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Archive for June 23rd, 2012

By Bob Clark

The recent attention paid in the press to the behind-the-scenes conflicts that manifested during the making of Pixar’s latest feature-length effort do a good job of illustrating the studio’s holistic approach to cultivating and executing storytelling through animation. Originally the pet project of industry veteran Brenda Chapman, whose tenure includes stints during the Disney Renaissance and the modern classic Dreamworks feature Prince of Egypt, and inspired by her own trials and tribulations as a mother with a growing daughter, it began life as The Bow and the Bear, a modernist blend of the typical Disney Princess-narrative and Celtic mythology that saw fit to pit a fiery red-haired tomboy lass against a domineering mother against the backdrop of Scottish bravado and magic alike. In its finished form, Brave shares much in common with the film that Chapman set out to make from the outset, and stands as an impressive technical feat from the studio that as of yet remains unrivaled when it comes to the visual wizardry of computer animation. And yet, there’s something hollow and unsatisfying about the overall results that speaks much about the weaknesses inherent in Pixar’s collaborative approach to filmmaking in a way that even some of the more middling efforts they’ve offered in past years never approached.

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