I’m very happy with how this weekend is turning out. We’ve had so many full weekends for months at a time, but this is one of the first weekends in a long time where we’ve had mostly unscheduled time. Besides swimming classes Saturday for the kids, the rest of the weekend is fairly free. Halfway through, I feel very relaxed. What can we do that’s fun on a Saturday night? Well, how about a movie? I almost frogot that Pixar’s next animated film, Brave, was released on Friday June 22nd. Free night? Pixar movie? Sure. I checked out the early reviews online, and they were mostly positive. It wasn’t rating as high as Wall-E, but decent enough that you won’t be terribly disappointed. Here’s the Disney description, in case you aren’t aware:
Set in Scotland in a rugged and mythical time, “Brave” features Merida, an aspiring archer and impetuous daughter of royalty. Merida makes a reckless choice that unleashes unintended peril and forces her to spring into action to set things right.
We bought tickets online, got freshened up after Josh’s 4pm swimming class, and hit the road at 5:37 pm. The plan was to catch a quick dinner near the theater, get good seats by 6:30pm, and watch the movie at 7pm. We found a hole-in-the-wall pizzeria in the area near the theater, then eventually sat in a half-filled theater by 7pm. Odd. Opening weekend for a Pixar film, Saturday night, and I was expecting a full house. Instead, plenty of seats. Oh well, whatever, we got what we wanted.
So how was the film? It was okay. Better than Cars 2, but it’s certainly not in the top echelon of Pixar films. The animation is excellent (the hair is amazing), the voice acting is very good, and the story starts off well. Actually, I should say something about the cast:
- Kelly McDonald as Merida — she played Carla Jean Moss in No Country for Old Men, so that’s pretty neat.
- Billy Connolly as the King Fergus
- Emma Thompson as Queen Elinore
- Craig Ferguson as Lord Macintosh
- Robbie Coltrane
Back to the plot. It starts off well, but somewhere around halfway through the film, the story changes, and becomes a bit of a farce. It relies more on pratfalls, and the plot takes a very safe path. I had read this on a few online reviews, so when I saw this, I immediately understood what the critics meant. Listen, I’m not going to ruin the film for anybody, so I won’t get into the plot details. I think the film could’ve been something else, and instead, went for the basic premise you’ve probably seen in a lot of other animated children’s films. It’s certainly not on the level of a Wall-E, Up, or The Incredibles.
Should you go see it? Sure, go see it, but don’t expect to be wowed by the plot. I’m being cryptic, but you’ll understand when you watch the film.