I've been describing it to people as perfectly mediocre. It really didn't do anything that I found outright bad, but didn't do anything to really make itself stand out either. It had a lot of wasted potential, as there were so many things they could have done to make it better.
It had a lot of characters that could have been cut to give more time to characters that mattered. Primarily the triplets, they matter so little you never learn their names and they're really only there to push toy sales. They took up a lot of screen time that could have been used for the stronger aspects, like the villain, who i think got 2 minutes of screen time.
I felt like it had kind of a mushy start - wasn't really sure what it was going to do and didn't really generate a whole lot of interest but like people above me said - once the bear thing got started and the movie started to move it was fantastic. It is of course worth noting that the sort of floppy beginning laid a lot the ground work that made the rest of the movie function so well.
I loved it, mainly because it's rare that not only is there a super strong female lead, but also she had both her parents and the main focus of the story was the relationship between the main lead and their loving caring mother, not their single parent, or even a fairy tale romance.
The mother wasn't an evil step-mom, or even a mean mom. Their family, although royal and taking place hundreds of years ago, was a normal, sometimes dysfunctional family that almost everyone could relate to.
I had to fight back tears because the relationship between Merida and her mother reminded me of mine and my mothers relationship. We're both headstrong, and get on each others nerves constantly, but no matter what we love each other and would do anything for each other.
Yes, there could always be more in a film, but as far as Brave was concerned I was happy with what I got.
Story was great, I love that there was finally a mother relationship in one of these movies. And of course the animation was out of this world! But when they threw in the bears i couldnt get Brother Bear out of my mind. It was quite similar to me. Kinda like when you're watching HTTYD and you can only think of Stitch when you look at Toothless....
I thought the strongest and weakest parts of the film was the story between the mother and daughter. It is very unusual for these kinds of stories, especially Disney ones, for a daughter to have a difficult but still workable relationship with their mother. It's not a theme they've explored very often, but I'm glad that they did. And in many ways to good effect, I thought the scene where they were talking to "each other" (horse and dad) was very effective and the concept of there not really being a "bad guy" was refreshing
However, I thought that the denouement with the hugging and "I learned so much from you" came far too easily. I suppose at the end of a nearly 2 hour film they had to wrap it up some way, but the mother being thrilled about all she'd learned from being a bear and watching her daughter be brrrreeeeeve was flat and unbelievable, maybe felt a little rushed (she was awfully perky after having been mauled by that other bear). Which is a shame because the story was exploring some really interesting themes there for a while.
So Brave is definitely worth watching in theatres... however, my friends and I were surprised with the storyline. It seemed the marketing left a LARGE portion of the movie out. Not just the ending but vital story points... which made you go "lolwut" when the story unfolded on screen. Not necessarily a bad thing, just - it makes me wonder why they did a campaign like this. Animation, of course, was top notch.
Honestly I thought the movie as a whole was a great movie, and I place it above A Bug's Life and even Toy Story outta PIXAR flicks that I like. Considering the entire movie takes place over the course of 2 days basically, it's flowed fine. It's not like it was meant to span a week or longer where the deadtime was useless. It actually had a point to me.
The fact that there's a witch in this story that is NOT the evil/bad guy was actually a rather refreshing change for me. I kinda like the idea of an Alzheimers prone magic person, sorta like how Shrek 3 did with Merlin lol.
I thought the fact that the bears were thrown in was actually a great idea. XD I mean if her father is "The Bear King" what better thing to toss into the way when the daughter asks to change her fate by changing her mother.
I loved it personally, it's definitely in my top 3 PIXAR movies. <3