An Amateur Analysis of Disney/Pixar's "Brave"


As a connoisseur of all things pop culture (I use this term loosely), I wear many hats. Sometimes I track trends, sometimes I question current events, sometimes I write ballad poetry about Spencer Pratt. I'm really a renaissance woman if you think about it.

Anyway, today, much like little Theodore in the picture above (whose name I just gave him), I wear the hat of movie critic.

Saturday my husband and I saw the new Disney/Pixar movie, Brave. Anyone who knows me at all or has even talked to me for more than five minutes probably knows I love all things Disney. Pixar movies are no exception. Needless to say, I was pretty excited.

I have viewed the film (movie critics call movies "films," you guys) and made some assessments I'd like to share with you.


If you haven't seen Brave but care deeply about keeping your ears away from major plot points, unfortunately this is your stop. I won't give away endings or anything, so that you can still go see it, but I'll be giving away some of the plot that isn't covered in the trailer.

So, here we go.

An amateur analysis of Disney/Pixar's Brave:

Overall, though I thought it was a fun movie, I was disappointed that it didn't hit the bar most--actually, all--Pixar movies have set. It was no Up. Here's the three main things that threw me off:

1) There were more bears than I would have expected. Like, 500 percent more bears. I expected approximately zero bears. There were five. Little bears, big bears, mean bears, nice bears who start losing their inner identity as a human and slipping into becoming a ferocious bear...basically all your types of bears.

The thing the trailer does not tell you is that the central plot point of this movie is actually the main character's mother (the queen) turning into a bear. I know, I know. I was surprised, too. And something has to happen [I won't tell you what, so as not to ruin it completely] before the 2nd sunrise in order for her NOT to remain a bear forever. So there's that.

2) The characters and story were underdeveloped, in my opinion. I don't know how Pixar usually accomplishes this, because this movie was probably the same length as Nemo, Up, Toy Story, etc., but it definitely needed a little more. There were concepts in the movie we were just forced to accept without any explanation, and I feel like movies need to give you a reason to care about what's happening. In order for me to invest in it, I need to know the point. I need some background narrative or something. I also felt like it resolved super quickly. The tension didn't last long enough for me to be worried that it might not resolve, you know?

Anyway, for example, there is a witch in the story who we don't get to know at all. She just lives in the woods, has no name, makes wood carvings by day but turns people into bears by night. We see her for about five minutes then don't see her again. What's that about? I'm just saying, Pixar. Step it up, story-wise.

I learned more about the characters in Up during a 90-second montage than I did in the entirety of this movie.

3) I was under the impression that the main storyline was the suitor business. And that she would go off on an adventure and learn things and meet other characters and everything. But then the bear thing happened and I think it just unraveled my suspension of disbelief. It totally took a left turn from what I expected. I think they needed to hint at that in the trailer--y'know, just to prepare me for bears. Maybe there was a more bear-heavy trailer and I just missed it, but because I wasn't expecting it, it had already gone on for like 20 minutes before I realized, "oh...ok..this is the main plot? Alright, we're doing this. Bears. Got it."

I still enjoyed it because it was Pixar and it was a fun movie, but it just didn't have the depth that all the other Disney/Pixar, and even regular Disney (like Princess & the Frog, which is one of my favorites), have.

So in conclusion: bears.

So in addition to being a terrible judge of men, Maynard is also a sub-par judge of what constitutes a "great" movie. As if anyone's surprised. [For all my fellow Bachelorette commentators out there.]

If you've seen Brave, what did you think? Am I totally off-base? If not, what's your favorite Pixar movie?