On the Big Board
|Not Pixar's best, but still charming and beautiful to look at.
|It's a pretty film. Nice, tidy, and amusing, not disappointing but not amazing. I loved Merida's hair.
So far there seems to be no such thing as a bad Pixar film. It’s hard to top (or at least equal) a cinema masterpiece, yet Pixar has managed to pile quality upon quality. This is clearly no easy task, yet somehow they make it look effortless. With WALL-E, they raised the bar so high that they practically gift wrapped it to God.
It’s not only their art for storytelling that has other studios jealous; all of Pixar’s films have turned a profit, each one having earned over $350 million worldwide. From just nine featre films, they’ve managed a combined gross of over $4.8 billion worldwide. For comparison, their worthy adversary DreamWorks Animation has released 11 computer animated films, which have so far totalled $4.9 billion.
Brenda Chapman has been granted access to Pixar's secret underground vault stashed full of original ideas and is set to direct their 13th feature film, The Bear and the Bow. Chapman has worked with Disney as an artist on The Little Mermaid, and story supervisor on Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. She shared a directing credit on DreamWorks’ The Prince of Egypt, which raked in $101 million domestically, eventually earning $218 million worldwide.
The Bear and the Bow is set in a mythical Scotland and follows the royal family King Fergus (Billy Connolly), Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), Princess Merida (Reese Witherspoon) and her three little brothers. Merida wants to pursue her dream of becoming an archer. However, due to her reckless decisions she inadvertently brings disaster and destruction to her father’s kingdom. Realising what she’s done, Merida tries to set things right. Along the way she meets a 15-foot bear and a witch (voiced by Julie Walters).
The fairy tale clothing will have many labeling The Bear and the Bow as Pixar’s Shrek, and many will likely say the same once this is released (just remember where you heard it first, kids). Others have tried to cash in on an area Shrek has dominated. Hoodwinked! can be seen as a minor success story, taking in $51 million domestic against a $15 milion budget, whereas Hapily N’Ever After bombed spectacularly, taking just $15 million against a budget of $47 million.
From Ratatouille onwards, Pixar’s projects are ones of real passion that are harder to market. With WALL-E, there are laughs but also a real grown up maturity about the subject matter. The fairy tale formula seems stuck in delivering a plethora of postmodern pop-culture parodies (which has become Shrek’s comfort zone). Given Pixar’s track record, they might risk breaking the mold, turning The Bear and the Bow into another money spinner. Let’s not forget that this is a studio that bagged an Oscar from showing us a chef making top quality dishes by working with a rat! (Shalimar Sahota/BOP)
September 4, 2011
Everything Shalimar said is still true with a single exception. Pixar has changed the name of the movie to Brave. No matter the title, this will be a box office blockbuster. (David Mumpower/BOP)