Twelve for 2012 Part Nine: Brave


After The Hunger Games, Avengers Assemble, Men in Black 3, Snow White and the Huntsman, Prometheus, The Amazing Spider-Man, Ice Age: Continental Drift and The Dark Knight Rises, we’re nearing the end of the feature, and it’s time for part nine of Twelve for 2012. Rounding off March, it’s the one with the Scottish, the arrows and the warrior. Part nine, Brave!


It’s made by Pixar, the hallmark of quality. Yes, Cars 2 damaged their reputation a little, but for every Cars 2 with Pixar, there’s a Toy Story, an Up and a Wall-E. And happily, after two years of sequels (not that Toy Story 3 was a bad thing, no way), they’re returning to original ideas. Pixar’s original ideas include Monsters Inc, and the movies I mentioned above, so it does look promising for Brave. In fact, with this year being ruled by sequels or prequels, Brave is the only fully original movie with new characters in this entire list. Sequels can be great (see The Dark Knight, Spider-Man 2 and others), prequels can be great, but it’s refreshing to see an original idea come along every now and then.

The trailers look great: quests, bow and arrows and Scotland. Yup, Scotland. Another refreshing thing about this movie: how many mainstream movies released recently have been set in Scotland? Very few. And it’s the first Pixar movie ever to be set in Britain, so as a Brit myself, that’s pretty cool. And if the trailers are as good as the actual movie, then we’re in for yet another modern Pixar classic. And if they’re not, we’re in for the animated equivalent of the 2010 Clash of the Titans.

Being a Pixar movie ensures built-in success, both critical and financial. There’s no doubt that the usual people who go to Pixar films (that’s me) will come to this movie, plus a load of new cinema-goers. Oh, and the result?  Well, more MONEY for Pixar, of course. And maybe, just maybe, Brave 2. I’m not quite sure yet if that’ll be a good thing, or a bad thing.


The fact that a princess (an arse-kicking arrow-wielding princess, but a princess nonetheless) is the main heroine puts it firmly in Disney territory. I’m not a fan of the stuff Disney makes – I’m way more of a Pixar person. So the idea of bringing elements of Disney into a Pixar movie doesn’t sit quite right with me, and it kinda tarnishes the appeal of the movie to me. And I’m sure that people out there agree with me. Or perhaps I’m alone in my opinion and I’m just rambling.

It’s not really following Pixar’s traditional pattern of ‘what if?’ scenarios as the plot. Toy Story‘s was ”what do the toys in my room do when I’m not in my room?”. Monsters Inc.’s was ”what are the monsters under my bed and in my cupboard thinking about?”. Cars’ was ”what if cars could talk?”. Wall-E‘s was ”what if we abandoned Earth and left someone else to take out the trash?”. Up‘s was ”what would happen if I tied balloons to my house and flew it to -” – OK, perhaps not. But Brave doesn’t revolve around a ”what if?” idea, and that sets it apart from Pixar’s other movies in a bad way.

It’s a tricky film to market. In a summer of massive blockbusters with large fan bases and famous cast and crew (The Dark Knight Rises, Prometheus, Avengers Assemble, Ice Age: Continental Drift), Brave could be completely forgotten among the sea of guaranteed successes. The dodgy release dates of June 22 for the US and August 17 in UK (that’s why it’s part nine on this list, rather than part six. I’m writing this from my perspective as a Brit, so British release dates are being used) don’t help. It’s understandable that Pixar would want to shield Brave from the big-hitters of May and July, but doing that comes with a cost: less people going to see the movie.

Will it be good? It should be, as being a Pixar movie ensures it’s good. Or at least it did before Cars 2. Dammit, Cars 2!

How much money will it make? Not as much as other Pixar movies, due to the awkward release dates and Disney-like appearance. About $450 million, I reckon.

Next time: The spy genre is Bourne again (see what I did there? Stop screaming, the pun wasn’t that bad!) as I take a look at sidequel The Bourne Legacy.