Pixar is a company that has developed a very focused vision. They put creators first, they put human drama over visual spectacle, and then they knock the visuals out of the park anyway. For a while I’d been following along with all their releases in a state of near delight, enjoying each film they put out more than the one before it, and I started to think that they were as close to infallible as a movie studio could get. But then they put out Cars 2, which was kind of an overlong mess of juvenile humor set in a pun driven, unrelatable world. This wasn’t the Pixar I loved, this was for kids!

But with Brave they seem to be getting back to the basics of what makes them great; stories that can be appreciated by kids and adults alike. Here we have a young girl who is different than everybody else, who doesn’t want to be what the rest of the world tells her a young girl should be. She’s driving at something that everybody is telling her she can’t do. She’s in danger, must rely on herself, and she must rise up and become something she never thought she could if she’s going to survive a great adventure. That’s more like it. That sounds like a prototypical Pixar movie, to a tee.

Check out the trailer for yourself:

And yet, despite that rock solid sounding foundation for a great Pixar story, Brave appears to be making some departures from the company’s M.O. as well. This is only the second Pixar movie after The Incredibles to use human characters as its protagonists, and its the first time they’ve focused on a female character at all. And from the looks of things, this is a story that’s going to mirror classic fairy tales much more than anything else they’ve ever done. In some ways, Brave looks like it’s going to fit the classic Disney Animation mold even more than it will the developing Pixar mold. Will that approach prove to be risky?

Probably not. With design work and animation this gorgeous, a seemingly action packed story, and voice work from people I love as dearly as Kelly MacDonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson and Craig Ferguson, I think I’m going to be completely over the moon for this one. Just as long as Larry the Cable Guy doesn’t show up doing more fish out of water hillbilly humor, we should be fine.

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