Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thoughts on the Extended Clip from Pixar's "Brave"

For some reason, Apple has this extended clip from Disney and Pixar’s Brave labeled as the film’s second trailer. I wasn't expecting that (I thought we were getting a trailer, not a clip), but I checked it out just a few minutes ago and I must say, it’s completely satisfying.
First off, the animation. It’s breathtaking, like all of the other Pixar films. The character designs are unique, and again Pixar continues the tradition of using interesting human character designs, which was something that started with The Incredibles in 2004. Pixar’s human character designs are usually satisfying, as we saw extraordinary work in Ratatouille and Up. Brave is no different, the designs are very appealing while also being unique.
It’s well-lit, another plus, like any other Pixar film. The art direction is beautiful. Everything is well staged. Patrick Doyle’s score? While most of it shines towards the end of the clip, it’s certainly wonderful. It definitely captures the mood. Although I have nothing but high praise for the scores composed by Randy Newman, Thomas Newman and Michael Giacchino, I like that Pixar chose someone that hasn’t scored one of their films before.
Last but not least, it’s well-written. This has classic Pixar all over it, if the animation and staging alone wasn’t enough to prove it. The humor works, while having a bit of slapstick Warner Bros. cartoon edge to it, but it’s never distracting or over-the-top. Like all of the Pixar films, it seems like they have chosen the right voice actors yet again.
Overall, this clip was very satisfying. I was once skeptical about this film, but this clip put that skepticism to rest. Brave is the Pixar event that audiences need this summer, unlike last summer’s Cars 2. While I didn’t outright dislike John Lasseter and Brad Lewis’ action-packed romp, I believe Brave will keep people’s faith in Pixar going strong. I cease to believe that one film would drive people away from seeing Pixar films. Brave is classic Pixar, although the clip has had its fair share of naysayers.

As for the How to Train Your Dragon comparisons? I only see a few similarities, but that’s about it. Some might think that it’s unoriginal, being another fairy tale-style story about a rebellious princess. I have a feeling Pixar has something up their sleeve with this one, because they’ve tackled familiar stories before and gave us a fresh new take on them. This film should be no different.

One thing I want to know is, are they going to show this in theaters? This is quite different, because this is a scene and not a trailer. It does have the green "approved" screen before it and it ends with the "Summer 2012" screen. It begins and ends like a trailer. If this is shown in theaters, then that might get people more excited about it because most trailers for Pixar films are messy, but yet they still get people talking. While having the trailer for a film be an entire scene has been done before (The Lion King and Ice Age come to mind), it's still effective. It implies that Pixar is very confident in this film and they really want it to be seen as an event. Cars 2 was no event.

Also, the new poster is quite possibly one of the best Pixar posters I’ve ever seen. This poster is more akin to some of WALL-E’s posters. It’s a work of art. What I really liked about this poster is that it lacks any cuteness. A good number of posters (and DVD/Blu-ray covers) for most Disney and Pixar animated films have all of the characters smiling, making the films seem like kiddie fluff-fests. This poster on the other hand, much like Disney's better posters, is proof that these animated films are not just for kids. This poster makes the film look like a real epic. That said, this is an excellent poster much like the first one. If the rest of the marketing is like this, then that's good. Perhaps Brave will help shatter the belief that animation is a kids thing, although Pixar has slowly been putting that belief to rest since Toy Story first came out. Maybe this will help destroy that belief for good.
Anyway, that said, head on over to and check out the extended clip.

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