Katniss, Meet Merida

Pixar's first-ever heroine is a rugged rebel with a cause


Merida, princess from Brave

Pixar has been in a little slump. For an amazingly imaginative decade or so, John Lasseter's animation studio enjoyed a run of features whose quality and popularity are unparalleled in film history, including seven wholly original movies--Monsters, Inc.; Finding Nemo; The Incredibles; Cars; Ratatouille; WALLE; and Up--between the two terrific Toy Story sequels. Last year, though, Pixar crashed into artistic subordinariness with Cars 2 (code name: Ishcar). The shadow of mortality grew darker still with John Carter, the live-action Disney flop from Nemo and WALLE director Andrew Stanton. With Brave, the Lasseter gang's first original story since Up in 2009, Pixar...

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