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Brave breaks new ground for Pixar in other ways. Whimsy and light comedy often characterize the studio’s movies. While you’ll find plenty to laugh at in Brave, the spell-casting witch and bear-hunting violence create a tone darker than any other Pixar release. As a heroine Merida differs from Disney’s other princesses. Rather than sitting around singing and pining for a prince, she takes her fate into her own hands.

The film’s emphasis on family presents a different message compared to most modern fables. These days it seems like most movies geared toward the family have an environmental or anti-capitalist moral, but Brave places a high value on reconciliation and family unity. We see this emphasis in the witch’s curse and the legend of the original clans. Brave‘s message of mending family relationships is refreshing.

Pixar’s latest masterpiece spins a tale as exciting and unruly as Merida’s curly locks. The studio gambled with a dark fairy tale in a mysterious, enchanted setting, but with Brave the dare pays off. The artists at Disney and Pixar have truly outdone themselves with this film.

See Chris Queen’s ranking of the studio’s 12 films: The Pixar Canon: 4 Misses And 8 Hits 

And catch-up on more of Chris’s writings on Disney:

Disney’s Rich Ross: The Rise And Fall Of An Entertainment Mogul

John Carter: Old-Fashioned Sci-Fi Leaps to Life

The 10 Best Disney Songs by the Sherman Brothers

John Carter’s Long Road from the Civil War to the Silver Screen

Walt Disney’s 5 Greatest Innovations

The 10 Things You Must Do at Disney World