Looking forward to Pixar's Brave?

Almost all of Pixar’s movies have been winners in my mind. At their best, they are intelligent, beautiful and capable of tying my heart in knots. To me, they are American culture at its best. Where other animation studios think they need to fill their films with toilet humor, body noises and crude double entendres to attract their audiences, Pixar’s offerings have been a cut above. Not that they are immune to that stuff, but the elements of poor taste tend to be minimal and more subtle. They are capable of infusing juvenile settings (e.g., super heroes) with unexpected depth. There is little that is morally offensive.

The trailers for the upcoming “Brave”, unfortunately, seem discouraging. There’s apparently some guy mooning others. There’s the stereotypical repressed-girl-who-needs-to-be-free setup. Where’s the depth? Who do they think they are, Dreamworks? Granted, people have cautioned that Pixar’s trailers seldom convey the essence of their movies. I do hope Pixar comes through with a movie deserving of the Pixar label.

What are your expectations?

I think it looks great, and I’ll put my trust in the Pixar animation team. I am very loosely acquainted with a couple of people involved in the project (one in animation, and one in music). I don’t know anything more than anyone else, but I know they’re talented people.

Trailers, to me, often don’t do a film justice. I’m sure this film will be really well-done. We’re all looking forward to it and we are huge Pixar fans in this house. I still cry at the end of Finding Nemo. We are stoked and this film may be our yearly “bring all 5 kids to a movie” splurge! :slight_smile:

I’m looking forward to it. I stopped basing what movies I want to see on trailers long ago because trailers always seem to be misleading. They always seem to make a bad film look good or the opposite.

Pixar has a long history of great films, but its last one (Cars 2) was a dud, at least by its own standards.

I hope Brave bounces back, and wouldn’t be surprised if it does. But I also hope that the concurrence of the production on Cars 2, and the studio’s reunion with Walt Disney management, is only a coincidence.

Speaking of sequels, I personally did not care for Toy Story 3. There were some funny parts, but it was also a bit darker than I expected.

I don’t really get the premise for Brave besides being “feminism in ancient Scotland” (and the only reason this really works at all is because most people have just seen The Hunger Games). It seems like it’s just a variation on the old Disney princess formula with rounder-characters.

The tag-line also bugs me: “If You Had a Chance to Change Your Fate, Would You?”

I really liked Toy Story 3 though.

Yeah, the theatrical trailer isn’t very good. But Toy Story 3’s theatrical trailer also made its movie look pedestrian. So particularly in the case of Pixar, I still have hope in the face of a bad trailer.

I personally did not care for Toy Story 3. There were some funny parts, but it was also a bit darker than I expected.

And thank goodness it was; it would have been a much less affecting movie without Big Baby, the incinerator scene, and so forth.

In fact, I can’t think of a single threequel as good as Toy Story 3. Can anyone else?

I don’t really get the premise for Brave besides being “feminism in ancient Scotland” (and the only reason this really works at all is because most people have just seen The Hunger Games). It seems like it’s just a variation on the old Disney princess formula with rounder-characters.

The tag-line also bugs me: “If You Had a Chance to Change Your Fate, Would You?”

I’m pretty sure a movie about a vaguely-feminist princess fighting for independence has been a possibility for decades, since long before The Hunger Games.

I’m not too bothered, not from what we know so far (from the trailer). I am particularly hopeful about the movie’s portrayal of the family: as a solid, societally-important, comforting haven. Even as Merida struggles for independence, her parents and brothers are clearly presented as loving and an important part of her life. Contrast, e.g., How to Train Your Dragon, a good movie, but one where the protagonist’s sole family relation is with a father who never does anything right until the last 15 minutes. It also looks like the second half of the plot is poised to teach that Merida’s quest for independence, while valid (especially in her desire not to be married against her will), was pursued in the wrong way, and she shouldn’t have gotten her family and kingdom cursed because of her personal problem.

Anyway, maybe the movie will be simplistic and pedestrian compared to Pixar’s old standards. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Yep, very excited about it.
Scotland, kilts, and a redheaded girl who kicks serious heiney with a bow.
Gotta see it!

My girls are very excited about Brave. When I took them to the Avengers (“There’s only one God, Ma’am, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that!”), the Brave trailer played, and they told me they couldn’t wait until they could see it.

Honestly, quite a few movies have done the feminism thing in a good way. Think Princess and the Frog - kids learn that girls decide for themselves what to do with their lives without waiting for a prince to save them. Plus, the value of hard work is emphasized. So if I were you, I wouldn’t get worked up about the “feminism” angle being sold in the trailer.

I can’t wait to see it! I was sold on “Pixar’s first female lead,” but the “scenery” is what did it for me. I think it’s going to be a blast!

I’m sorry you did not care for Toy Story 3, but I don’t think it was too dark, especially for kids. We did not always insulate our kids so carefully from the sad and the scary. Until the Disneyfication of fairy tales, children’s tales could be “darker” than anything in Pixar’s films. Imagine a Little Red Riding Hood who does not survive her encounter with the Big Bad Wolf. Imagine a Little Mermaid who goes on a quest for an immortal soul … and dies. And think of the “Toy Story 0” of my childhood: Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Steadfast Tin Soldier”, where after a bunch of adventures, the hero and his love perish in fire.

I had the “The Steadfast Tin Solder” in my mind and my heart in my throat during that certain fiery sequence in Toy Story 3. I think they turned the “peril” and “emotion” knobs way up for this installment. At the same time, I think a lot of that is aimed at adults and would not bother kids as much. The concentration camp theme and the final scene between Andy and his mother are not as powerful to those unfamiliar with their implications. Even the villain is not simply evil, but seems to me to reflect the bitter nihilism of one who has lost his faith, something better appreciated by an adult.

I think some of the perceived “darkness” (melancholy, to me) comes from the finality of this installment. The Toy Story people seem to want to say farewell, to give a sense of closure. The theme of ending seems inspire thoughts of the Last Things to my mind. The uncertainty of Limbo (the attic), the eternal life of Heaven (the Butterfly Room), the fires of Hell (junk yard) jump out at me. In Pixar logic, you see, toys don’t really die. Their lives are tied to their owners. When their time with Andy is over, they too are over. Woody came to terms with his mortality in Toy Story 2, and the rest of the gang in Toy Story 3. It is only when they accepted their end that they find themselves “reborn” with Bonnie, in a “far green country” where they will play happily forever in our imagination.

:clapping:

Excellent analysis. I think that’s why the perceived “darkness” never really bothered me and I didn’t feel the need to keep my girls from watching. There is some really good things to think about as far as the nature of change and the human condition. It’s best to make peace with the fact that things will not stay the same and meet big changes in the right way.

I don’t think there is a need to feel “sorry” that my personal taste in the movie was not yours. I personally LOVED “Where the Wild Things Are”, but others can’t stand the movie, saying it was very much too dark for them. We all have personal tastes, I just didn’t care for Toy Story 3. To each their own.

I certainly wasn’t looking at it from a parenting point of view either, that its too dark for children. I was looking at it from an adult point of view. I absolutely didn’t care for Lotso. The progression of change, I loved. And the ending was great, made the film worthwhile. But Lotso, the character was too much for me.

I guess they could do that, but it still seems fairly … simplistic for Pixar. There’s probably something that I’m missing that the movie will make clear-er.

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