I took my girls to see Brave over the weekend. Pixar has another home run on their hands. As I expected, the film features a wonderful story with lovable characters and a sound, moral lesson. There’s just enough threat to keep things interesting and a healthy helping of humor. The score is also quite good, if you like music of Celtic origin. I already purchased the soundtrack.
As I said, that’s what I’ve come to expect from Pixar, and they don’t disappoint. What really impressed me with Brave are the technical achievements in both hair and water effects. Merida’s hair is an impressive bit of work. Imagining the logic that went into its behavior blows my mind. Knowing how far we’ve come with computer animation in the past ten years, I know we’re going to see some truly amazing stuff in the next decade. Obviously, Pixar was not trying for photorealism, but the hair seemed natural. Blizzard’s cinematics for Diablo III contain the most realistic looking CG humans I’ve seen. The quality of Leah’s skin (you can see pores) and the subtleness of her facial expressions have come close to spanning that uncanny valley.
A few more notes from the film:
- No, I didn’t see it in 3-D, and I didn’t miss it.
- My favorite shot in the entire film is during her horse ride / target practice. She fires an arrow into the stump of a branch that already has hundreds of arrows lodged within it. It’s only on screen a split second. That was a brilliant bit of storytelling.
- When the dedication to Steve Jobs showed during the end credits, a woman in the audience declaimed, “Steve Jobs?!” The reaction surprised me at first, but I guess his involvement with Pixar may not be common knowledge.
- It’s worth sticking around until the end of the credits.