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June 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Pixar’s latest entry, Brave, is not receiving the unanimous praise from critics that the studio’s early entries did, but it is not receiving the slams that Cars 2 did, and the criticism that it does encounter is not particularly brutal. For example, Joe Morgenstern in the Wall Street Journal finds it “enjoyable, consistently beautiful, fairly conventional, occasionally surprising and ultimately disappointing.” He regards the movie as the most “Disneyesque” of the Pixar movies, something he finds troublesome, and wonders how much it was actually influenced by the studio that was once Pixar’s distributor and is now its owner. “There is reason to be concerned,” he concludes, “not because of the failings of Brave, which is a pleasant entertainment on its own terms, but because of the singular promise that Pixar represents in a dimming firmament of entertainment conglomerates.” A similar concern is expressed by Ty Burr in the Boston Globe. “Uh-oh,” he leads off, “Brave is the first Pixar movie that doesn’t feel like a Pixar movie.” It is, he notes, the studio’s first princess movie “and possible proof that Disney’s parent-company DNA is finally bleeding into the mix.” Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times says that the filmmakers at Pixar appear to be “poaching on traditional territory of Disney.” Likewise Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune notes pointedly that the film is from Pixar “and the ruling clan of Disney.” He observes that while the film is not among Pixar’s “bona fide masterworks” it can nevertheless be regarded as “a bona fide eyeful.” And Peter Howell in the Toronto Star also writes that “Brave is actually more like a Grimm’s fairy tale made by Pixar’s corporate parent Disney.” He adds: “This isn’t meant as a slam, just an expression of mild disappointment. For many, Brave will play just fine as family entertainment.” Steven Rea in the Philadelphia Inquirer also wishes that the film were more distinctive. “Although Brave is satisfying and spirited and laced with humor … it doesn’t quite mark a return to form for Pixar,” he comments. A.O. Scott in the New York Times praises the film’s “seductive pictorial splendor” but criticizes “its discouragingly uninspired script.” Joe Neumaier in the New York Daily News is also of two minds about the movie, writing, “Gorgeously animated and featuring a tapestry of real-looking wonders, Brave is certainly a thing of beauty. But its emotional layers don’t yield the same depth.”