In a week where we're having the same conversation about what women and girls can or can't do in fandom (let's call it "The War On Women Who Like To Dress Like Supergirl"), I want to say that the release of Disney/Pixar's "Brave" is particularly relevant. Co-directors/co-writers Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman's girl-empowering tale has been seized upon as Pixar's attempt to disrupt the Disney princess formula, offering the beloved animation studio's own heroic-minded take on that increasingly dusty trope.
And if Pixar was looking to break ranks from the tried and true princess is saved by/marries prince narrative arc, then they're largely successful with "Brave." But it's a shame that Pixar's first film with a female lead packs less of the punch, or let's say "heart" or they're previous work. Built on a simpler, more time-tested formula, "Brave" doesn't surprise the way "The Incredibles" did before it or nearly bring you to emotional collapse the way the second and third "Toy Story" movies were able to. It's a fine movie, just not Pixar-good.
****Spoilers after the jump****