The original title of Brave was The Bear and the Bow. Why did they change it? If you’ve seen the preview, you might think you have some idea of what this film is about. But you don’t. Why not? The reason why not is because none of the scenes in the preview actually appear in the film. They were created for publicity purposes. One of the actual scenes from the preview appears in a somewhat different form. So what is going on here?
Brave appeared to me to be about Princess Merida, the red haired Scottish beauty who is better at archery than Robin Hood and William Tell put together. Other than an opening sequence and the changed scene where the Princess splits an arrow, we never see PM with a bow again. She does not save the day with her skills. She could, but is never given the chance. She cannot rely on Prince Charming Scotsman as he’s not even in the film. Also, the witch who casts a spell and causes lots of trouble does not get her comeuppance. After her spell-casting scene, she apparently moved to Oz to take over the vacancies left when the evil witches there were crushed and melted – assuming she passes her interview with the flying monkeys.
Brave looks terrific. Patrick Doyle’s score and the Scottish influenced songs are flavorful and pleasing to the ear. But what is the story about, since the preview seems to lead us astray? Here’s the scoop. PM has issues with her mom and dad. They want her to follow tradition and marry the appropriate nerd-in-waiting. She does not like them. Neither did I. So she runs away and has the witch cast a spell on a family member to improve her life. Complications ensue. The film veers off and uses ideas from Disney’s 2003 film Brother Bear film, the fairytale about Goldilocks’ pals. The film could easily have been re-titled, SPOILER ALERT Mother Bear.
Apart from the cute Scottish antics and music, this is my least favorite Pixar film. The themes of teenage rebellion and generational issues are not new. The preview would never lead you to believe that these issues are the core of the film. Pass on the haggis. The Pizza Planet Delivery Truck, which has been in all of the Pixar films, shows up in the witches’ cottage. Watch carefully.
Rated 2.5 out of 4.0 Gentle Ben sequels.