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braveShort Review: Not Pixar’s best, but the worst Pixar movie is still better than most computer animated movies. Good story about a daughter who wants more freedom, and a mother who wants her to be a good princess.

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Published in Duluth News Tribune

The Short before the movie

Pixar started out by making short films, and they haven’t stopped since. For every full length movie, they show a new short film beforehand. Before Brave, they showed a lovely little film called La Luna. A movie about a boy, his father, and grandfather. They all go out in a boat in the middle of the sea, put their anchor in, and...well, you’ll have to see it to find out. It’s excellent.

Long Review

If you haven’t been paying attention, Pixar has been releasing an excellent movie every year. Some are better than others, but they always push the limits of computer generated graphics and 3D technology, while at the same time making sure the story and character development are top priority, and having some great laughs along the way. Brave hits all of these marks.

lalunaIt starts off as your quintessential story about a mother and daughter. The queen teaching her daughter, the princess, to be good and propor. The king and his three sons have no intention of being proper, and when the queen attempts to receive help from him, he doesn’t offer much help when trying to rangle his daughter in art of being a princess.  Then, as tradition dictates, three clans bring their first born to be presented as a sutor. The princess is supposed to choose her favorite, then get married. Of course, she doesn’t want to get married, but prefers to instead ride her horse and practice her archery. The movie does a good job showing how relationships fail to work well if neither person is willing to listen to the other. The king, at this point, does offer a good point in encouraging better communication skills...while lovingly mimicking his daughter hilariously.

The movie takes a quick turn to magical, fantasy land and becomes much more farcical and comedic, while still maintaining the established relational tone between the queen and the princess. I won’t ruin the surprise that wasn’t mentioned in the previews, but I will say that it does have to do with a witch, magic, and the warning “be careful what you wish for.”

The voices are played by Billy Connolly (who is always hilarious), Emma Thompson, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson (love him!), and more. But of course, John Ratzenberger continues his “magic feather” role. (He’s been in every Pixar movie since the very first).

As I said, this is not one of Pixar’s best, but is definitely a good one to see. Do you need to see it in the theater? Probably, I saw it in 3D and it was fantastic. I also saw it while drinking a very nice mixed alcoholic drink at Duluth 10. They just got their liquor license. I’ll be enjoying more for future movie outings.

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