For 15 years, one computer-animation studio dominated Hollywood with 11 major hit films, earning awards a plenty and worldwide critical acclaim for its output. Then came Cars 2. And Brave. Lest we forget Monsters University (which I actually found entertaining) and an entire year (2014) with no feature films. Pixar was a powerhouse, but now its corporate owner (Disney) has an unbeatable animation studio of its own. The question we all continue to wonder is if Pixar can reclaim its title as an unstoppable force.
Disney In Depth previews the recent past and future of Pixar, hoping to determine if John Lasseter‘s computer-animation studio can finally be able to dismiss naysayers, once and for all, that its hit streak was a one-time experience.
Look, I’m no fan of the whole “Disney Princess” canon. I’m not even sure most of them are actually princesses, but that’s really splitting hairs.
I usually don’t give it much thought, though, except to betray my feminist leanings and be glad I have boys and don’t have to deal with shelves of pink when we go to the toy store (let’s face it, I’d still be shopping in the toy car and superhero section even if I had girls).
But when news broke the other week that Disney was adding Merida from Brave to its princess collection, I was a bit taken aback at the image I saw.
Gone was the frizzy hair. The dress they put her in was the shiny, princess-y one she hated in the movie, not her preferred garb. Her eyes were rounder and had a certain come-hither look to them. Suddenly, her waist was Barbie-sized and she had breasts.
The 85th annual Academy Awards had its share of unexpected moments and sequences – I’m sure Jennifer Lawrence did not expect to stumble as she walked up the stairs – but for many who appreciate everything Disney, surely it were the wins, losses and outright snubs that may have caused the most surprises.
This edition of Disney In Depth explores what Disney movies should have won, what should have been nominated, and what wins didn’t surprise whatsoever.
Brave Directed by Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
Starring Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly, Julie Walters, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane
Walt Disney Home Entertainment 5-Disc Blu-ray | 3-Disc Blu-ray | DVD
Release Date: November 13, 2012
The number 13. It is a bad one, often fraught with misfortune. Sadly that misfortune applies to Pixar’s unlucky 13th feature, Brave, a bold, well-intentioned and genuinely good film with many elements that regretfully do not work in its favor. Fortuitously, though, its Blu-ray release is among the best you can find this holiday season. So bear with me and embark on a Blu-ray review of Brave.
After an intense prologue set in medieval Scotland, where it looks like King Fergus (voiced with gusto by Billy Connolly) will be slain by demon bear Mor’du, we think the film will strike a consistently dark tone. In one sense, yes, Brave heads down an intense path with some accomplished guidance. Yet it also wanders around a trail scattered by silliness and irrelevance. That is perhaps the most consistent issue with Brave, in that it holds a conflicting narrative, never knowing if it wants to be a forceful or relaxed picture.
Yesterday, Disney and Marvel Studios announced that it would re-release Joss Whedon’s The Avengers for a limited one week theatrical run in 1,700 theaters across the country. Now Disney will be re-releasing another summer blockbuster. According to The LA Times, Disney and Pixar will be re-releasing Brave for a limited theatrical run in the same number of theaters as The Avengers re-release.
This is to capitalize on a relatively slow Labor Day weekend. Yes, there are movies like Lawless and The Possession opening in theaters, but Disney is hoping that it could boost some box office numbers with these re-releases, which makes a lot of sense.