from the first scene opens the flick, and sets the path for their family's feud with a vicious, magical bear. Violence is how the family members communicate, and how they greet the other clans and their suitors for the young Merida. Violence is how situations are handled, and how problems arise in the first place. Violence everywhere. Which makes sense I guess, everything everywhere is just sex and violence. But the movie makes it really really clear, if you pay attention. You could say it is unnerving, I personally say it is honest.
But the movie does falter a bit in its pacing and structure. It never really hits its stride, preferring to bounce around from point to moment. Don;t get me wrong, there is definitely a story and throughline. Its just not nearly as snappy or well constructed as some of Pixar's earlier work.
The voice work really works well, and the animation is superb. I personally loved the way the mother moved once she came down with her particular affliction in the second half. Very well done.
I enjoyed it. Don't know if I'd watch it again though.