Utterly enchanting with the terrifying spectre of Disneyfication creaping in at the edges,
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This review is from: Brave [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
I own and love each and every Pixar film they have ever released (yes even Cars 2) they have an amazing creativity and skill about telling a story through the most unlikely characters that I am in total admiration of. Their skill in animation is also beyond comparison, they put such subtly into their characters movement and expressions (unlike other animators who succumb to stock cliche) that gives each character a true depth, and they somehow manage to combine such subtlety with breathtaking huge sweeping set pieces that make your jaw drop.
In some ways never has this been better displayed than in Brave, the magnificent romanticised scenery of Scotland pouring our of every pixel of the screen is just mind-blowingly beautiful in both its scope and lushness (I've never seen a 3D animation look so alive), and the characters to a person are expertly realised.
The story at it most basic is the search for a daughter's independence, of finding her own path in the world, and the age old struggle between mother and daughter to break the bonds as a child and re-bonding as an adult.
I've given Brave 4 stars because it does this well, I have JUST finished watching the film on Blu-ray and when it's at its best it can stand proud against any of Pixar's previous films as a monumental success.
The only reason I don't give it 5 is that there were moments where you could distinctly taste the bitter cliche of Disney personnel or management walloping in with their big feet and messing with things. I sincerely hope that this isn't a prelude of further things to come. Don't get me wrong Disney films (the good ones that is) are wonderful, but they have a style and "this is the way we do things in a Disney film" about them which smack you round the face with their Disneyness which makes them quite clearly Disney, and Pixar are so amazing precisely because they are not Disney, they are their own entity. This is the first Pixar film I had to question that identity... Character design could have so easily nudged its way into "Disney's Tangled" realm (Disney have a stock character design look which whilst making them immediately recognisable as Disney characters also make them appear unimaginative and derivative). When Pixar films normally make you cry there's normally such incredible meaning and poignancy behind it (the beginning of Up still totally floors me), unfortunately Brave's "tear-inducing moment" was nothing but total emotional-manipulation and quite clumsily executed which for me totally cheapened it and killed the moment. There were other touches interspersed about which also felt like they belonged more in a Disney world but I have harped on about this too long already.
Despite my reservations about the future direction of the studio under their "new" owners, the film has a good heart and is an utter joy to watch, weather you buy or rent it you won't regret watching it.