Sunday, October 14, 2012

I love Pixar. Have ever since I was a lil kid and saw a cartoon that they produced starring a couple lamps. Now remember that this was long before computer animation was commonplace and familiar to one and all, so at first I was genuinely confused for a moment and thought that it was stop-motion or some kind of lamp puppetry.

The animation company had an incredible run of films that were the impossible to achieve impressive combo of financially successful, critically acclaimed, award winning and well liked. Most movies are lucky to achieve one or two of those factors, but to achieve all four is a staggering cinematic accomplishment.

Then came Cars. Which I did not like. I didn't hate it, but something felt off. It got mixed reviews, still made a ton of money and won some awards. It was followed up by three much more impressive works in Ratatouille, Wall-E and I forgave Pixar and moved on. Cars 2 was another matter. It was the first Pixar film that truly felt like it was just done for the merchandising revenue. It made me sad.

Evidently it also made a lot of people at Pixar sad too, and the hundreds of millions of dollars that the film made didn't ease the crushed morale that they had taken a major misstep off of their usual high quality path. The result of the failure of Cars 2 may be the rousing success of Brave. It's a beautifully crafted fairy tale, with all elements of technology and storytelling amazingly meshing together the way a Pixar movie should. It also happens to feature a central princess character unlike any seen before in animation, one that not only leads the adventure, but one that does not pine after or need a prince on her arm to win the day. I have always put Pixar up on a pedestal above their computer animation competition, and Brave puts them back up in that rightful place.

I got to watch Brave this-afternoon in a packed with kids Mayfair Theatre on a gloomy, rainy afternoon and it was a perfect movie watching time. We even had a bow and arrow set to give away thanks to Mrs Tiggy Winkles, which I hope doesn't get the prize winning kid into too much trouble. It appropriately enough went to a lovely little girl who correctly answered the Pixar themed trivia question.

We have the film for two more nights at the Mayfair before it's hauled off and locked away in the mythical and movie fan dreaded Disney vaults forever. Or at least locked away until it's re-released in 4D bow-o-vision in ten years.

Brave - Wednesday October 17th and Thurs October 18th at 7:00pm.

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