“Brave” Will Leave You Bored

Look at those long red locks.Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures.

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Brave
Walt Disney Pictures
93 minutes

Beautiful yet unfulfilling, Brave will leave you wanting to grow long red hair and visit Scotland, but not much else. Pixar’s first feature with a female lead lacks the depth and originality we’ve come to expect from the animation studio (I’m thinking of you, Up). Instead, the story falls in line with those of the other Disney princesses—a bland cautionary tale filled with just enough action and suspense to keep you awake. La Luna, the excellent short that’s shown before the feature film, is much more entertaining than the main event.

Brave’s opening scenes hold promise—especially when our heroine, a Scottish princess named Merida, rides her horse through the countryside, firing off arrows and nailing targets set up around the forest. But the next 40 minutes are slapstick humor mixed with pathetic attempts at character and narrative development. When Merida turns to magic in an attempt to change her fate and avoid marriage, her plan backfires. Unfortunately, the filmmakers focus on a ridiculous chase scene rather than the consequences of their main character’s brush with magic. Later, as Merida searches for a way to undo the spell, what could be a moment of emotional development turns into a silly fishing contest. Pixar turned us all to mush at the end of Toy Story 3 (admit it, you cried), but Brave’s ’emotional’ scenes aren’t nearly as satisfying.

When the slapstick is stripped away, you’re left with a lead whose most notable traits are her (albeit beautifully animated) hair and her archery skills, and a mother-daughter relationship that lacks any real depth despite being the focus of the film. There are animals, magic, fun accents and bare behinds (in 3D no less) to keep the PG audience entertained. But for anyone over the age of 12, all the film offers is lovely scenery and a few giggles.

Brave, a Disney Pixar release, is rated PG for some action and rude humor. It gets a wide release Friday, June 22. Click here for local showtimes and tickets.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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