I am a great fan of Pixar studios, so I'm trying to be as unbiased as I can while writing this review. Brave sure does mark a comeback to Pixar. After Cars 2, many thought that the beloved animation studio lost its vibe and magic, but this movie proves everyone wrong. I mean it. Pixar is back. But... The movie is not extra-ordinary or marvelous like Up or Wall-e. Its great, but not in a 'Pixar' kind of way. But then again, the movie is much different from the usual Pixar style of movie-making, which might be the reason why I made the previous point.
Firstly, the visuals. I mean, come on, no one beats Pixar when it comes to Animation and visual effects. And this time, the studio has really outdone itself. Brave should probably be the greatest animation work of Pixar up to date. The Characters, the ancient Scotland, the Artwork, the Scenery, you name it. It was splendid. Even the voices were perfectly cast. Kelly McDonald was very convincing as Merida and so was the case with everyone else. Also, I loved the way she spoke in her Scottish accent.
Talking about the story, it sounded more like a Disney story than a Pixar one. It was, of course, the darkest Pixar tale so far and even the jokes got a little matured this time around. And I have to say this, though. The message the movie gives about freedom and family was very good. You may not actually appreciate it and get impressed as soon as you see it but once you see the movie and after a while you think of it, you'll start liking it. It did happen to me.
I only have a few things against the movie, the first one being that the studio didn't reach its previous standards of story-telling. The second one was the pace, which was alright for most of the movie except for at the beginning of the second half. Also, I must have raised my expectations dramatically after watching the trailers, so probably I did get a little disappointed. But nevertheless, the movie is without doubt, a very good movie. Only, it's neither the best nor the worst of Pixar films. It dangles somewhere in the middle of the list.
Also, there was a very beautiful short movie called La Luna at the beginning of the movie. By the way, 'If you had the chance to change you fate, would you?' This line is kind of cool. Who knew? You might find it useful someday.