While I appreciate the fact that Merida's reason for living isn't to find a man, I can't help but feel that the film is terribly dull. There were cute moments here and there but as a whole it was very disappointing.
It's strange that this gem has been getting such lukewarm reception, because it is genuinely the most engaged I've been with a Pixar or Disney project in a decade or more. It draws from beautiful mythologies, has incredibly textured animation, and is ultimately really funny.
The trailer misrepresents the movie. It is not a magical adventure through ancient Scotland; it is The Little Mermaid meets Brother Bears, which is as weird a combination as they come. The resulting mother/daughter buddy romp that was not up my alley. Merida herself, though, is an awesome badass of a heroine. Every second she and her fiery red luscious springs of goddess locks weren't on screen was a waste.
Pixar's latest offering is a gorgeous, but surprisingly slight, adventure about a young Scottish princess who decides to take her fate into her own hands before being married off. A nice, inoffensive mother/daughter fable, with a beautiful score by Patrick Doyle, but the film plays out more like a Dreamworks film, lacking the emotional depth of Pixar's best work.
The animation, voice acting, visuals, score were all top notch. Truly wonderful visuals. However the story was a bit lame for Pixar standards, I mean don't get me wrong it's better than most animated kids fare today but c'mon, these guys made Up and Toy Story. That being said the characters were awesome and life-like. I wouldn't mind seeing a sequel for this one with a better story and the exact same characters.
Okay, at times it feels like a watered down miyazaki movie and lacks the creative inspiration of other Pixar movies. But that doesn't mean its not 10 times more entertaining than most movies being screened at the local cinemas. The animation itself is fucking beautiful! I can watch that red hair all day! Sure, I expected more but I didn't leave the theater not satisfied.