Hosts: D'Arcy, Jeremy, Joe, Rebecca, and Sara
This is about chastity belts, not knowing why you cried, and turning your mom into a bear.
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One thing that's increasingly apparent is that Pixar is just a production house, and that the success of its first movies was due as much to the directors and writers as it was to Magic Pixar Power. Saying "we're gonna watch a Pixar movie!" is kind of like saying "we're gonna listen to a song by The Wrecking Crew!"
I guess the question is whether the change from "Pixar is John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, and Lee Unkrich" to "Pixar is a production shop" is a natural evolution or something that specifically happened when Disney became more heavily involved in the firm's management.
That is quite interesting thinking about that in general, we're certainly moving away from what Pixar had been now with the way it has become today and where it might go in the future.
I assumed the evil bear in the film was the main antagonist himself, and as the film suggested in the story told to Merida, he was one of the four brothers (of whom ran their own kingdoms) who as a human became a greedy-ass bastard and paid for it by being turned into a bear (probably from the same witch too). I suppose the message in the film isn't too clear given the rewrites and what-ever other directorial shifts had taken place during production. You're right though they should've had Merida give that bear the final blow with a sword or something in the climax. Some viewers had suggested there needed to be more time in the film to set up the problems that exists between Merida and her mother the queen. It certainly was a briskly-paced film when it wanted to be, other times it felt like it dragged a bit such as with the fish catching sequence.
The Willow of the Wisp thingys kinda made me think of the Kodama from Princess Mononoke personally, though that's probably not the only Ghibli-ish influence I've seen in this film given the few comments I've seen of those stating the old witch sorta reminded them of one of the old women you'd see in a Hayao Miyazaki film. Of course if this was one of those films, none of those suitor competition thing would've been dealt with if the princess simply was given the time and patience to make the decision on her own sooner or later. Of course the whole thing brought me back to remember this silly story from the LP "Free To Be... You & Me", later adapted as an animated segment in a TV special of the same name.
It's an OK film, not the best, but certainly not the worst, just simply in the middle. I certainly didn't weep tears the way I did with "Up" and it's loving montage of a happy couple sharing their lives together. Brave certainly needed more killings and a few believable characters you might care about.
Just noticed one of those things on Disney Channel where they have to talk about certain aspects of the movie and it was involving the bear mom's situation with not really being able to speak to her kid and had to pantomime her thoughts a la Scooby Doo. That sort of disconnection had been done a few times before, though a good example I saw it in was 2003's "Brother Bear" where you had moments where the camera changes angles or point-of-view's and you've have these moments were you could hear the main character talking as a human or as a bear depending on whom is listening to him. That was very unique concept to get that sort of disconnection addressed through the cinema medium. Brave tries to go that route, but stills says within the boundaries of human understanding than to try to view at it from the bear mom's POV (at least give her internal thought monologues but I suppose that would be hokey). Of course the whole transforming into another animal has been around for quite a while, and Disney made a film about that with The Emperor's New Groove too! Brave I suppose tries to handle this a bit more dramatic and not as caricatured though we still get those moments of the mom trying to explain these things to Merida or to do something in bear form that required that attention to movement in how might a bear do these things implausibly as a human. Of course the Baloo reference from The Jungle Book is quite obvious, animation has that edge to allow for these things to happen whether we believe it or not, and we can accept such liberties in animation versus the restraints that live-action might had given such a film if it went that route (of course with digital technologies the way they are, we've been thinking that line down so much that it's probably hard to tell anymore).
The thing about Disney princesses, if you want to pick something that's bad about them, is that they always wind up learning that the route to happiness is either A: fate, B: luck, or C: surrender. I think the only Disney princess who doesn't wind up winning via one of those three is Mulan.
The thing about this movie is that the first few trailers/teasers made it look like Celtic Bearfighter. Instead it was Wacky Bear Hijinks. One is not necessarily better than the other but I can't blame people for being confused.
Also, Jeremy, chicks getting bow-and-arrow has been a thing since the Classical Greeks. Not only the Amazons, but also Artemis (and Atalanta.) It's...just not what you're saying it is.