Matt Conti’s review:
Going into Brave, I was anything but. The reviews for it, well, weren't exactly stating the film to be up to Pixar standard. They said the story was too formulaic. The scope just wasn't the same. The heart wasn't there.
After just getting out of the film not even an hour ago, I can say that most of the reviews are full of it. This is an absolutely beautiful film that tells a straightforward story to great results. This is Pixar's attempt at a Disney tale, and they do it by giving them the one of the best cinematic middle fingers I've ever seen. The Pixar company takes this seemingly formulaic story, and changes it up. This time, the princess isn't getting a Prince Charming, at least, not until she wants it.
The story isn't what the trailers have been advertising, and when the main plot point that sets the events in motion happens, I got worried for a second. I thought it was about to head into Dreamworks territory. Luckily, they turn this major event on its head, and it actually gives some weight to heart of the story. With any other studio, this would have gone into silly territory, but Pixar manages to walk a fine line with this. I won't give it away, but it ends up working.
It also leads to one of the most emotional moments I've had in a while, and it makes up for the absolutely soulless Cars 2. I honestly don't get the hate this is receiving. This film is a couple shades away from brilliant.
The animation should also be commended. The color scheme is subtle. The movement (specifically Merida's hair) has a great sense of fluidity and consistency, something Madagascar 3 was lacking (YOU GUYS DID HTTYD AND KUNG FU PANDA YOU ARE BETTER THAN THAT), and all the textures pop out as if they were alive and real.
I did have a couple problems with the film, mainly how rushed a certain portion of it felt, and that's why it didn't get a full 5 stars, but everything else was great, and it's still an absolutely great film.