BRAVE - A Pixar Hit or Miss?

6 years ago
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Our family saw the new Pixar movie BRAVE today.   Although this movie was not as heartwarming as UP or Toy Story, we all really enjoyed it.  When it comes to  Pixar films, expectations are high.  There are great lessons to take from the story about a family dealing with issues pretty similar to our own.  I think Brave does for Mother-Daughter relationships what Finding Nemo did for Fathers and Sons.  Her bright orange hair alone is a real visual treat for the eyes.  Great family movie, especially for Mothers and Daughters to see together.  

Why is Brave rated PG ?   One scene has the men lifting their kilts,  baring their digitally enhanced bare bottoms and there are a few scenes  with a mean bear that may scare some little children. 

The teenage girl - wanting to do her own thing, thinking she is old enough to make her own choices.  Even if that means going against her parents  wishes.  The Mother -  trying to teach her only daughter about responsibility, tradition and how to act like a lady.  Knowing from experience, the expectations of a princess.  The Brothers - three little guys full of energy, mischievous and funny.  They love their family but still enjoy a good prank or two at a family members expense.  They are just as cute as can be and when their sister and mother are threatened, they become a real force to be reckoned with.  The Father - A big, strong manly man who likes to have fun.  He is silly at times and serious when he needs to be.  He relates to his daughters love of archery, admires her independent spirit and you know he will be proud of and love his daughter no matter what she chooses to do with her life.

I sat next to my daughter in the theater today.  About 20 minutes into the movie, I was already wiping a tear or two from my cheek.  Merida and her mother have a relationship that is all to familiar.  I have a daughter who is not always thrilled with the things I say,  the things I do or  the things I want her to be, so the message of the film hit close to home.  It can be very hard to let our children make their own choices.  Especially if those choices are not something a Mother would usually approve of.  Parenting is hard.  That's why I got all emotional during the film.  It was the same as when I first watched Dumbo & Bambi!  Poor Bambi's mother died - so sad.  Dumbo was separated from his mother, and they were mean to her - even more sad.  

Since watching BRAVE I have heard a few friends of mine say they were a bit disappointed with the movie. I was surprised but after talking with them I figured out why.  One of those friends is in her 40's, married and has never had children. She LOVED the movie UP because she could totally relate to the couple and the loss of a child. She was expecting BRAVE to make her feel that same sort of connection but this is a very different movie.

I had one friend who thought showing the naked bottoms of men in "skirts" was inappropriate, a family member who wanted a better ending  (where the princess finds her prince) and I listened to a neighbor of mine explain how the story was too predictable.  She thought the mean black bear should have turned into a love interest of sorts.  It's all about expectations.  Movie critics know what the want to see in a good movie but they expect very different things than say, a parent who their takes family to the theater, just wanting to be entertained and have quality family time. Expect nothing and you'll be pleasantly surprised.

I've sat through mind numbing movies like - Beverly Hills Chihuahua,  POKEMON or Fury Vengeance. My high expectations of getting superior quality in a film targeted at children?  That ship sailed long ago! So, go I say.....Go see BRAVE if you don't expect the movie to change your life for the better. Don't see this movie if you are one of those people who will get all flustered, complaining about things like "There is no way that bear could live after all those years" or "I earned my boy scout merit badge so I can tell you that they are not holding the bow and arrows correctly". Go and take the family with you, if you have a family member with red/orange hair. They will think the movie is awesome.   Go see BRAVE.  

Go if you are a mom with little kids, go to see Brave and invite a friend to bring her kids and join you. While the kids watch the show, the moms can take turns grabbing a much needed and well deserved nap. One of you take the first half of the movie - the other takes the last half. And don't worry about missing half of the movie because when Brave comes out on DVD, it will only be a matter of days until your daughters can sing all the songs and knows just about every word.

Go if you simply love going to the movies.  Go if you love their popcorn.  Go if you are in high school and the guy you have a crush on works at the theater.  OR... you can simply ignore what others say, watch BRAVE and then decide for yourself if it's a good movie or not.  

I laughed, I cried, I wanted to learn to use a bow & arrow.  I sipped Diet Coke,  dropped my junior mints and  left the theater wishing I had long, curly, orange hair.  

Will you take your kids to see it?  What did you think?