Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Brave (2012)

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.


As I was thinking about another movie, ParaNorman, it occurred to me that there aren’t many mainstream animated movies that come to mind.  There are a few, like Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, that come to mind, but at best are intended for a specific crowd.  You don’t have any animated films that are intended for a general 30-and-older crowd.  My parents will automatically write off a movie simply because it’s animated and with what I will grudgingly admit is good reason:  most animated films are ultimately geared towards a younger audience.  Despite this, I had wanted to see Brave for a while.  I knew it was going to be a more kids-oriented movie, but I like animated films more than my parents.

The movie is about Merida.  The movie starts with her as a young girl, but she grows up and the time comes for her to marry someone from a neighboring clan.  Each potential suitor is vastly different from the others and not particularly to Merida’s liking.  Part of the problem is that she just doesn’t want to marry yet, but her mother is insistent that she follow tradition.  It’s what unifies the four clans.  Merida’s father, on the other hand, tends to encourage (perhaps even enable) Merida’s behavior.

It’s hard to go into the rest of the movie without ruining it, but the bulk of it stems from a misspoken wish that Merida makes and her need to rectify it.  I will say that it’s predictable at times and not so much at others.  (Sometimes, getting exactly what you asked for is the worst thing that can happen.)  It’s basically a goofy movie that children can watch with their parents.  There are a few potentially scary moments, like a bear attacking, but it’s nothing a child wouldn’t understand.  It’s ultimately about a mother and daughter having to understand one another.

The people look exaggerated, which you might expect if you’ve seen other animated films like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.  However, there were times when I got lost in the film.  I stopped noticing that it was animated and started noticing the detail in the scenery.

I also empathized with the characters.  It’s pretty easy to relate to a child that doesn’t want to bend to their parents’ wishes, especially when it comes to major life decisions.  This is marriage, after all.  Then again, the king and queen are expected to follow tradition, regardless of their daughter’s wishes.  It may not be right and it may not be fair, but it is the way things have been done for generations.

Maybe I’m just an overgrown kid.  My rooms a mess and I still don’t like broccoli.  With this comes a certain suspicion of people with clean rooms that claim to like broccoli.  I also tend to wonder about people that begrudgingly go to animated films.  I wonder if a few of them are just taking the kids as an excuse to go themselves.

Here’s the thing, though.  This past Academy Awards was one of the few in recent memory where I had seen many of the nominees, one of them being this film, which won.  (The other two are ParaNorman and Frankenweenie, which I’ll get around to reviewing.)  I think I recall an animated film being nominated for Best Film once.

I kind of wonder what it would take for an animated film to be nominated, or at least be considered by the general population.  I’d settle for my mother renting one on her own.  Then again, I’m sure she’d settle for me taking some extra broccoli once in a while. 

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