It’s a movie, people.
Out today is Disney and Pixar’s newest film, Brave.
I’ve been excited for this movie since pretty much the second I heard about it. A Pixar fairy tale with magic, archery, and a feisty female lead? Sign me up!
Oh, wait, it also comes with the type of pressure found at the sea floor to be ground-breaking and unique and a glorious beacon of feminism for all humankind and provide a perfect and dynamic role model for young girls, nay, all people flung across the known universe set in the type of delicious visual shmorgishborg we’ve come to expect from Pixar?
Woah now, slow your roll.
I’ve seen a lot of early reviews for Brave, and many of them come to one of two conclusion- that it doesn’t blaze far enough along the trail of lady fierceness and falls back on typical girl-power cliches, or that it’s not Toy Story and this denotes an avalanche-like fall in the quality of Pixar films. Some even mourn the fact that children might be more excited about this film than their parents. Kids excited to see a movie intended for kids? OUTRAGEOUS!
I normally wouldn’t suggest this, but I think everyone needs to take some advice from a contestant on America’s Next Top Model.
If you go into any situation wearing 10 pairs of socks, and expecting them to all be knocked off without any effort on your part, you’re going to be disappointed.
Yes, Brave is the story of Pixar’s first female lead, a role that should be handled with responsibility, but that doesn’t mean it owes an earth-shattering roar of feminism. There will never be one single film that solves the problem of women being misrepresented, or not represented enough in films or television, but every one that shows a strong and human (not like, homo sapien, like having faults and issues) female character is a step in the right direction.
I think what matters more than the gender of this character is that she demonstrates the kinds of virtues and values that the people in the audience should aspire to, and has the same fears and problems that they are already grappling with. As long as Brave does that, I’ll be happy.
In terms of the quality of the film itself, all this talk seems like a symptom of everyone waiting for Pixar to screw up. They’ve had an unprecedented streak of successes, and that makes people uncomfortable. Everyone seems to be waiting for Pixar to take a tumble.
To that I say, give up.
Everyone will have Pixar movies they love, and ones they aren’t fond of (I listen to the Ratatouille soundtrack almost daily, I didn’t think The Incredibles lived up to their name. Sue me.) There’s no point in waiting for a definitive flop because with the kind of following that Pixar and Disney have, there will always be one person who will love any movie they make.
It’s hard to not build up a film before you see it, but it’s a lot more fun to be pleasantly surprised than to have your hopes and dreams smashed and your secret doubts confirmed. From other, more positive reviews, this movie seems like a good time, and that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
Well, that and getting popcorn with extra extra butter.