"Change your fate."
Look Will O'Wisps. FOLLOW THEM.

Ok after futzing around with blogger's obnoxious formatting for ten minutes I can begin! Brave, the latest effort by Pixar is set in ye olde Scotland, and when I say that I don't just mean that's where it takes place. I mean, they are not subtle about what a bunch of Scots from Scotland all the Scot characters are Scot Scot. This will probably be my biggest criticism of a movie I otherwise liked, but seriously, they were laying on the Scotland pretty thick, and did not shy away from being really stereotypical about it. Pretty much everyone in the movie is a kilt-wearing Braveheart extra, and while I grant that they're trying to keep a theme going here, I think they maybe went a little too over the top with it. Putting that aside, This movie is about Merida, who is a princess who is typically un-princesslike in disposition. She doesn't want to get married to one of three imbeciles (also not the most original thing to ever happen) so she tries to use magic to change her fate and that goes typically awry as well. It is not the world's most original tale I'll grant, but what it does it accomplishes in a charming way.

I wouldn't piss this girl off within arm's reach of a bow.
I think Pixar is often banking on that charm, rather than the originality of the plot, and I'd say that's the case here. Brave is a fantastic looking movie to watch, with appropriately atmospheric and lush countryside as the backdrop for the movie and a fitting soundtrack. Also there are huge killer bears, so that was a pro in my book. I feel like a lot of movies would be better if the characters were fighting killer bears more. Like maybe if Wall-E had to save the fat people on the space ship from a killer space bear. (Ok so that's not a great idea). The film is well paced balancing those heartwarming "awwwww" moments, with action scenes, and like any good movie aimed mostly at children, doesn't drag the proceedings out longer than necessary.  Now that I've summarized the cogent points about the movie, allow me to nitpick things, and then probably go on a couple tirades.

Oh shit now she has a sword.
This movie seems to have caught some of Disney's vibes, because it is a fairy tale movie with a girl protagonist, both firsts for Pixar. Viewing it as a fairy tale though, there is a particular detail I mention in a caption above that really bugged the hell out of me, despite it being totally unimportant and completely stupid to care about. A big part of how Merida finds her way (as in literally through the woods) is by following wisps, and traditionally speaking, (In almost EVERY tradition) that is a pretty bad idea. Will o'wisps as they appear in folk lore typically are lights that lead travelers away from safe paths, and off cliffs or into bogs where they die. I know that's not important, but it bugged me every time the happy woodland lights led Merida to safety. At any rate I definitely will not be following mysterious lights into the woods. Someone really should have told Pixar that Will o'wisps aren't the same as those little kodamas from Princess Mononoke.

What's that little buddy? Follow you off a cliff?
The other thing that really wigged me out has not to do with the movie, but with people writing things about the movie, who are not me. For one, while looking around on the internet I found several sites that suggested to me that Merida was a lesbian? That frankly, is retarded and also kind of creepy. For starters Merida is 15, so I don't really want to spend time trying to guess at her sexual orientation. if you do, then you should probably be on some variety of list. Secondly, what she doesn't want to be arrange-married to some complete dipshit, so she must be gay? That seems maaaayybe like a bit of a leap. If she were a lesbian, that would be fine. I don't think we've quite arrived at THAT point in Disney's history (also see never-ever-ever) but sure that would be cool. I just don't think that a teenager who maybe doesn't want to get married, and wants to do her own thing must be totally disinterested in boys. That's pretty dumb I'm looking at you Entertainment Weekly (Of course E Weekly was far from the only source that suggested this completely gender role biased theory).

As a final thought, Thank GOD that Reese Witherspoon passed up on the chance to play the role of Merida. Instead that role was played by Kelly Macdonald who among other things is Scottish. Also she isn't a dog-faced no talent bimbo who I don't think was acting in Legally Blonde. I mean she doesn't act in any of her OTHER MOVIES. *ahem* excuse me.
Next week, I explode like an insane volcano about the Amazing Spider-Man, and why people should stop being dicks about it.
Oh man look at this lesbo princess! Am I right E Weekly?

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