We went and saw "Brave" on Saturday. It was our first attempt as a family of 5 to get through a movie - it was a success all around. This movie is wonderful. Some scary parts but a great movie.
There is a big scary bear, immediately. It's a key part of the story so it isn't there for no reason or merely to startle. To me this was similar to "Up" being incredibly sad in the first 10 minutes. It would be unnecessary in a kid's movie, but this isn't a kid's movie - it is telling a story and it is part of the story. A key part that is built upon.
Pixar is masters at story telling. They have made one movie that I thought was poor (Cars 2), not terrible but they have set the bar so high that it was disappointing when they missed. That experience left me curious if they could still deliver or had somehow been tainted by Disney. Did the Disney machine, which is relentless in churning out pointless sequels and cheap Tinkerbell movies, grind up Pixar and make them assimilate? The answer is NO.
Beyond the previews leading you to believe this is a just a tom-boy struggle to fit into a Scottish clan society this is really a movie about family and pride. It is a tale of being stuck in your pride. The men are full out buffoons but it is still a great story of family.
I also thought it is a monumental leap for being a mother-daughter movie that every guy will enjoy and appreciate too. The father-son movie has been done well ("Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs", "How to Train Your Dragon") in the kid movie realm and outside. I can't think of any mother-daughter movie that didn't firmly drop in the realm of "chick flick".
Pixar has been nominated before for "Best Picture" which I think was just a gesture of kindness to "Toy Story 3" and the full saga. I think that "Brave" could be a strong contender and at the very least might make Hollywood reflect on what their main business should be - telling stories.
And elsewhere, and in all ages, in braver fashion, under cleaner skies, the same eternal tale-telling still goes on, and the whole mortal world is a factory of immortals. -GK Chesterton