After some initial hesitation, I saw Brave last weekend with some friends. The result? I surprisingly enjoyed it.
Generally speaking, if I hear Pixar associated with a movie, I love it without question. Pixar has not failed me yet, I even admit that I loved Cars 2 despite it's relatively poor reviews. However, I was a little skeptical about Pixar taking on a "princess" movie when, to me, that signals the ultimate Disney sell-out.
Now, I mean no Disney bashing in this remark because I love Disney movies (and tv shows for that matter), but I fully expect Disney creations to be some updated version of a story that has already been told. Disney excelled in the 90's at taking an unoriginal idea (Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas, Hunchback of Notre Dame,...) and turning it into a favorite movie among kids. I love that, I wish Disney still had that talent.
On the other hand, with Pixar, I expect originality and tears. With Brave, I ultimately walked out having enjoyed a sufficient amount of both those ingredients. The story was very similar to other princess stories: a young princess is forced to do something she doesn't want to do and seeks to prove to her mother/father/family that she doesn't have to conform to these archaic rules because she should be free to follow her heart. Ugh, being a princess can be so difficult.
However, the film still carried the charm and warmth that only Pixar can produce. I laughed, I cried. The characters were fun, the accents were endearing, the animation fabulous.
Merida, the princess of the story, is a loud, rambunctious, tom-boy of a princess who would rather gallop through the forest on her horse, shooting arrows, than be confined to a castle learning proper etiquette. She is a fun character, full of life, and her main of red curly hair is captivating. I found myself distracted by her hair more than once during the film. It is just...so...pretty.
When I think about the qualities I loved in 90's princesses
-independent (Belle, Jasmine)
-love for learning (Belle)
-selfless (Mulan, Belle)
I see that Merida only exhibits the first two, although by the end of the story I think she learns to embody the last. On the other hand, when I think of the qualities I despised about earlier Disney princess:
-helplessness (Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella)
I am glad that Merida does not embody those older traits. I love those earlier films, but let's face it, the movies reflect women of a different generation.
Merida is a girl who isn't going to let anyone tell her what she can't do or who she has to be. She is going to make mistakes, but she is also going to do everything she can to try and make things right.
side observation: the Scottish theme resulted in many animated butts being shown. I think there was more nudity than all other Pixar films combined.
Monday, June 25, 2012
Another Thrilling Adventure Hour has come and gone. Jon and Paula went with me to the June showing, it was their first time! They really enjoyed the show and suggested a return trip, so clearly I'm not overselling this thing. Why haven't you all come with me yet?
June saw a very dramatic cliff-hanger in Sparks Nevada: Marshal on Mars, when the very inebriated Croach the Tracker (Mark Gagliardi) was shot and (please don't let it be) killed? Nooo!!!!! No show in July means I have to wait until August to find out the fate of the little blue Martian, Croach.
The notable guest star for the evening was George Wendt who played a former Marshal on Mars threatening the life of Sparks and Croach. Busy Phillips returned as The Red Plains Rider, the red plains rider! *insert theme music* Whenever the Red Plains Rider returns, there is always a glimmer of hope that a Cactoid Jim (Nathan Fillion) story-line might be soon to follow.
Jon was bummed that he didn't get to see any Firefly or Chuck guests, so I keep reminding him he should come to more if he wants to increase his chances. He knows I am right, but still blames me as though I have some input in who makes the line-up. Brothers, blaming you for things you have no control over since the day you were born.
We did see Sandeep Parikh from The Guild at the show, so we were only 2-degrees of separation from Nathan! Parikh was there enjoying the show with a lady friend and, while she was in the bathroom, I took it upon myself to approach him for a picture. He was in the middle of texting someone but was nice enough to pose for a picture and let me ask him questions about The Guild. The news is that he is tight-lipped on details and wouldn't spill a word! *le sigh* At least I tried.
In the meantime, I shall enjoy the newest music video from The Guild and Jed Whedon. Check out I'm the One That's Cool