Monday, July 2, 2012

Why I probably won't be seeing Brave

Update: I think I should probably lead with this: I have a friend from my college/ballroom dance days that works at Pixar and did a lot of work on Brave.  He is one of the team leads, that focuses on the cloth/clothing that the characters wear.  I actually do want to see the movie to support him and see the kind of stuff he worked on for this movie.  I just have some issues with the story, which obviously has nothing to do with the work he did.  From everything I've seen so far, his work looks phenomenal.

I think I've seen all of Pixar's movies.  Well...except for Cars 2, but that hardly counts.

So, as I was saying, I've seen almost all of Pixar's movies.  By and large I've enjoyed them quite a bit.  The animation quality at Pixar pretty much defines the standard by which all other animation studios are judged.  The story and characters are usually well defined, enjoyable to watch and easy to identify with.

Sadly, I've read the same basic complaint about Brave from several places, most notably here.  At a  high level, the problem is that there isn't a single remotely intelligent male character in the entire movie.  The father/king is more like a bumbling buffoon.  Every success he experiences is either by pure accidental luck or due to the guidance of his wife.  The triplet brothers are obviously there just to add complications to the plot.  And if you've seen the trailers with the scenes from the archery contest it's clear that none of the lords or their sons are meant to be seen as particularly intelligent either.

None of the male characters are actually characters.  At best they're caricatures.  You could almost substitute Homer Simpson of the king and a trio of Bart Simpsons for the triplets and the movie would progress without much of a change.

That's where my complaint gets a bit more specific.  Aside from every male character in the film being an idiot, I'm just tired of seeing fathers constantly portrayed as Homer Simpson clones.  Even when I was a kid Homer was only amusing for a year or two.  I'm not saying fictional fathers should suddenly be portrayed as perfect.  But treating that level of idiocy as the societal norm isn't good.

Then again, that's probably one of the big reasons I hate the various Disney channel kid shows.  Since the target audience is young children, the adults in the show (what few there are) are all idiots.  That still just makes me feel like the people behind the show are taking the easy way out.  There have to be better ways to build the show they want without resorting to that.

Anyways, yes, I acknowledge the fact that the primary characters in this movie are two female characters: the queen and her daughter.  And that is very important.

But I'm tired of movies and TV shows that seem to imply I must be the idiot of the family, just because my kids call me "Dad".

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