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We saw Pixar's Brave last night.  It was outstanding.   Hands down my now favorite Pixar film - (though I still save the first 10 minutes of Wall-E as a special artistic consideration.)

The CGI was particularly impressive and beautiful.  The compositions of each shot were delicately handled and lovely.  The director of photography did an exceptional job.

The story was fantastic and well told.  It had every aspect of what a good story needs.  Elements of fun, fear, danger, love, happiness and wonder.  It's well rounded and excellent.

I know that some people are having some difficulty with this movie.  So I am writing this as a direct open letter to all those confused critics and moviegoers.

John Lasseter was the Executive Producer on this film.  While this sometimes means that they put up the money for the film - for the most part this means you're the boss.  You run the show and handle every aspect and over see every part of the film.  You have to be a qualified manager and organized person to be a good Producer.  But that means the film is also a reflection of your vision - because you're the "yes" person.   And the "no" person.  The buck stops at the Executive Producer.  

John Lasseter is possibly the biggest Hayao Miyazaki fan in the US.  I know, I know - we're all fans - but if you ever heard him wax loquacious about Miyazaki San - then you will know how much he reveres his work.  He is the person responsible for Disney having the distribution rights to Studio Ghibli's work here in the US, in fact.  

Brave is a direct homage to Miyazaki's work.

It is a Miyazaki story - a young girl, working against all odds to change her fate, work through difficult relationships, embrace her strength and courage, and finally -- through her growth as a young woman and maturity, come out triumphant.

This is a more complex story than what US audiences are accustomed to with a Disney film.  People expect a very simple and basic formula.  Little boy/young man hero.  Big evil villain.   Conflict.  Resolution.  The end.

I can completely see why some of movie critics and moviegoers are having a little bit of a tough time understanding the nuanced nature of this film -- who expects the viewer to feel empathy and sympathy... with a girl.

But don't listen to any of that nonsense.  This is a beautiful, exceptional film of astounding beauty and a warm, wonderful story of love and family.
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i want to see brave so bad because its going to be the best movie i every see !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Saw it last night too and outstanding is well deserved.
I'm still composing my thoughts, but you've given me a break for coffee :)
Very logical. Spirited Away is still one of my top 5 films of all time. I'll be sure to see Brave in the spirit of a Miyazaki homage.
It was so awesome and well done.  My wife and I both loved it to death, and she immediately bought the soundtrack after coming home.  
We have been excited to see this in this house for a daughter, she's only 4 so we bought the "Read Along" Disney book to help with the "scary" elements...she's beyond excited to see Merida (in fact at 7:45 this morning I was awoken to Merida whispers in my ear).  I hope she likes it and your review makes even ME excited. 
Can't wAit to see this Great movie . ^_^
I was going to see this anyway, but knowing its in some way related to someone who likes Studio Ghibli sealed the deal completely
We took our kids to see it - they all wanted to go, ages, 13, 15 and 18 ;)  It's not just for little ones at all 

And yes, the Soundtrack is really great, we bought it as soon as we got home, too +Michael Althauser :D
I look forward to it as well.

So far my favorite first minutes of a film is the beginning of The Land Before Time.
Up was better, had a little more heart and humor. It also played with standard conventions a bit more. Brave was still great but was a little too much of a Disney princess movie with a little Miyazaki thrown in.
You've sold me..I'll definately enjoy watching it then..thnx for the honesty..
It's a little dark and violent for kids. It probably should've been rated PG-13, but of course the MPAA is a clusterfuck. Overall though, I still liked The Incredibles and Cars better.
Was it super good?
I have to go see it!
Thank you SO MUCH for this. I can't wait to see it!!
this movie seems like it will be really good! ^-^
There were dozens of small children in the theater when we went to go see it, +Sean Bradshaw and they were not scared.

It's not dark and violent at all.  You want dark?  Try Nightmare Before Christmas.  *That's* dark for small children.  It is also a wonderful and heartwarming story.  A wonderful introduction for children to an anti-Hero.  But that's another post.

There is nothing wrong with telling a story with a bit of danger.    I would have brought my children to this movie when they were small and never had an ounce of worry.
By the way, who is Director of Photography?
This movie looks like it will be great. 
I'm playing the iOS Game " Temple Run--Brave" to show my support : P
I just saw that movie last night.... amazing. I highly recomend it!
It was ok... Not as good as toy story, nemo, or monsters inc.

I'm going to see it Sunday all my children want to go ages 16,12,10 & 7 the youngest one is a girl. So even my boys want to go. Can't wait.
There is a Temple Run for Brave!!! GETTING IT!! :)
Glad to hear it! Seeing it this afternoon.
i love disney collections
IKR!!!! i loved it to!!!!!!!11 best Disney princes movie yet!!!
i saw that movie a long time ago.i have on demand
i will put in my task schedule movies... 
I want to see tht movie a lot of people said tht it is a good movie
awesome...will watch it
Saw the movie last night with my family. It was a great movie. Visually it was stunning! Storyline was admittedly different from anything else done before but it was amazingly well told. I experienced a few tear-jerking moments as well.

(Plus, John Ratzenberger is in it, so it's almost guaranteed to succeed!)

I wholeheartedly approve this film and highly recommend it to all!
De Cuando estrena esta película en Venezuela  por los comentarios imagino debe ser bueno
Went out the the midnight showing and loved it! A bit at the end made me cry which is always a good sign for a movie like this. I will say I absolutely loved that there wasn't really a villain in the traditional sense. It made this movie feel very different then most of Disney's films.

I like to note to people that this is not a 'Princess Movie' as Disney usually portrays them. This one is very different. The conflict is not something outside of the character that they need to overcome. We need more stories like this.
Well now I have to go see it!!! You had me at "this is a more complex story than what Americans are use too" I'll let you know later what I thought of it! :)
Family movie.  Family values.  Family Fun.  Take your family and see this movie!  Take mine too, I don't get paid until Thursday and I wanna see it again!
brave looks like me but with curly hair and no glasses 
Hope to see it today. I've got to see that amazing red hair.

Be kind folks. Remember it's just a movie. Enjoy it for what it is. 
i really want to see this too
I wanna see brave like crazy
It's killing me just waiting for it to come out
I appreciate your critique - very well thought out and it makes me want to go see it RIGHT NOW!!!
Very much looking forward to seeing the film, however you may be giving John Lasseter (Who I do think is amazing) too much credit.  The Exec is certainly the titular head of the production who will often greenlight a project or purchase rights to a script or IP, but their actual creative involvement can be very limited and may just pick up the credit for being head of the studio.  Brave is more likely to be the creative vision of the directors, screenwriters and the non-executive producer and they should be given the recognition they deserve if the movie is as good as I hope it is.
Was planning on seeing it already, now I know I am seeing it!
not here yet but waiting in anticipation.
Thx for the review
My sister's her is the same as the girl in that film. But not Ginger
Great thought out and presented review!!! Thank you and we are so excited to see it as well!
i'm gonna watch this one. I love pixar
awesome! want to see that movie so bad!!!!!
dex ter
watching tomo
I agree with a couple of posts. This is more for older kids and not so much for 5 year olds. My daughter was scared several times and hopped in my lap. I think it was well told but needed to be geared towards a slightly older audience. 
I saw it. It depends on your perspective. I wouldn't say it's clean for kids 8 or younger, and the plot was weak, But i did love the girl main character
I saw it last night 2 at a drive in movie it was by FAR the best Pixar movie ever
We really enjoyed it and there seem to be a lot of hidden meaning and a lot of elements from Shakespeare. Up is still my favorite Pixar though!
I'm sure we'll see it soon. My 5 year old daughter has long, curly, red hair too so I think it's expected of us! I'm kind of interested in seeing what my daughter thinks of a non-princess lead character - personally I'm looking for a new character for her to love!
i really want to go see that
I would have been unlikely to see it just because I don't really go in for kids' movies too much.. but this review has piqued my interest.. and Miyazaki is an exception to my kids' movies dislike... I probably won't see it in the theater, but will look for it after it's out to rent.
Brave is awesome watch it. 
Yay!  Now I really want to see this movie!  
i <3 this movie we r going 2 see it next week cant wait =)
I saw it as well. I wouldn't say it is complex and it is a bit predictable. I was not captured by the wonder of the story. 
It was well done and most certainly beautiful but I found her a but whiny at times. 
Overall still a very good movie, Pizar does not disappoint. Still does not compare to The Incredibles for me. I am really excited about Monster U! 
really exited to see the movie
I absolutely love Pixar films!  I will definitely be seeing it. It sounds like a great story and look forward to the complexity of it!
Jim Ben
Looks like tangled film
I so wanna see that movie it sounds awesome
i wanna wattccchhhh ittt RAWR i cant...
Why the heck isn't it out in the UK until August however, it's just stupid and encourages people to watch it illegally.
Mahalo for that review.  I probably would not have gone to see it had I not read this.  It's right up my "like" alley.
this movie looks good i wanna see it soooooo bad!!
What a refreshing, insightful and informative review. Thank you, +Jennifer Bailey. Well done and this extends to your comments, too.
I watched it with the family at the cinemas tonight, was a great movie....quite similar to how to train ur dragon, but it was still good movie! 
im going to see this on monday!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you for posting this, my daughter asked to go see it yesterday and now I too am looking forward to seeing it. 
Omg sounds like a good movie by what everyone is saying
Ok. Now I what to see it I bet it's great
definitely want to take the kids to it, maybe during the week. thanks for the review.
I cannot wait to see this movie, I've been watching trailers like crazy and finally, next weekend, our turn to be WOW'd! 
i can relate to her hair......mine is only a little shorter than hers, like maybe two inches, and just about as curly. :)
i saw that movie yesterday .. it was so good .. i like it
It was an amazing film but Im still composing my thoughts on it:) great review by the way
i saw it
her brothers
they r triplets
n they r SOOOO CUTEE!!!!!!
I saw the movie yesterday, totally caught me by surprise not ur traditional movie, made me feel like this might be the start of a tradition changer. Hope all movies continue doing what was done in brave. I LOVED THIS MOVIE!!!!!
It was effing good, I must say. My lady and I saw it last night as well. :)
I wasn't planning to watch it, but after this review, I'll keep an eye out for it. 
imma watch it today! :D 
finally theres a good movie w a heroine :D
This is the movie I was waiting for..... For real.... I am going to see it tomorrow!
Going to see Brave today! Looks like the reviews are good! Can't wait to see it!

That so cool I wish I could watch it 
after all its created by the same guys who made movies like UP.
lisa li
i want to watch this!!!
I want to watch it but i can't. Is it good?
i went to a drive thru to see it but of course with my luck it stops in the middle of the movie and we have to go home
Brave,To go out with that 'carrot top pubic hair cut.
"She shot an artrow in the air, to the FIRST that laughed at her Hair!"
I can't wait to watch it <3
Better than Wall-e? Surly not! I'll have to see it to find out.
Saw the movie today.Couldn't agree more!
Saw today with my daughter and son. Excellent story , artwork, and really enjoyed the music as well. The story was more complex than the normal Mickey mouse fare, but we enjoy less formulaic story lines in our house. Six thumbs up from our outing today.
I've never heard of it, but I might look into it.
Hana La
I just watched it too and it was GREAT!
when is it coming to the south?
iv herd about it but never seen it looks real kool
Thanks everyone for all the comments and sharing how much you enjoyed the film and/or want to see it - I read every comment!! :)  Google+ just makes me smile :)
I had been debating over whether to see this movie. Now I am totally going to see it! 
Press Ctrl + W and you can see the arrow moving, amazing
No lie this will probably be the Best pixar movie ever!!!!!!!
Is Pixar paying you? Because I was still a bit on the fence about this, but now I think I have to take my daughter.

Ironically, I'm also further convinced by a facebook-friend's negative review. More proof that G+ > fb...?
Haven't seen it but I already no its goin to be good
to methimovie lookslie it sucks cuz i like tangeld more better
this looks like a boring movie
+Jennifer Bailey Interesting, I was reading the comments in the talk-back thread over on Cartoon Brew and no one made the Miyazaki connection. Considering Lasseter's obsession is well-known in the animation community, I'm surprised no one made this observation, though from what I've seen in the trailers I can easily believe that the influence is there. The Japanese version of the trailer in particular makes Brave seem like Pixar-does-Ghibli:  New Japanese BRAVE trailer (English subtitles)

I recall a similar feeling after watching the Crank movies (especially the sequel), walking out of the theater cackling with amusement while everyone around me was grumbling about how loud or stupid they were. Most people -- including many critics -- seem to miss that both movies are blatant homage to Miike's distinctive Japanese-bombast school of film-making. They're a globalized take on Fudoh or his Dead or Alive trilogy.

Really looking forward to Brave!
Love Pixar movies, sounds like this one will live up to the rest!
What you wrote is inspiring me to give top priority to watch the movie .
this movie was soooo cute!  I loved the brithers they were hilarious!!!
I loved Brave! It was funny, adventurous, beautifully animated, and really touching.
Ok, I had already wanted to see this movie, but if it really is a Miyazaki story done by Pixar, then I REALLY want to see this movie.
+Gary Duzan it's not written by Miyazaki - it's an homage - a love-letter, as it were, and heartily in the vein of a Miyazaki tale.
i agree it was very good. 
i watched that movieyesterday it was awesome!!!!!!!!!
and funny
I jest came homefrom that movie it was great!!!!!!!!!
I just finished watchin it online, lyk ryt now n it was wow!!!
wen the flip is BRAVE 2 comin out
Eu ainda não vi o filme.
Porém, minha amiga, como posso me relacionar mais intimamente com você? Qual é a palavra mágica?
Eu espero por você.
Abraço amigo.
My friend Jennifer saw the sneak peek too her mom works as a tv camra person!
I thought the attention to detail was amazing. The horse looked almost real, the glaze in his eyes were incredible.

The imagery of the land was awesome too, especially at the beginning. It brought me back to the bogs in Ireland.

I thought the movie was well done, but felt the story was lacking a little bit. I thought there would be more female empowerment! 
Watched it last night w my daughter, really good film. In particular I enjoyed the very strong characters of the princess and queen. I would rank it up there with some of my fav Pixar films, but Up ranks #1 for me.
oh man, that hair, if she's got that much hair on her head...
I did not expect anything less than perfect from Pixar! Can't wait to see it!
My Daughter took my Granddaughter to see this last night she is 4 and she loved it she told me the whole story now she can not wait until it comes out in DVD she would give it👍👍👍👍👍
waiting for it to become available to rent. 
I saw the Brave, and it sucked. I'm sorry.
 You messed up Pixar.  You sold out your soul when you agreed to be bought out by Disney.  Good job.
I am looking forward to seeing it.. just to hear the brogue. My MIL had a thick accent and I could just listen for hours. Considering I am sooo NY voiced.!!!
cool i wanna c it i could get in for free tho cuz my uncle works there !!!!! yeah (:
I think it lokks horrible... except for the brothers who seem highly caffenated
i hate that movie it was a wate of my parents money
Leo T
wow thats kewl and i luv ur red hair
I just sa BRAVE and I thought it was amazing. I loved it and I went ith a friend, and she said she was abou to cry at the end!
lol didnt c this yet but heard it wuz like a scottish version of pocahontis
i did not see it but i need to ASAP
Never really caught my attention, but I am now interested in watching.
Brave had some great animation  pixar saved disney
Emily N
I had doubts about wanting to go see this movie. Thanks to your informative post, I'll be adding this to my Summer Movies list. I hope that it's not like any other predictable Disney movies, because that was the primary reason why I was hesitant to watch it.
I want to see brave so bad because its going to be the best movie i every see !!
i wanna see this movie so bad!
Great!! I'll be looking forward to seeing it!
My 3 year old daughter can't wait to see it. She hates getting her hair brushed, just like Merida. But can you believe that here, in Scotland, it comes out at the end of August! 
i wanna see it but MIB3 was betta soz
i hear this movie is going to be awsome
i watched it today! it was awesome!
Thank You for the comment, I will watch it. :D 
Thanks for the stereotypes on us simple US movie goers... USA jealously complex noted.
Umm +Landon Zabcik I'm American.

I will also note that only Americans are capable of really noting the qualities of their own countrymen.  No jealousy here, doll.   I live here.  I see the.... qualities...  every day.
all i know that every time that i see a pixar or disney movie there is  one big lesson in life to learn i wish  the disney channel bradcast more movies...  but then again  they are training our future children  with different sitcoms wich is  quite obvious  oh well  there is always  give and takes  ha ha  you get it. 
I saw it yesterday and it was great, but I don't understand. Why would people find it confusing?
my 62 year old bro likes this
Thanks, Ill have to check it out next weekend.  Love Pixar.
Just going out to see it this morning. Can't wait.
I read they had to create two separate programs just for the movement of her hair? one for the curls the other for the rest. seems pretty intense. will take my kids this week. 
i really want to see tht how many stars did it get
Saw it last night, I think it was one of the best Pixar movies i've seen. I have no idea what the critics had issue with.

Also, the CGI was very impressive. Go see it, highly recommended.
I so want to see that I am getting ready now and going to see it with my boyfriend right now and the commercial is on right now haha good times

Thanks for writing the review. I wasn't so interested in the film -- I thought it was going to be some new Disney princess vehicle. I wasn't aware of the Miyazaki connection. I'm a huge fan and will def check this out now.
Ya I watched it the day it came out, it was awesome!
I am a very Irish and Scottish person, so I can't wait to see this movie
haha i can't wait to see this movie i'm so excited!
Saw it today with the whole family and everybody loved it. Great story and the CGI was just amazing. Miyazaki's work is just amazing. Big fan. 
story was heart warming
It is awesome even if I just saw the trailor.
Looking forward to seeing Brave.
Re: 10 minutes...   I would cite the first 10 minutes of Up as being a better, more thought out and complete film than most full-length features.
when are they gonna make a black/african 3d motion picture?
It was better if she had a crossbow
Good overview. The movie is not out in my county yet but defiantly looking fwd to watching it. It will not be easy taking WAll E off its nr 1 title in my pixar movie scale but i will keep an open mind. The Brave character reminds me of the character of Arya Stark from " Games of thrones".
Saw it today.. Was somewhat disappointed . The imagery was awesome, graphics great... Some really funny parts. But the storyline was lacking in my opinion... Needed to have better plot, etc... I left the movie feeling something lacking. 
Saw this movie yesterday amazing movie loved it
My friend and I are going to go see this tomorrow, entirely because of your review, which I pointed him at. He's a Studio Gimli fan.  :)
cant wait to watch this movie
Great movie, great write-up. Not sure the Disney-feminist-plot rant is valid though. Snow white, Cinderella, we are fairly good at sympathizing with non-male heroes.
Brave is the worst of all PIXAR movies.  Don't waste your money at the theaters unless you have stupid money to waste.
have you seen the disney store in new york
its overrated
My kids (5 and 3) loved it, so it was money well spent.
i want to see it so bad! i'm 14 and it looks hilarious.
I haven't seen it myself,but the previews on t.v. seem promising. Puts you in mind of How to train a Dragon..really.
Its more a mother daughter film. I prefer Finding Nemo which is more a father son movie.
Better than Wall-e? After reading this review I can't wait to go see it!
A lot of people are curious +Ben Truman as to why I chose this as my now favorite Pixar film.  Probably Wall-E was, before - but what some people aren't realizing is that our choices are personal and unique, just like what is our favorite food.

I prefer Brave because it has more elements of what I like.  It's set in the UK, it's set in the middle ages, it has Folklore and Magic and it has a wonderful story of a loving family.  It also is not very formulaic.

Wall-E was a stupendous bit of film.  The first 10 or so minutes were beautiful and quite revolutionary for storytelling to a mass audience.  But it did devolve into quite the average tale, despite the "space" angle which made everything seem more epic.  If anything I'll give Wall-E props for calling humanity fat, lazy and stupid, right to our faces.  

But people have their own perceptions - and we all view the world through our own very unique lens.  So because it is my favorite Pixar film means only something special to me - and people should make up their own minds on the matter :)
Can't wait to see it, looking forward to seeing a Scottish redhead rule the screen :)
This film is just another example of good animated films vs what other studios are doing.

Never a word about who is doing voices but when you see ads for every Dreamworks or any other studio's animated feature the first thing they promote is which famous actor is doing the voices.

Pixar has never needed to do that, the story stands alone as promotion. When I see an animated film and as soon as they start in on who is doing the voices I know it's going to be a piece of crap.

Here's what I don't get. What's up w/ all the "I thought it would have a stronger feminist point of view." or the opposite "Why did this movie have to be all about man hating!"


Why would ANYONE want to ruin such a lovely story with politics?

Yes, the story's main 2 characters are female. Yes, the story centers around their relationship. But it could have easily been about a son and his father or mother. This story had NOTHING to do with gender issues.

For anyone who thought the story just had a lot of male bashing. Get over your penile insecurity and grow up!

Again! This was a FAIRYTALE. A story about a princess coming of age in a time of magic and mystery.

Think about it from Marida's perspective. Guys were only interested in talking about their latest battles and conquests.

So please people, leave your pompous political views at home when you see Brave. Enjoy it for what it is, a Fairytale.

(BTW, thanks for the +1 +Jennifer Bailey on my previous comment. Much appreciated.)
I agree +Eddie Carrington that using this movie as an agenda is sutpid beyond belief.  

It's a story.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  A really good one, too.
+Lexy Santillan It was great. Merida is a strong female lead fighting against a tradition that she doesn't agree with. I don't find that to be sexist in any form. I didn't feel like the male characters were downplayed at all.

They just acted how men of the time would have. Giving the woman of the house certain levels of respect.

I agree with +Eddie Carrington on this one. Look at it for what it is. No point in trying to make something of the movie that it isn't. Just enjoy!
+Jennifer Bailey BINGO!!!! I've read so many reviews and comments that want to make this more than it is.

I TOTALLY agree with you. Bringing one's agenda to a movie like this IS stupid!!

Seriously! Want to attack something for being sexist head over to #Funimation or #CrunchyRoll and watch some icchi #Anime.

But please... PLEASE leave Brave the hell out of it!!

(Sorry, I'll get off my soapbox now.. <.<)
I watched it yesterday and I totally agree with you!
Is this part of the ginger power movement?
Just came back from a second viewing today - daughter wanted to see it again and I wasn't about to say no to that :)

Upon a second viewing I like it even more!
I'm starting to think that people preferences for Pixar movies is a good tracking of peoples issues and hence what they identify with more (not that different from any story i suppose). I'm sure some one with more time and will could probably write a good dissertation on it...
It would have been nice if I had read this before watching the film. I did not know it was a Japanese-style film and would have been prepared for it better.

Since I did not know this before viewing, afterwards I was a bit disappointed. Almost all the good action scenes were in the movie trailers. As a rule, I do not waste money watch movies in a theater that are dramatic in nature and do not employ large-screen special effects or other special note-worthy features.

If you like Japanese-style animated films, then this one will surely NOT disappoint. If you were expecting an action-packed animated movie more like Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, then I suggest to skip this or at least wait until you can download it watch it on DVD.
+Kat Shaw: the main characters are female??? Oh noes!!1! Teh sexisms!! After all, imagine the outcry if there was ever a movie where the main characters were all male...

Ohhhh. Right.

+Jennifer Bailey: o rly, you don't have any issues? How boring. Thankfully, I don't believe you for a moment.
You forget +Matt Tearle that I'm basically 40 - sometimes people work through their issues by then ;)  So yeah, I'm pretty happy and happily boring.  Sorry to disappoint :p
My family LOVED this movie. It was VERY well done, beautifully done and we were entertained the entire time.
love the hair matches my nail polish 
One of the best Pixar movies?!? Come on. it might be one of the worst given the high standard of Pixar. I was disappointed that it seemed a little similar to tangled and definitely not as good. Pixar should leave the princesses to the other parts of Disney.
is your +Jennifer Bailey the brave
this movie may be serious i cant wait to watch
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