screenplay by Mark Andrews and Steve Purcell and Brenda Chapman and Irene Mecchi
directed by Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
by Walter Chaw Brave...isn't. Not very. It's by far the most conventional Pixar film, and while it's better than either Cars, that's only because the Cars movies are simply awful. Brave has a plucky girl heroine who disobeys her mother, makes a hash of things, then solves everything at the end through the murder of the antagonist. It has an adorable animal sidekick (three of them, actually), treats an entire culture like a broad ethnic joke, and misses every single opportunity to be about something. Huzzah! When we say as a culture that something's for children, we mean that it's better--unless we're talking about media culture. Brave is for children, and its only connection to things like WALL·E, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., The Incredibles, or Ratatouille is its company's pedigree, fading fast until Brad Bird or Andrew Stanton decides to strap 'em on and jump back in the ol' computer-animated saddle, riding to the rescue as the company founded on their beautiful complexities descends into absolute, uncontroversial, shallow mendacity.