I liked Brave for things Pixar didn’t sell it as. The fascinating second act (that doesn’t even appear in the trailers). That it managed to have surprises that overbearing marketing didn’t spoil. How genuinely funny it is, something I feel they’ve lost in a lot of their modern output. That it manages to be in many ways their greatest looking movie.
The problem is they decided to sell it as some sort of revolutionary female empowerment princess story, and it’s actually pretty terrible at being that thing. I get into it in my review at length, but basically it’s another example (Wall-E‘s entire second half was nearly ruined for me because of this) of Pixar forgetting that message works when it’s not ham-fisted moralizing shoved down our throats through cliches that Disney and Dreamworks don’t even sink to anymore.
It’s a pleasant enough fairy tale yarn, but I think it’s become very clear that Pixar needs to decide whether they want to just tell mass market kids entertainment (not a bad thing, honestly) or if they want to grow past it. This middle of the road stance is sabotaging all of their original output, and I have an increasing lack of patience for it.
Either way, check out the full text of the review (here, again, if you missed the link at the top) for more specific thoughts on the movie itself.