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I wanted so badly to love it....

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I wanted so badly to love it....

Postby CGI Clownfish » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:44 pm

SPOILERS AHEAD. WARNING YA NOW.

Ugh......I wanted SO BADLY to love this movie. :( I'm Scottish on both sides of my family from at least 4 different clans, including the Wallace clan of William Wallace, and I am deeply in touch with these roots. I always dreamed Pixar would make a film that took place in Scotland, and I got all hyped when they finally announced it.

And honestly, when the film started, it was all I had hoped for. THAT OPENING SONG was just epic and I could literally feel my Scottish blood perk up and race through my veins. :D The song and visuals are simply stunning. And I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to race bareback on a horse through a land like Scotland, and there it was in front of me.

But.....eh. I don't know if it's just me, but Merida drove me crazy. I had a hard time feeling any sympathy for her. Maybe it was because I was so used to seeing this type of character, but never had I seen one so.....snappy about wanting to be headstrong and free. I wound up feeling a lot more sympathy for Elinor through the whole thing. She seemed to at least be trying to fix things between them. And after she broke Merida's bow, she DID get it out and seemed genuinely horrified that she had done what she did. While Merida was like "FORGET THAT I DESTROYED A VISUAL REPRESENTATION OF OUR RELATIONSHIP YOU WORKED SO HARD ON, HOW COULD YOU!!"

Sorry. The film was absolutely gorgeous and I was really happy to see them finally take on a land like Scotland and do it as beautifully as they did.... I just really...didn't...like...Merida.... That, and this felt a lot more like a Disney movie to me than a Pixar movie. I almost feel like something like Tangled fits more as a Pixar movie than Brave turned out to be.

Am I alone on this?
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Re: I wanted so badly to love it....

Postby albinotanuki » Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:06 am

I feel the same way as you do about the movie.
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Re: I wanted so badly to love it....

Postby Leirin » Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:21 pm

I've grown fond of it and even like Merida, but I can fully understand what you're saying, especially if you had a lot of expectations. I kind of wish the film were a bit longer so we'd see more aspects of Merida's character other than being stubborn and wanting freedom. Now, there IS a lot more to her character than just that, but it'd have been refreshing to see her in more casual situations than squarely conflict with her mother so we could sympathize with her more.
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Re: I wanted so badly to love it....

Postby IncredigirlVirginia » Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:31 pm

I do like the film, but I was disappointed. My frustration is really from a group if things rather than this single film. I am so tired of the whole "brash young girl defies parents" plot/theme/genre.
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Re: I wanted so badly to love it....

Postby Ballboi » Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:41 am

I feel a bit disappointed too. The beginning of the film is simply fantastic as it 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 a bit too juvenile, interest in the characters is lost, and the story doesn't know where it wants to go. It goes from being an endearing story about a mother daughter relationship to a buddy comedy which focuses on cheap laughs. I really did want to enjoy this film, but it left me feeling disappointed with only frustration when I look back on it now. I'd probably give it a B-, great animation, even better opening, but the rest leaves a lot to be desired.
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Re: I wanted so badly to love it....

Postby Leirin » Sat Dec 07, 2013 7:57 pm

IncredigirlVirginia wrote:I do like the film, but I was disappointed. My frustration is really from a group if things rather than this single film. I am so tired of the whole "brash young girl defies parents" plot/theme/genre.

Yeah, I feel you with that. I understand (at least originally) a lot of the intention behind the film was for Brenda Chapman to illustrate her relationship with her daughter, but I feel like it could have been made less... antagonistic, I guess? Of course things do come together well at the end when they grow a better understanding from each other and wind up on peaceful terms, but for a large part of the movie it kind of just feels like Merida purposefully driving her mother crazy.
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Re: I wanted so badly to love it....

Postby IncredigirlVirginia » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:20 pm

Exactly. They could have shown the strain on the relationship in a better light. In the commentary they say this is Merida's story. Well personally I found Elinor more understandable and sympathetic. I understand that Merida doesn't want to get married, but she doesn't even try to be reasonable about it or see her mom's perspective. Honestly Merida is like Tiana or Pocahontas for me, I don't like her personality, but I like her movie and her design.
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Re: I wanted so badly to love it....

Postby lennonluvr9 » Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:22 pm

I agree with a lot of the points made here. Merida did not come across as very likable to me and I could tell by some remarks I heard that she had that same effect on other people in the theater. I agree that the animation is amazing, and I like the score. To me Merida seemed not only stubborn but very selfish.
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Re: I wanted so badly to love it....

Postby bright dot-dasher » Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:54 am

First off, I think it's really cool how you could feel the excitement of your Scottish roots at the start of the movie. :D This movie has gotten me more interested in Scottish culture.

And I wanted to love it, too. For me, I was excited because I love fantasy and this was like, Pixar's first fantasy (with magic)! A fantasy by my favorite animation studio! I was geeking out at the will-o'-wisps. I got excited with hearing the music. I LOVE the animation. And I like how the characters all had accents, too, to make it more real.

It was not what I expected though. I love the really headstrong character Merida who's just being herself like nobody's business, and I could relate to some parts of her like not being ready to grow up. But she turned out to be kind of a brat with the way she treated her mother. One of the problems I have with society is how easily they'll support a girl being tough just for the sake of her being tough, even when she's hurting others. And quite a few people seem to think Merida is just standing up for herself but I think she really went too far.

But now that I think about it, I think that was the point, actually. The point was that she seemed like she would be in the right, as so many teenagers in real life can relate to her. But then she takes it too far and both she and Elinor make mistakes. I feel like the point was that both sides needed to be listened to. What I actually like about it compared to other films about teenagers deciding to do their own thing is that it considers the parent/traditional point of view and doesn't bash old ways in favor of the new. Elinor was the more proper, graceful type but she wasn't portrayed as weak because of it - she had a certain power in being calm. I think we're supposed to feel sympathy for Elinor, and that was supposed to surprise us, because usually a lot of movies have the parents be totally wrong while the children are right. Brave showed both sides could be right and wrong.

So Brave has grown on me a bit now. I still think it could have been better, and I get what you mean feeling like this wasn't Pixar's style. I think considering it was Pixar I had higher expectations for the building of the relationships. Pixar movies usually are more realistic about relationships, showing friendships and bonds growing over a longer period of time, gradually. While Disney movies give it about two days. So I feel like Brave could have used more in the middle when Merida and Elinor were out in the wild, instead of having them change their minds in two days.
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Re: I wanted so badly to love it....

Postby IncredigirlVirginia » Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:20 pm

That is exactly why I like this film instead of loving it. Merida is unbearable, pun intended. Elinor is much more likable and understandable.
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Re: I wanted so badly to love it....

Postby The Star Swordsman » Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:32 pm

I honestly think this movie is my second least favorite Pixar movie. I ended up thinking the movie was ok. I wanted to at least like it. And after the "Touch the Sky" archery bit, i had some high hopes. But it felt it was lacking something, or it felt weak.
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Re: I wanted so badly to love it....

Postby Dillinger » Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:02 pm

I agree with that The Star Swordsman The movie looks beautiful but the story didn't give me that Pixar feeling.
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Re: I wanted so badly to love it....

Postby Frightwolf » Sun Jun 21, 2015 1:42 am

I feel you, OP. When I first heard the plot synopsis -- a princess wants to break free of her shackles, plan her own life, but makes a deal that threatens the land she lives -- man, I thought they were going to knock our socks off. But it felt so small. Most of the movie took place around the castle, most of the characters were unmemorable, and for a princess who seeks adventure, there didn't seem to be much of any. You could tell this went through a troubled development: the opening of the film seems like something fantastic, yet afterward, it just, I dunno, closes itself off, becomes less of an epic tale, and... eh.

I do wish they would have kept the name The Bear and the Bow, even though it wouldn't have solved any of the problems with the movie. It's just a way better name!
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Re: I wanted so badly to love it....

Postby ellie-jessie-eve » Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:29 pm

I actually really loved it on the first viewing, and have not liked it as much since then.
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Re: I wanted so badly to love it....

Postby Wee Dingwall » Wed Aug 17, 2016 2:11 pm

First post! :D :D :D

I'm afraid I will have to disagree.

Firstly, I feel that the mother-daughter dynamic is portrayed realistically, even during the argument scene. The body language is well done, and the intonations of the voices are perfect with how they fit in. Merida's characterisation is only really out of sorts when her Elinor turns into a bear, and even then it's minor. Being faced with a forced marriage isn't an easy thing.

For what it's worth, her apology at the end is really brilliant. That's the kind of scene that wouldn't work at all with a male character (i.e Fergus) and would seem a bit sexist (see Zootropolis). But they pull it off really well - making it exclusively a mother-daughter thing. The scene where Merida makes her speech to the clans is also one of the best scenes in the movie; it's just what it needed to be. Merida was going to accept marrying Wee Dingwall in order to get her mum up to the tapestry. That shows the transition rather well. Then Queen Elinor surprises us by changing her mind - another transition. And of course there's the line where Merida looks straight at the Elinor - and us - and says "...and mend our bond".

But, for me, the best scene (for me) is the fishing scene. The music matches it perfectly.

Brave is Pixar's most underrated movie. And I don't just mean 'it's actually a bit better than you might have hoped', I mean on a par with Monsters, Inc., UP and the Toy Stories. The animation, music (we have Patrick Doyle, Alex Mandel, Julie Fowlis, Mumford & Sons and Birdy to thank), the plot, the acting (like the flashback when they're singing, the apology scene), the casting, and the humour (it's surprisingly funny) are all great. In my opinion, this is one of the three best Pixar films so far (along with Finding Nemo and Ratatouille.
Last edited by Wee Dingwall on Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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