Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Brave (Part 2)

Right, I saw Brave, the latest Pixar movie!  I thought it was pretty entertaining.  The script was well-done, in that it touched on all the important details of the movie.  I liked it better than the last Pixar movie I saw, Toy Story 3, which went into some strange prison-themed territory that I didn't understand.

The reviews of the movie say that the conflict in the movie comes from Princess Merida rebelling against the oppressive patriarchy.  That's partly true.  She has an unfortunate arranged marriage law that she has to struggle against, because her dad is the king.  But the real conflict is between Princess Merida and her mother.

The Queen is an overbearing mother, who puts too much pressure on her daughter.  She has spent years, forcing Merida to do things in the "proper" princess fashion.  The King is more easygoing.  Actually, you know what?  Best character of the movie.  King (I Didn't Catch His Name) was my favorite character, and I liked all the scenes he was in, even the ones where he was deadly serious.  My dad felt the same way, for a different reason--Dad liked seeing him because he was an ugly cuss with a big nose.

Dad has weird tastes in movies.

Anyhoo, the rock-climbing, horse-riding princess who also happens to be perfect at archery decides she doesn't want to get married to any of the three candidates.  She takes out her frustration on her mother, then she runs away.  Wouldn't you know it, she runs straight into a helpful witch and asks for a potion "to change my fate".

Note to People Dealing with Magic: Be more specific when asking witches for potions.  Seriously.  The witch could have given her poison, and that would technically fulfill the terms of the bargain.

Yeah, I'm not sure why Merida wanted a potion "to change my fate".  Why didn't she ask for a potion that specifically fixes the bad situation she is in?  Instead, she just goes for the extremely vague option.  Has she never heard fairy tales before?

Merida feeds the "change my fate" potion--hidden in a cupcake--to her mother.  I'm not sure why Merida does that.  Apparently, Merida wanted to change her mother's fate, instead of her own.  The mother starts to get woozy, and not too much later, she turns into a bear.

Yep, "change my fate" potion is "turn someone into a bear" potion.  Who knew?  I'd like to say it reminds me of the Disney movie Brother Bear, but I never saw that film.

The rest of the movie involves Merida and her mother bonding, as they try to sneak Mom out of the castle and find a way to turn Mom back into a human before she becomes 100% bear.  Fortunately, the witch must be used to dissatisfied customers, so her spell has a two-day warranty.  "Repair the bond that has been broken", and all bear-people turn back to normal.

The spell clearly refers to the mother-daughter bond of love, although Merida figures it clearly refers to a tapestry which has been ripped.  It's already been established that Merida is kind of stupid when it comes to magic spells, though, so I guess it makes sense that she has the wrong idea of how to end the spell.

So Merida and her mother have to go back inside their heavily-guarded castle, in order to get the tapestry and sew it back up.  Personally, if I was Merida, I would have made the mother wait outside while I got the tapestry, because trying to sneak a bear into a castle full of angry hunters is what I like to call "incredibly dangerous and stupid".  Predictably, the warriors see the bear and decide to start a bear hunt.

Now Merida needs to escape from her room, repair the tapestry, save her bear-mother from being killed, and defeat a real monster bear, before the sun comes up in an hour or so.  And because she's awesome, she manages to do all that.  Everyone is relieved, Merida no longer has to be forced into marrying someone, and they all live happily ever after.  The end.

Well, that's my plot synopsis.  Like I said, it's a good, entertaining movie.  My favorite part were the humorous antics of the King and his fellow Scotsmen.   Merida is a likeable main character, much more than certain other main characters in Pixar movies.  I know I poked a little fun at her inability to really think things over, whenever spells are concerned, but you can't expect someone who's new to magic to understand everything from the beginning, so I'll cut her some slack.  All in all, I'll give this movie an 8.5 out of 10.


Miriam said...

The royalty-becoming-an-animal thing sort of reminded me of Emperor's New Groove, except llamas are a lot less likely to be feared and killed than bears...

Anonymous said...

I agree with you on trying to sneak her mother into the castle, I was pretty stupid than just trying to get her mother to wait out side, but then again i she had waited out side, who knows, Merida probably wouldn't have done that beautiful speach. Oh and by the way, it's king Fergus, since you didn't catch the name :) :3

Donita said...

The King is voiced by the inimitable Billy Connolly, the Scottish stand-up comedian (who was also in 'Mrs Brown' with Judi Dench.) I haven't seen it yet but he's usually pretty good. The plot you describe reminds me of Snow White, only with a cupcake macguffin instead of an apple.