Pixar has long had a habit of blowing my mind. As well as many others. Managing to paint the line between entertaining the child, while still bringing forth the giggle in us adults (heck sometimes even a tear). They have set the bar for family entertainment on many occasions; "UP", "TOY STORY", "FINDING NEMO" and one of the greats "WALL-E". Often they even find a way to weave in crazy deep messages about loss, abandonment, hope, and the problems with this here human race. And they do it all with CGI pixels on a silver screen.
However. That being said.
They have gave in to the need for financial dominance in some regards, selling out to cash in on established franchises: Exhibit A - Cars 2. Exhibit B - the upcoming and horrible looking, MONSTER UNIVERSITY (even though in the trailer, one of the main characters clearly calls it college, oh boi). Still, I have learned never to underestimate them. And in an age where CGI films are the standard, and drop every month it seems, they still stand out head and shoulders above the rest.
(excluding of course - KUNG FU PANDA)
The story is so. Ancient Scotland. A young princess grows up only wanting to be anything but a princess. Her and her mother quarrel about it constantly. Her dad is more than happy to stay away from the middle of it. On the day that her hand is to be won by the first born princes of the land, she decided she has had enough. And things get rather complicated for our red haired heroine. And there's magic stuff too. That glows and makes weird sounds.... Ya. Complicated.
Really that is all you need, and I don't want to give you anymore, for one simple reason... you will not see this film coming. I watched multiple trailers, and thought I had this figured out. Oh princess rebels, learns valuable lessons about life along the path to being brave in some sort of life/death family in peril situation. Okay. So maybe I had the basics right, but leave it to Pixar to throw me for a loop with a ton of things they cleverly kept out of the previews. About 45 min into this flick I literally looked to my theatre companion, and said "Well, did not expect that".
Moving on to the look of the film. Beautiful. That is it, in a word. Gorgeous. I found myself just intrigued by the little things. The way the main characters hair dances in the wind, individual strands visible. The way the horse moves, and breaths. Every aspect of this film is a feast for the eyes. Yup. My pupils were Pixel drunk. The plot as I already mentioned does go way off the map here, but somehow finds its way back to really investing you in the story.
And dammit if I wasn't a little tight in the chest at the end (I feel like I should use some sort of bear pun here... hmmm... I could BEAR it though) haha trust me when you watch the flick that joke will kill.
Bottom line. Another hit for the hit machine. However, despite the laughs, and the heart, still not in Pixar's top five for me. Nope. But definitely a good film. One you and the family will love. And Moms, honestly, maybe even an extra recommendation from Ol' Boony here. See it with ya daughters.
Movie scale 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Animated movie scale 3.5 out of 5 stars.
I saw more than a few tears in the audience at the end of this one folks, so be warned :)
- Chuck B. Boonsweet