I love The Incredibles, Up, Shrek, Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Despicable Me and Megeaman. I thought I was going to see something that amazing, but with a female protagonist. But no. It was the same old Disney princess movie: a princess having problems about who she is or is not going to marry. We saw that in Snow White, Seeping Beauty, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid. Apparently, that all females ever do: fret about who they are going to marry.
The movie starts out great: funny characters, great scenery, Scottish accents, and a promising protagonist. I'm sucked in and expecting something amazing and interesting, like the other Pixar movies. Then, of course, since it is the Dark Ages (and Disney, not "really" Pixar), the hand of the princess will be the prize in a contest. Been there, done that. Of course she doesn't want that, so she runs away and finds a witch and asks the witch to change her . . . her . . . fate? Like the trailers said? No. She wants to change her MOM. The princess does not want to grow and mature, she want's mom to quit bugging her. Mom has done everything she can to give the princess a wonderful life and educate and prepare her for a life of queen-ship. But that's not what the princess wants. The princess wants what? She really has no viable alternative. It's not like she can go and get a career. The movie implies that if she gets married, she can't ride her horse or shoot her bow any more. Why not? So they parade out the three husband candidates and of course, even though they are the sons of great chieftains, they are all worthless. Predictable, boring plot. What if one of them was handsome, charming, and a good archer, then she might not have minded getting married and we could have seen the wedding in 3D.
Back to the witch. Well, the witch only knows ONE spell: change it into a bear. That's a big help. The last person who bucked conformity and wanted to do his own thing, he got changed into a wild, destructive bear too. Is that one of the lessons in this movie? Conform or you will become a wild, destructive, shunned animal? When her mother eats the magic cake and begins to feel sick, all the princess can think about is if she still has to get married. What if the magic cake killed her mom? The princess doesn't seem too worried. Is this one of the lessons of the movie? If your parents are trying to do the very best for you, and it's cramping your style, just drug them to get them off your back. After mom turns into a bear, there was no plot any more. It was just running around like Bugs, Daffy and Elmer in the forest and the castle until it was time for the movie to end. BORING.
Then there was the big speech the princess gave in the banquet room about "Can't we all just get along?" What was that about? Everyone was partying and getting along just fine. Lame.
So the princess cries and tells mom that she's sorry (of course she is now that everything's a mess), and mom turns back into a person. But who has the character arc? Not the princess. The princess still does not want to get married. MOM is the one who changes, and she had better! After all, she knows that if she leans too hard on her daughter to do what's best, the daughter will drug her. So is that the lesson in the movie? Don't pressure your kids to do what you know is best for them, or they could get punitive. So mom caves in and says the young people can chose by falling in love. There's a ground-breaking moral. News flash: western women have not been getting betrothed for centuries.
And why did they call the movie "Brave". The Princess didn't do anything brave in the whole movie. In fact, she had a hissy fit, ran from her responsibilities, and turned to drugs to solve the problems.
I don't care if it was 6 years in the making, or how amazing the 3D effects were: the story was a dud.